Denny Hamlin crashes; Tony Stewart, Joey Logano clash


Tony Stewart and Joey Logano were kept from duking it out. (Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin was taken to a hospital for observation after a hard and scary head-on crash with an inner wall at the end of the Auto Club 400, a race that also featured a skirmish between Tony Stewart and Joey Logano.

Kyle Busch was the winner after Logano, battling for the lead, and Hamlin crashed on the last lap, with Hamlin’s car hitting one of the walls that does not have a SAFER (steel and foam energy reduction) barrier to protect drivers. Hamlin, who was airlifted to a hospital because of post-race traffic, was reported to be alert and awake.

Logano, who mixed it up with Hamlin on Twitter and at Bristol last weekend, had blocked Stewart on the final restart on the Fontana, Calif., track. Stewart pursued Logano afterward and had to be pulled away from him. He was still steamed when he spoke with Fox Sports.

“What the hell do you think I was mad about?” Stewart replied when asked caused the flare-up. “Dumb little [expletive]. He loves to [expletive] about everybody else and he’s the one who drives like a little [expletive]. I’m going to bust his ass.”

Logano, who finished third behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., told Fox that he was paying Hamlin back for last week with the nudge that caused the wreck and that Stewart was collateral damage. “That’s what he gets,” Logano said. “I had to throw the block there for the lead.”

The Speed network reported that Logano said he intended to call Stewart to straighten things out. Stewart told the network, “I ain’t taking the call.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Alex Prewitt · March 24, 2013

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