TALLADEGA, Ala. – Denny Hamlin has received clearance from NASCAR to at least start Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR is requiring that Hamlin at least practice and qualify the car if he is going to start Sunday’s race.
Joe Gibbs Racing did not indicate if they were planning to have a backup driver on standby for Hamlin.
“Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega,” the team stated in a media release.
Hamlin has been sidelined since injuring his back in a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in late March. He suffered an L1 compression fracture in his back in the crash, which took place while he was battling Joey Logano and Kyle Busch for the victory in the Auto Club 400.
Mark Martin and Brian Vickers have driven the No. 11 Toyota since Hamlin’s injury.