Hamlin, who is recovering from a compression fracture in his lower back suffered in a March 24 crash in California, received the approval Thursday after consulting with doctors, according to Joe Gibbs Racing.

Hamlin tweeted Thursday night: “Don't call it a comeback- LL cool J” and earlier in the week tweeted that “I can not wait to get back in car. The smell of fuel and tires Ahhh.”

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said that Hamlin will need to practice Friday afternoon and qualify the car Saturday.

Hamlin has approval to run the full race but JGR said in a news release the exact plan for Hamlin will be determined throughout the weekend. Hamlin has said he expected to get out of the car early in the event and hand the wheel over to Brian Vickers.




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