Denny Hamlin sidelined for six weeks with Fontana NASCAR injury

Denny Hamlin will be sidelined for around six weeks with the back injury he suffered in a last-lap crash in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Fontana

Denny Hamlin sidelined for six weeks with Fontana NASCAR injury

Hamlin sustained an L1 compression fracture when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota speared head-on into a wall on the inside of the track following contact with Joey Logano as they battled for the lead.

A team statement said that Dr Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates had evaluated Hamlin's injury on Tuesday.

"Dr Petty determined that Hamlin will not require surgery, but will need time to properly heal, which is estimated around six weeks," it said.

"Dr Petty will make the determination when Hamlin will be able to return to racing this season."

Hamlin is currently 10th in the Cup standings but is likely to have to sit out at least the next five rounds of the series while he recovers.

The Gibbs team said it had yet to decide on a stand-in driver.

The Cup series has a week and a half before its next race at Martinsville.

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