Denny Hamlin said he had high carbon monoxide levels after Monday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway and that’s why he was treated in the infield care center.
“We knocked the right rear crush panel out, which is kind of the worst possible case scenario for carbon monoxide,” Hamlin said Tuesday on a call with Pocono Raceway media. “I had some pretty high levels and felt nauseous and had double vision and whatnot. That kind of hampered the end of the race for us but certainly wasn’t a deciding factor in whether we raced good or bad.
“Just a tough break in general. That’s one of the more physically grueling race tracks we go to anyway. Then when you do something like that, you knock crush panels out, it’s going to make it even worse.”
Hamlin struggled with his car’s handling throughout the race. The Daytona 500 winner started eighth and fell to 23rd by the Lap 40 competition caution. He later fell a lap down but got it back before the end of the first stage. His spin after a tire went down brought out the final caution. The final 131 laps were run under green.
Hamlin had finished no worse than 11th in the season’s first nine races, including wins at Daytona and Texas. He’s finished outside the top 20 in the last two races, placing 36th at Talladega and then his Dover result.