NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin's battle for the 2008 championship took another blow Sunday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway after a hard crash sent sent him to a local hospital for observation.
Hamlin was leading on lap 99 of the 188-lap AMP Energy Drink 500 when his No. 11 cut a tire in turn 2, catapulting his Toyota into the outside wall. He was able to climb from the mangled race car under his own power, but immediately had a seat on a stretcher before being placed in an ambulance.
Hamlin was awake and alert when he was taken to the hospital, and some of his movements indicated that it could be a potential leg injury that caused the trip away from the speedway.
Prior to hitting the wall, Hamlin was leading a resurgence of sorts for Joe Gibbs Racing after pacing nine laps of the event and engineering an all-JGR pack at the front of the field with teammates Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart right behind him.
JGR has gotten off to an absolutely horrendous start in the Chase for the Sprint Cup title run, with each of those three teams filling up the three-lowest spots in the championship standings despite utterly dominating most of the 2008 regular season.