The NASCAR notebook …
TALLADEGA, Ala. ó Denny Hamlin was released from a hospital Monday, a day after a tire failure led to a hard crash at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hamlin was kept overnight for observation at a Birmingham hospital after his car slammed into a wall. He was alert and awake when he was transported to the UAB Medical Center on Sunday, but was complaining of a headache and possibly had a concussion. He was also favoring his right foot after a slow exit from his crumpled car.
Hamlin, one of 12 drivers racing for the Sprint Cup title, was leading midway through the race when his right front tire failed and his Toyota shot into the outside wall. He said nothing over his in-car radio after the hit and took several moments to get out of the car.
Hamlin was 39th in the race and fell to 12th in the Chase standings.
CHARLOTTE ó AJ Allmendinger will drive the No. 00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend.
Allmendinger will have to qualify the car on speed to make the field for the race Saturday night because the team is ranked 36th in owner points.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” Allmendinger said. “Over the past couple of months the organization has really picked up with how everyone has been running. Hopefully, I can go out there and do a good job and get the … team back inside the top 35.”
Kenny Wallace raced the car to a season-high 12th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Now MWR is turning to Allmendinger, who is looking for a full-time job since he was let go by Red Bull Racing two weeks ago.
Allmendinger was a career-best ninth at Kansas Speedway two weeks ago in his final race for Red Bull. In races at Lowe’s this year, Allmendinger finished 20th in the Coca-Cola 600 and won the qualifying race to earn a spot in the All-Star event.
“I feel comfortable around Lowe’s Motor Speedway,” he said.
Michael McDowell drove the No. 00 for MWR for most of the season, but was pulled from the car after he failed to qualify for Kansas. Waltrip said he’s got to try other drivers in an effort to get the car back inside the top 35.
“The decision for us to continue to make changes is about our organization,” Waltrip said. “We’re still closely evaluating the remaining Cup races.”