Denny Hamlin Cleared to Return at Talladega
Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Denny Hamlin was cleared by his doctors and NASCAR Thursday to return in a limited capacity for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega.
NASCAR will allow Hamlin to start Sunday's race as long as he can run some practice laps on Friday and qualify his No. 11 car on Saturday.
If Hamlin does start Sunday, he will be replaced by a substitute driver, most likely at the first caution.
By Hamlin starting the race he will be able to earn any points his substitute driver earns for the race.
Hamlin has missed the last four races after he suffered a compression fracture in his lower back on March 24 during the final lap of the Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in California.
Mark Martin drove Hamlin's car at Martinsville, and Brian Vickers drove it at Texas, Kansas and Richmond since Hamlin has been out.
Hamlin has fallen to 28th place in the Sprint Cup standings since his injury.
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