Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin addressed on Tuesday his reason for a visit to the infield care center following Monday’s race at Dover International Speedway.
The culprit? Likely carbon monoxide poisoning, said Hamlin, who was hit with nausea and double vision after finishing 21st at the 1-mile concrete oval.
Hamlin finished three laps down in his No. 11 Toyota, which took on damage after he says the car was hit by debris — the result of which knocked out the right rear crush panel and allowed fumes into the vehicle.
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“That kind of hampered the very end of the race for us but it certainly wasn’t a deciding factor if we raced good or bad,” Hamlin told reporters Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. “It was just a tough race in general. It’s one of the more physically grueling race tracks we go to anyway. Then you do something like that, it makes it even worse.”
Monday’s finish was the second consecutive result outside of the top 10 for Hamlin, who was 36th at Talladega Superspeedway. He previously had finished in the top 10 the first nine races of the season, nearly matching teammate Kyle Busch’s streak of 11 consecutive top 10s to start the year.
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