Saturday’s rain at Martinsville Speedway washed the track clean of all the tire rubber that had accumulated from Friday’s practice sessions resulting in a unique race with team’s anticipating changing track conditions throughout the course of today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500.
When it was over Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing with a sixth-place finish, while Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in 14th and Denny Hamlin battled to finish 19th.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin will race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway after NASCAR received official confirmation from his doctors that he has been medically cleared to return to regular racing activities.
Hamlin first visited the infield care center at Auto Club Speedway Saturday night bothered with an irritation in his eye. He returned to the infield care center again on Sunday morning because his condition had worsened. It was at this time that it was determined by the medical team onsite that he would not be allowed to race due to a sinus infection that was impacting his vision. The doctors at the infield care center referred him to the local hospital for further evaluation.
During the evaluation at the hospital a small piece of metal was also found to be in Hamlin’s eye. Doctors were able to remove the sliver of metal and Hamlin felt immediate improvement to his condition. A CT Scan did not find any other complications and thus it is believed that the metal was actually the source of Hamlin’s vision issues. He was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon and was given the doctor’s approval to fly home.
Hamlin was then evaluated by a doctor in the Charlotte area on Monday and was sent home to rest. He was instructed to return Wednesday for a follow-up examination. Following today’s examination, his doctors provided the necessary approval for Hamlin to resume all racing activity without restriction. NASCAR has received official confirmation from his doctors clearing him to resume racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
The day started on a tough note for Joe Gibbs Racing when doctor’s determined that Denny Hamlin would not be cleared to race because of a sinus infection that was causing some issues with his vision. Fortunately Sam Hornish, Jr. was on-hand and was able to fill-in for Hamlin for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
The day would end on a higher note with Kyle Busch capturing JGR’s first victory of the 2014 season in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.
Hamlin was taken to a local hospital for additional evaluation and released. He will undergo further evaluation this week in Charlotte. Meanwhile Hornish managed to bring the No. 11 FedEx Camry home in 17th, while teammate Matt Kenseth started from the pole in his No. 20 Dollar General Camry and went on to earn a strong fourth-place finish.
Elliott Sadler will be racing the No. 11 Sport Clips car in the Nationwide race at the Auto Club. Watch his car get wrapped with the Sport Clips colors.