May 2, 2013, 9:04 PM EDT
He’s back. Officially.
Denny Hamlin posted two tweets on Thursday – a simple smiley face for the first, and “Don’t call it a comeback –LL Cool J,” for the second – ahead of official confirmation from NASCAR and doctors that he had been cleared to start at Talladega this weekend.
Earlier in the week, Hamlin projected he’d be back before official clearance, which was needed. He’s been sidelined since Joey Logano and he made contact at Auto Club Speedway at the end of March, with a fractured vertebrae.
Mark Martin (Martinsville) and Brian Vickers (since) have been the replacements in the No. 11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Vickers will be ready on stand-by to take over from Hamlin if and when he’ll exit the car at Talladega; neither Vickers nor Martin will be aboard Michael Waltrip‘s No. 55 Toyota they usually share. That duty falls to Waltrip himself this weekend.
Video from NASCAR America
- Remembering the Hendrick Motorsports airplane tragedy: 10 years later, it still seems like just yesterday 1
- Talladega mystery: Did missing woman even make it to NASCAR race? Second fan to disappear in 18 months 5
- WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET for Martinsville outlook 0
- Caterham could miss Austin as crisis deepens at Leafield 2
- NHRA stunner: Jimmy Prock out as John Force’s crew chief 10
- Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick will swap crews at Stewart-Haas (UPDATED) 14
- Statement from Caterham provides unclear future for team’s plans (UPDATED) 3