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Martin to stand in for injured Hamlin

"I just hate not being able to be in the car right now, but I really appreciate Mark being able to fill in for me," said Hamlin. "Like everyone in NASCAR, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark and I know he will keep that FedEx Camry up front until I get back behind the wheel."

Hamlin has also revealed that he has been in touch with Joey Logano, with whom the collision on the final lap of last weekend's Cup race at Fontana sparked the #11's hard hit against the inside wall at Auto Club Speedway that caused Hamlin's injury.

"It didn't go well," Hamlin told the Associated Press about his text exchange with his rival. "The conversation was both short and unproductive."

Logano' team boss Roger Penske has also been in touch with Hamlin: "I've texted back and forth with him and said that we're thinking about him," said Penske on Wednesday. "Obviously, we're hoping for a speedy recovery. It's never good to have a driver out for a period of time."

The under-fire Logano - who was also involved in a post-race altercation with Tony Stewart in pit lane after the three-time Cup champion accused him of blocking during an earlier restart - did get the strong public backing of his team boss this week.

"I stand behind him and I think he's going to go down as one of the greatest drivers to ever race," Penske insisted. "What happened at the end there wasn't anything more than hard racing."

Penske particularly bristled against Stewart's heated accusation that Logano was "nothing but a little rich kid that has never had to work in his life."

"He's a solid young man and his family has supported him in racing as many families of professional athletes do in every sport," Penske responded. "I can tell Tony I've never hired a driver that paid me.

"Anyone who looks at that as a criticism, to focus on that is just petty," he continued, adding that Stewart criticising someone else for blocking was rather rich: "Tony, he's one of the best blockers in the business."

Despite that, Penske said that his previous offer to Stewart to field him in an open-wheel car in the Indianapolis 500 was still on the table, should Stewart be inclined to accept.



Related Pictures

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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)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, walks down pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 15, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Mark Martin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 400. (Photo Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Mark Martin at Auto Club Auto Club Speedway, Fontana in California - March 2013 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Mark Martin at Daytona International Speedway for the Preseason Thunder (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brett Moffitt, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
JGR president JD Gibbs during the pre-season media tour. January 24, 2013. Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR
JD Gibbs and Joe Gibbs during the pre-season media tour. January 24, 2013. Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR

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