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Championship hopeful Denny Hamlin crashes in Kansas testing

Denny Hamlin, entering the weekend third in the Sprint Cup title chase, crashed heavily in testing at the Kansas Speedway. The No. 11 Toyota is destroyed, but Hamlin climbed from the car under his own power.

Jamie Squire

When there is no television coverage of on-track stock car action, as is the case with today's Sprint Cup testing/practice at the Kansas Speedway, Twitter becomes a vital tool in keeping up with what is going on.

This is the last thing you ever want to see in such a situation:

The 11, of course, is the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Sprint Cup championship hopeful Denny Hamlin, who enters this weekend's activities third in the standings.

Hamlin drove his demolished Camry back to the garage area and climbed from the car. None of the on-site NASCAR media folks gave any indication that Hamlin required assistance to get out of his wrecked mount, which is incredible when you see this photo tweeted by Sports' Dustin Long.

It is even more incredible that Hamlin is apparently fine because the test session had to be delayed while repairs were made to the SAFER Barrier. Yes, the SAFER barrier is meant to absorb energy in a hard hit, but it takes an incredible impact to damage the steel (yes, steel, "SAFER" stands for Steel and Foam Energy Reduction").

The track is being tested in advance of scheduled on-track activities this weekend because of the repaving project completed since the April event there. The fresh coat of asphalt and variable banking is going to make the speeds much higher at Kansas, as Hamlin is already well aware.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.