Hamlin talks about coming back from injury (VIDEO)

Leave a comment
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Denny Hamlin is no different than any other racer when he mentions how painful it was for somebody else to drive his car. After injuring his back in March during a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway, Hamlin had to endure that very situation and watch both Mark Martin and Brian Vickers race his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota while he recovered.

But Hamlin made sure to get something positive out of the trying experience.

“I came to the race track on the race weekend just like I would if I was driving and observe other guys and see what I can do make myself a better race car driver,” Hamlin told Michelle Beadle on NBC Sports Network’s “The Crossover” from Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I think coming out of this injury, I’m gonna be better than I was leading into it because of all the information I’ve gathered while sitting on the sidelines. Even though it’s [been] tough, I’ve also learned a lot of things.”

Hamlin has been impressive in his return to competition so far. In his first full race since the injury, he notched a runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway and on Thursday, he set a new CMS qualifying record en route to winning the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night. It certainly appears that he’s putting all that he’s learned to good use.

To hear more on Hamlin’s resurgence, watch the video above and remember to check out “The Crossover” every weeknight at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)