Mar 26, 2013, 10:11 PM EDT
Denny Hamlin will be out at least six weeks with his broken vertebrae, according to his team.
“I wish I got good news today. I didn’t,” Hamlin tweeted late Tuesday night.
Joe Gibbs Racing has not yet announced a replacement – a logical candidate is Elliott Sadler, one of the team’s drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Potentially, Hamlin could still make the Chase for the Sprint Cup as a wild card entrant if he wins enough races and remains in the top 20 in the driver’s standings.
Hamlin has made the Chase every year since he entered the series full-time in 2006.