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Hamlin hospitalised, Logano and Stewart fight

There were chaotic scenes at the end of the Fontana Sprint Cup Series race, with one driver airlifted to hospital as two others had an angry exchange on pit road.
Right up until the final turn of the 400-mile race, victory in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California had seemed to be down to a straight shootout between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.

But anyone with any knowledge of NASCAR current events knew that this was unlikely to go smoothly: Hamlin and Logano have been in an escalating spiral of hostility since the beginning of the season, when Hamlin took exception to what he saw as Logano blocking him at Daytona. After sniping at each other on Twitter, it had culminated last week with Hamlin wrecking Logano, and Logano yelling at Hamlin in pit road saying that he was "coming for" Hamlin.

So that last run to the flag between Hamlin and Logano was never going to be all that simple after all: and when Logano sent Hamlin into the inside retaining wall in a huge wince-inducing crash it seemed only to be expected. Kyle Busch passed them both and claimed the win at the flag.

"He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week, so that's what he gets," said Logano after the wreck. "I guess we're even now. He'll think twice before he does something next time."

However Logano - who was Hamlin's team mate at Joe Gibbs Racing until the end of 2012, when he switched to Penske Racing - insisted that the wreck had not been intentional. "It was just racing for the lead," he said.

"I was trying to get to the bottom, I overdrove the bottom and slid up," he elaborated. "“I wanted to win that race. I feel like I had the car to win the race," he said, adding: "Denny Hamlin was not going to win that race."

Logano was speaking before he knew that Hamlin had apparently collapsed after extracting himself from his wrecked car, which had impacted the inside wall with such force that it was lifted clear off the ground. It happened at a part of the track not covered by a SAFER barrier for impact reduction.

Hamlin was subsequently put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance to be taken to the in-field care centre, from where the decision was taken to air-lift him to a local hospital for further treatment. NASCAR officials were quick to state that the decision to use a helicopter did not indicate any severity to Hamlin's condition, merely that local traffic around the speedway following the end of the race meant that the roads were gridlocked.

Hamlin's crew chief Darian Grubb went with the driver to the hospital and kept the team and family informed. Hamlin's long-time parter Jordan Fish subsequently tweeted, "Thank [you] everyone for your messages concerning Denny. Darian is keeping us posted. He's alert [and] awake, main concern is his back."




Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AAA Southern California Ford, race side by side during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AAA Southern California Ford, is held back by crew members after an altercation on track with Tony Stewart (not pictured), driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota,comes to rest on pit road after a collision with Joey Logano (not pictured), driver of the #22 AAA Southern California Ford, during the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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Mark Winner - Unregistered

March 26, 2013 2:00 PM

Well some of you obviously didn't watch the same race I dif man wat a race that's what the fan's pay to see that's what people like myself watch at home. It was unfortunate for Hamlin but it was just racing if you clowns would look close Joey slid up but held his line it was Hamlin who actually caught the cormer of Joey's car prob on purpose once again trying to turn him. Stewart need's to grow up he has blocked in so many races I can't count. And to the clown on here that wanted to eatch golf instead of the race wow you are an idiot i would rather watch grass grow. What a *****. This was one hell of a race I hope they all end this dramatic.

michael french - Unregistered

March 25, 2013 3:37 PM

It is time that this wrecking a guy on purpose is put to a stop.Logano showed no emotion towards injuring Hamlin.I pray it doesn't come down to a driver being killed to stop this type of retaliation on the track.Lagona needs to be sit down for the season. I have been a nascar fan for40 years and this type of racing has to stop.



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