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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hamlin having back issues, but glad to be back with Gibbs team

Denny Hamlin is having back issues, and will sit out Friday night's Nationwide race.

"There are some torn disks and there's some bulging disks. There's a lot of different things that's just happened over time, and it's just gotten progressively worse. I noticed -- Kentucky is not the smoothest of race tracks that we've gone to, and with our aggressive setups nowadays , evidentially took its toll on us and the next day it got rea l tight by the end of the day, and then I sat down for dinner and couldn't get up. I've had a history of back spasms now for probably four years and it just flared up again. This is about as bad as it was at its worse in 2008 or so. I'm just now starting to get mobile again and being able to get around. We don't want to set any of that back by sitting down any longer than I have to."

But do not fear Hamlin fans. He still plans to drive on Saturday at Daytona in the Cup race.
"I don't plan on having a relief driver. I think that if something were to happen, and I didn't feel well, there'd be somebody around that could help, but don't plan on having anyone. I do plan on starting and really, I could probably do it today if I had to, but it's not race day. I'm going to have two more days before I really have to get in and go."

Hamlin, who recently extended his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, said he didn’t give much thought to leaving the organization that brought him to fame.
"Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) has been extremely generous to me in a lot of different ways. They gave me my start. They bent over backwards for me in a lot of different ways and really have helped me and put me with a great team,” Hamlin said. “Really, when you look at where can you go and improve the seat that you're in, there just isn't any out there that you'd want to even consider. I feel like I'm with a championship-caliber team, obviously a championship crew chief. We've only been beat once by a JGR driver in points since I've been there. I feel like however Gibbs is capable of running is where we'll run and I feel like we have championship caliber cars. Any move that you make over money or something like that will eventually catch up to you. My thought was always to stay with Gibbs. I have such a great relationship with everyone at FedEx that we've got a good thing going right now. You don't want to test the waters and end up shooting yourself in the foot because there's very few, both sponsors and teams out there that have the relationship with their driver that I feel like we have."

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