NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
         === Hamlin to miss California race due to sinus infection ===
 
 Fontana,  CA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Denny Hamlin did  not compete in Sunday's
 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway due to a sinus infection
 that is affecting his vision.
 
 Joe  Gibbs Racing  president J.D. Gibbs said during a press conference shortly
 before the start of the race that Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota for JGR,
 was  taken  to a  local hospital  for observation. Doctors  advised him not to
 compete in this event.
 
 Sam Hornish Jr. replaced Hamlin in the No. 11 car. Hornish had been at this 2-
 mile  Southern California racetrack throughout the weekend on standby for Matt
 Kenseth,  the pole sitter. Kenseth's wife is expecting the couple's next child
 any day.
 
 "We're  just  praying [Hamlin] has  a quick recovery," Gibbs said. "Hopefully,
 he'll be able to come home real soon, hopefully tomorrow."
 
 According to Gibbs, Hamlin had been dealing with a sinus infection for a while
 before symptoms worsened on Friday.
 
 "I  think he could  still drive, but he was concerned about it and just wanted
 to  make sure it  was taken care of," Gibbs added. "The doctor said, 'Hey, you
 have  to do this right away.' Hopefully, it was nothing, but you still have to
 get it checked out."
 
 Hamlin  posted  a message on  his Twitter account  after the race had started,
 writing,  "So  disappointed that I can't  compete today. Sorry to all my fans.
 Thought we had a car that could win today. Good luck to @SamHornish."
 
 One  year  ago at  this track,  Hamlin suffered a  compression fracture in his
 lower  back during an accident on the final lap while battling Joey Logano for
 the  lead and  the win. Hamlin missed  the next four races and later failed to
 make  the  Chase for  the Sprint  Cup championship  for the  first time in his
 eight-year Sprint Cup career.
 
 03/23 16:19:05 ET

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