Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mark Martin Likely to Sub for Injured Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several driver scenarios, including fellow Toyota driver Mark Martin, to replace Denny Hamlin while he recovers from a back injury.

Multiple sources told that one scenario JGR has considered is Martin driving all five races in the No. 11 car while Hamlin is out. Brian Vickers would pick up Martin's schedule in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 that includes Texas, Kansas and Richmond. Michael Waltrip is in the 55 at Talladega.

Another scenario, according to sources, is that Vickers would pick up Hamlin's schedule for four races after next week at Martinsville, where he is scheduled to drive the No. 55 for Martin. Martin or Elliott Sadler would drive at Martinsville.

Sources said another scenario would have Sadler drive for Hamlin the entire way, although that is the most unlikely option.

Both Vickers and Sadler drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule for JGR.

Team president J.D. Gibbs would not comment directly on whether Martin is a candidate, but he didn't deny the possibility.

"We're talking through everything,'' Gibbs said during a Thursday conference call. "There's several guys. We're trying to figure out what would be the best fit.''

But Gibbs said for the sake of continuity, he would prefer to go with one driver versus multiple drivers. (More at ESPN)