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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)
Bobby Gerhart, driver of the #85 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Brennan Poole, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #98 Fresh from Florida Ford, Blake Koch, driver of the #8 Celsius Healthy Energy Cola Toyota, Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Bit-O-Honey Ford, Dakoda Armstrong, driver of the #43 WinField Ford, and Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Saturday July 4, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dillon was awarded second position based on his practice lap from Friday. Sprint Cup qualifying was canceled Saturday due to weather. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Saturday July 4, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dillon was awarded second position based on his practice lap from Friday. Sprint Cup qualifying was canceled Saturday due to weather. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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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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