Joe Gibbs Racing confirms Denny Hamlin’s release from hospital

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Denny Hamlin has been released from a local hospital after a sinus infection that affected his vision kept him out of today’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

A statement released by Joe Gibbs Racing tonight said that Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota, was taken to the hospital for additional evaluation, and that he will receive further evaluation later this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sam Hornish Jr., who was in Fontana on standby for expectant father Matt Kenseth, subbed for Hamlin in the No. 11 and finished a solid 17th in his first Sprint Cup race since last spring at Kansas Speedway.

Dustin Long of Motor Racing Network spoke with Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, who detailed the physical distress that Hamlin was in before the race.

“…It got to where he couldn’t see and having trouble with the vision in his left eye because of the pressure and everything that was going on,” Grubb said to MRN.

“At that point, NASCAR did some testing and he could not follow the finger going by his eyes as he should have been. They weren’t going to let him go [race].”

Hamlin had been looking for a better outing at Fontana this year after sustaining fractured vertebrae in a final lap crash during last year’s race on the two-mile oval.

Instead, he’ll have to hope that he will be cleared to compete on home ground next weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a track where he’s won four times in his Sprint Cup career.

F1 2017 driver review: Lewis Hamilton

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Following on from the driver reviews from the Verizon IndyCar Series, MotorSportsTalk kicks off its Formula 1 recaps by looking back on Lewis Hamilton’s championship year.

Lewis Hamilton

Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Car No.: 44
Races: 20
Wins: 9
Podiums (excluding wins): 4
Pole Positions: 11
Fastest Laps: 7
Points: 363
Laps Led: 527
Championship Position: 1st

Lewis Hamilton may have wrapped up his fourth Formula 1 world title with two races to spare, but his margin of victory was far from representative of what was arguably his greatest championship victory yet.

Mercedes entered 2017 bidding to become the first team to defend its titles across a seismic regulation change, and appeared to be on the back foot early on after Ferrari impressed in pre-season testing and won the opening race through Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton was left wrestling with a “diva” of a car, as coined by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, but was able to get on top of it by the second race of the year in China, taking a dominant win in wet-dry conditions.

The win was representative of Hamilton’s form through the first portion of the season. When he won, he won in style – as in Spain, Canada and on home soil in Great Britain – but the off weekends saw him struggle.

Heading into the summer break, Vettel’s championship lead stood at 14 points, with the pair’s on-track rivalry having already spilled over in Baku when they made contact behind the safety car.

But Hamilton then produced the form that propelled him to titles in 2014 and 2015, breaking the back of the season through the final flyaways. As Vettel and Ferrari capitulated over the Asian rounds, picking up just 12 points when a full score of 75 for three wins was certainly in reach, Hamilton capitalised and put himself on the brink of the title.

While Hamilton’s run to P9 in Mexico was a messy way to wrap up his hardest-fought title to date, getting across the line and the job done was a significant result.

Unlike his last two titles, Hamilton was tasked with an enemy outside of the team in this title race and a car that arguably wasn’t the fastest on the grid.

But his unquestionable talent and ability to dig deep to get himself out of tough situations – Singapore and Brazil being two key examples where the result was far from expected – proved crucial once again.

Hamilton is now in the annals of F1 history as one of its all-time greats. The pole record is his, and only two drivers can boast more world titles than him (Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio).

Depending on how long he wants to continue racing, going down as F1’s statistical all-time great is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Season High: Charging from the pit lane to P4 in Brazil, a race he could have even won.

Season Low: Dropping out in Q2 in Monaco, only recovering to P7 in the race.