HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Denny Hamlin's breathing remains labored a week-and-a-half after breaking his back but his focus is not.
"There is mathematics that make it possible (to make the Chase), it's not going to be easy," said Hamlin, in his first interview since his injury in the March 24 Sprint Cup Series race at Fontana, Calif.
"I'd like to cross that bridge when I get there, as far as that's concerned. I don't want the chance at a championship to decide when I get back in the car. I want to do it when it's most safe.
"I want to do it when everyone - doctors, etc. - are comfortable with me getting back in the car, not just because 'if we don't get in this week then our season is done.'"
Hamlin addressed several topics, including how he believes his circumstances would be different if SAFER barriers had been installed where he hit; how he blames Joey Logano for the accident but doesn't think NASCAR should penalize him; and how he thinks drivers and fans are wrong to think drivers can't get injured in today's Cup car despite all the safety advances.
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