Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower back after a collision with Joey Logano, according to the Los Angeles Times report. He's expected to meet with Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates in Charlotte, N.C.
When asked if he would be participating in the next Sprint Cup series race at Martinsville Speedway, Hamlin said, via the report:
It’s so tough to say. Just from yesterday to today I’m a lot better, but I don’t know how long this process takes. I read up on it a little bit and nothing I read sounds too encouraging on what my next couple of months is going to be like.
Hamlin noted that he thought the cause of the crash was a combination of his rivalry with Logano and the simple competitive element of NASCAR racing. He said he hadn't heard anything from Logano since the crash.
NASCAR racing, as we all know, is no joke. These drivers put their bodies on the line in exchange for their love of the sport. Things like this happen.
There are always questions after such crashes, though, ranging from who was in the wrong to whether one of the drivers intentionally was a bit too aggressive. Drivers are always testing the limitations of themselves and their fellow drivers, and it's only natural that such things can occur as a result.
As of now, it doesn't appear as if Hamlin will make it to Martinsville Speedway on April 7. He was reportedly wearing a back brace and holding his ribs when talking to reporters after being released from the hospital, per Schilken.
Here's to hoping Hamlin is able to recover quickly and get back on the track.