Hamlin not cleared to race Saturday at Richmond

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin hasn't been cleared to race at his home track in Richmond as he had hoped.

Hamlin sustained a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap accident at California on March 24. Doctors said he'd miss at least five races, but Hamlin hoped to return early to race at Richmond, where he's a two-time winner.

But Hamlin wasn't cleared Wednesday to race after visits to Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, and apparently consultations with others.

Hamlin has missed three races so far, two of which were won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth.

Brian Vickers will drive the No. 11 Toyota for him Saturday night at Richmond.

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