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From The Marbles

Craziest Moment: Hamlin, Kenseth, Gordon and others collected in frontstretch crash

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

Denny Hamlin took another hard hit into a wall without a SAFER barrier Saturday night at Daytona.

As he was following Clint Bowyer on the low side of the track as the field entered Daytona's fronstretch tri-oval, Hamlin bobbed to the inside and then his car swerved violently to the right, slamming into the outside wall just in front of teammate Matt Kenseth.

Kenseth narrowly avoided Hamlin, but to do so, spun his car to the inside and collected Jeff Gordon. AJ Allmendinger and and Dave Blaney, the cars directly behind Kenseth, had nowhere to go and plowed into Hamlin's car so violently that Hamlin's car was briefly lifted off the ground.

Thankfully, everyone involved in the accident was checked and released from the infield care center.

At California, Hamlin hit an inside retaining wall without a SAFER barrier head-on and suffered a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra in the crash. Because of the injury, Hamlin missed four races. At Daytona, Hamlin hit the section of outside wall between turn four and the tri-oval that isn't lined with SAFER barrier.

While NASCAR has made the presence of the impact reducing foam-supported barriers mandatory since 2005, they're not required to be everywhere. In May, NASCAR President Brian France said that while there's nothing holding NASCAR and tracks holding back from installing the wall linings everywhere, that "we think we have them in all the right places."

Well, given the location of Hamlin's (and others') crashes this season, NASCAR and any track without 100 percent SAFER barrier coverage doesn't. That needs to change very soon.

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