Hamlin talks about coming back from injury (VIDEO)

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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.

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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