Driver Denny Hamlin had hoped to make a dramatic return to the Sprint Cup Series this Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, and who could blame him? When it comes to short-track racing, Hamlin ranks amongst NASCAR’s best.
He’s won twice at Richmond, a .75-mile test that frequently produces some of the most exciting events in Sprint Cup. Hamlin also has claimed two poles at the track, along with registering seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 14 career starts.
Alas, Hamlin will not be in the 43-car field under the lights this Saturday. He’s still recovering from a compression fracture suffered in his lower back during a last-lap wreck in the Auto Club 400 at Fontana. With Hamlin out of the mix, there are plenty of other quality short-track racers poised to make their own runs at Victory Lane in Richmond, including several of the biggest names in the sport.