How Long Can Hamlin Play Hurt?

Denny Hamlin

(WOMR file photo)

Denny Hamlin’s chronic back pain continues to plague the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.  We all remember the horrific hit that Hamlin took back at Auto Club Speedway that resulted in a compression fracture of his back.  It has come to light that Hamlin has opened up that his back.  Hamlin has admitted that his back is still a chronic problem.  After Hamlin won the pole Friday, it was as if the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway exacerbated the problem. 

“My daily life is miserable”, Hamlin said. “This is nothing”, he continued.

Surgery to repair his spine is still on the table at the end of the season. Hamlin contends that once I’m strapped in I’m fine, but he also acknowledges that certain tracks, such as Watkins Glen two weeks ago, definitely took a toll. He describes the sensation as a nagging pain that just won’t go away, but one has to wonder how long Hamlin can play hurt. 

“I have to weigh the options”, Hamlin said. ”What options do I have?  There are 10 different things you can do to help with either pain or the structure of your back, I just have to figure out which one is the right one for me”, Hamlin retorts.(FoxSports)

It would appear that Hamlin might ought to throw the towel in on this season, allow a substitute driver to fill-in for him, consider what procedure will fix his back issues, schedule the surgery, and start his long recuperation needed to get healthy for next race season.  The hopes for making The Chase is non-existent, so why not get prepared for next year?

Is a team with Hamlin operating at less than 100% better than a substitute driver of lesser ability?  What purpose is Hamlin serving the team racing at less than max capacity?  If Hamlin won’t get out of the seat, take care of his medical problems, then maybe it is time for Joe Gibbs to make that call for Hamlin!


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