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Denny Hamlin To Miss 6 Weeks With Back Injury

Roger Penske told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin have exchanged text messages since their final-lap crash at Fontana last weekend that left Hamlin hospitalized with a fractured vertebra.

Penske said he's also sent text messages to Hamlin, who is expected to miss at least six weeks. Penske and Logano, one of his drivers, were playing in the pro-am leading up to this week's PGA Houston Open. Logano twice turned down interview requests.

Hamlin was examined Tuesday by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, who determined he won't need back surgery. However, Hamlin will be out at least six weeks and miss five races.

"I've texted back and forth with him and said that we're thinking about him," Penske said. "Obviously, we're hoping for a speedy recovery. It's never good to have a driver out for a period of time.

"These guys are racing hard, and it's the last lap and it's just the way the cars got together," Penske said. "The way Denny hit the wall was very unfortunate. … It's never good to have a driver out for a period of time."


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