Mar 23, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
A statement released by Joe Gibbs Racing tonight said that Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota, was taken to the hospital for additional evaluation, and that he will receive further evaluation later this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sam Hornish Jr., who was in Fontana on standby for expectant father Matt Kenseth, subbed for Hamlin in the No. 11 and finished a solid 17th in his first Sprint Cup race since last spring at Kansas Speedway.
Dustin Long of Motor Racing Network spoke with Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, who detailed the physical distress that Hamlin was in before the race.
“…It got to where he couldn’t see and having trouble with the vision in his left eye because of the pressure and everything that was going on,” Grubb said to MRN.
“At that point, NASCAR did some testing and he could not follow the finger going by his eyes as he should have been. They weren’t going to let him go [race].”
Hamlin had been looking for a better outing at Fontana this year after sustaining fractured vertebrae in a final lap crash during last year’s race on the two-mile oval.
Instead, he’ll have to hope that he will be cleared to compete on home ground next weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a track where he’s won four times in his Sprint Cup career.
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