NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Hospitalized After Crash
- Feuding NASCAR drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano wrecked battling for the lead in a race Sunday at California Speedway.
- Hamlin was taken to a local hospital for observation after his car slammed into a concrete barrier.
- Logano was then confronted by Tony Stewart after the race.
FONTANA, California — An ongoing feud between NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano erupted on the final lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, with Hamlin being transported to a local hospital after his car crashed into a barrier.
The two were battling for the lead on the final lap of the 200-lap race when Logano's Ford Fusion slid up the track into Hamlin's Toyota Camry. Both drivers lost control, with Logano slamming into the outside wall and limping on to finish the race.
Hamlin spun down the track and slammed head-on into a concrete wall along the inner perimeter of the 2-mile speedway. He climbed out of the car, but lay down on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the infield medical facility and later air-lifted.
Officials said he was awake and alert and the hospitalization was for precautionary reasons. Hamlin's girlfriend Jordan Fish tweeted that the "main concern" was Hamlin's back.
Kyle Busch passed the two as they tangled and won the race.
Tensions carried over to Tony Stewart, who confronted Logano after the race ended and had to be pulled away by crew members and race officials.
Hamlin and Logano had carried on a social media war of words ever since Hamlin bumped Logano and caused him to spin out in the March 24 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Logano angrily confronted Hamlin after the race.
On Sunday in Fontana, the two raced in close proximity to each other during much of the race, battling for the lead or a high position, without incident.
As the race came down to its conclusion, though, the intensity level went up dramatically. On a restart with 14 laps to go, Logano, racing against Busch for the lead, blocked Stewart's bid to pass him. Stewart fell back as Busch took the lead.
Logano and Hamlin both passed Busch and traded the lead twice in the final two laps. Both sailed off into the third turn of the final lap as fast as they could go, and the collision occurred as Busch slipped past them on the outside.
No announcements regarding disciplinary action or penalties appear to be forthcoming from NASCAR.
Edmunds says: NASCAR wants lively racing on one hand and good corporate public relations for itself and its sponsors on the other. It's not getting any easier to have that cake and eat it, too.