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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
A general view as cars pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/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 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via 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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