Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, who has missed the last four Sprint Cup Series races as he recovers from a fractured vertebra, has been cleared to race in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hamlin, who practiced for 16 laps at Talladega, said afterwards that he was happy to be back in the car, and he thanked Brian Vickers and Mark Martin who filled in for him.
Hamlin said he didn’t experience discomfort once he was in the car, but it did hurt getting into and out of the car through the window. So, he will be entering and exiting the car through the roof.
The plan seems to be for Hamlin to start the race, and climb out of the car at the first caution. He said that he will keep himself out of harms way to ensure that he makes it to the first caution without causing one himself.
Hamlin and his team have practiced the driver swap with Brian Vickers several times. He says that they have it down to about a minute, which should be enough to keep them on the lead lap.