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Hamlin hospitalized with spinal fracture

The SportsXchange

Joe Gibbs Racing announced Monday that driver Denny Hamlin has a spinal compression fracture from Sunday's crash on the final lap of the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif.

Hamlin, 32, is expected to be cleared to return to his home in North Carolina and is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Jerry Petty this week. The next Sprint Cup race is April 7 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

After Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota made contact Joey Logano's Penske Racing Ford, the car hit the inside wall near the entrance to pit road that forced it to be lifted off the ground.

After climbing out of his car, Hamlin immediately went to the ground. Rescue workers placed him on a stretcher and he was flown to a local hospital and stayed overnight.

"He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week, so that's what he gets," Logano said after the race, not knowing that Hamlin was hospitalized with the injury.

The two also made contact with their cars late during a race the week prior to Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. That incident sent Logano into a wall. The two got into a shoving match afterward.

"That's a freaking genius behind the wheel of the 11 car," Logano said. "Probably the worst teammate I ever had, so I learned that now. He decided to run himself into the back of me, so, whatever. I have a scorecard and I'm not putting up with that."

Logano and Hamlin are former teammates with JGR.

Hamlin placed 25th on Sunday while Logano finished third.

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