Denny Hamlin escaped injury after his second tire failure in today’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway sent him hard into the Turn 4 wall while running in the Top 10.
Hamlin said that his knee hit the steering column during the Lap 149 incident, and he also suffered a headache that went away after he left Kentucky’s infield care center.
“For me, it didn’t go down slowly like the tire did the first time — [the second one] just blew out solid and quick,” said Hamlin. “Obviously, when I lost steering, I hit [the wall] flat. I would rather hit head-on anywhere than flat up against the wall on these walls.”
Considering that Hamlin missed multiple races earlier this season due to a fractured vertebrae he sustained in a March crash at Auto Club Speedway, there was concern for the Virginia native after today’s incident. However, he told NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello that his back was fine, saying that it was “the least of the concerns after this.”
Unfortunately for Hamlin, the Kentucky crash may have finally extinguished whatever hopes he had of making the Chase for the Sprint Cup. If his post-race comments are an indication, he appears set to simply focus on getting back into Victory Lane as many times as he can.
“We’re just going to try to win races and that’s what my job is for the rest of the year – try to win and do the best I can for my sponsors and my team,” he said. ‘Really, the biggest thing I was pushing for was to get my team into the Chase…This is obviously another hit.”
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual NASCAR America Motorsports Special. Among segments included in the 90-minute show will be:1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
4) An essay by Nate Ryan on Danica Patrick as she looks to compete in her final Indy 500 before retiring from professional racing.