Hamlin Returns To Scene Of Last Year’s Bad Crash
This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams head out to Fontana, California to the Auto Club Speedway which was the scene of one of last year’s best races. Unfortunately, it was also one of the worst for Denny Hamlin as a last lap crash sidelined him for four weeks ruining his season.
On the last lap a year ago Joey Logano and Hamlin came together and wrecked with Kyle Busch going by for the win. Hamlin hit the inside wall in turn four where there was no SAFER barrier at the time and suffered a compression fracture in his back. The track has since added 1000 feet of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier in that area.
Hamlin starts 13th in the race on Sunday afternoon. Although he won the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona last month, Hamlin has yet to win a points race this season. A win would put him into this year’s Chase for the Championship and he no doubt would love to do it at the track that bit him last year.
Matt Kenseth was fastest in qualifying and Brad Keselowski once again will start on the front row this week. Jimmie Johnson unloaded fast and was the quickest in Friday’s first practice. Johnson has more Cup wins (five) at Fontana than anybody and rolls off 3rd. Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer round out the top five starters. Here is the complete lineup.