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NASCAR NEWS 

Denny Hamlin rules out return for Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup race

Denny HamlinDenny Hamlin will not return to action at least until the Talladega NASCAR Sprint Cup race after confirming he will miss this weekend's event at Richmond.

Hamlin has been out of action since March with an L1 compression fracture to his back, an injury he sustained in his crash with Joey Logano at Fontana.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was expected to be out for at least six weeks, though he had hoped to be back sooner.

Hamlin has confirmed he still has not recovered fully from his injury and will therefore miss the Richmond race too.

He has missed the last three races and has dropped to 26th place in the standings, 166 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

"Unfortunately I won't be racing this weekend at Richmond," said Hamlin via Twitter.

"It kills me to not be in the car for my team and sponsors but after long discussions with the doctors we have decided to wait on my return back to racing. I'll be back in no time."

Brian Vickers will continue driving Hamlin's car at Richmond.

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