Stewart-Haas Racing Shows Support for Fellow RacerBy Kala Perkins
Amidst rivalries, paybacks, and fierce competition that NASCAR teams know and love, one organization this week has taken efforts to shift the focus from the recent controversy on the track to highlighting the camaraderie and support provided by the relationship of a close-knit NASCAR family.
The Stewart-Haas Racing Teams of Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Danica Patrick all displayed a racing decal in the STP Gas Booster 500 saying “Get Well Soon Denny.” The decal was in response to the back injuries sustained by Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, at Auto Club Motor Speedway on March 24th. Racing Joey Logano for the win, Hamlin crashed hard into the inside wall. He was taken to the infield care center where he complained of back pain, and was later taken to the hospital.
Hamlin will be out for five races, and is expected to return to the track for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday May 11th. When asked to comment on the decal, Danica Patrick’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, said, “Denny is a good friend or ours, and Stewart and him are big buddies. We want to shout out to him. We hope he feels better soon.”
Denny acknowledges that he has received outpouring support from “pretty much all my peers.” One thing that sets NASCAR apart from other major sports is that in a time of need controversies and rivalries are all forgotten, and all that matters is helping your fellow racer.