UPDATE (4 p.m. ET): A bad day has gotten worse for Denny Hamlin on Lap 180 of today’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Hamlin was collected in a multi-car pileup in Turn 2 that also involved David Ragan, Martin Truex Jr., and Cole Whitt. The damage sustained to Hamlin’s car was enough to send him to the garage.
Fuel probe issues around Lap 100 had caused him to fall several laps down earlier in the race.
Hamlin was running second when he pitted under green at Lap 95. His Joe Gibbs Racing team later confirmed on Twitter that the stop was due to a problem with the fuel probe.
A caution on Lap 105 for debris gave Hamlin and the No. 11 team a chance to fix the problem. The deck lid on Hamlin’s Toyota went up as the team replaced the fuel-filling apparatus.
The problems caused Hamlin and crew chief Darian Grubb to have a mini-spat over the radio. From MRN’s Dustin Long:
Hamlin returned to the track in 41st place at four laps off the leaders’ pace. He lost a fifth lap on the race track before he was caught in the Lap 180 incident.
He entered today sixth on the Chase Grid at 12 points above the cutoff of the Top 12 that will advance to the Contender Round.
But with this setback, next week’s Challenger Round finale at Dover International Speedway may become his biggest race of the season depending on how his fellow Chasers fare this afternoon.