Hamlin hits wall, fails to qualify for Nationwide race at Darlington

Updated: May 9, 2008, 5:33 PM ET
Associated Press

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Sprint Cup star Denny Hamlin, who won the past two Nationwide Series events at Darlington Raceway, hit the wall during qualifying and did not make Friday night's Nationwide race.

Hamlin is still part of Saturday night's Dodge Challenger 500 in the Sprint Cup series.

He had hoped to jump start his weekend with a good run in the Nationwide race. Instead, he ran up against the wall in turn two and could not continue his lap.

"I feel bad for him. He really laid it out there," said Carl Edwards, who was to start the race from the pole.

The Nationwide Series is NASCAR's second-tier circuit.

Edwards qualified quickest in a record lap of 176.994 mph. Edwards' speed broke the mark of Ryan Newman (170.301) set in March 2001. Edwards said Hamlin had a hot lap going and could have challenged for the top.

"I hope he doesn't hang his head too low," Edwards said.

The crash continues a bad week for Hamlin. He was criticized last Saturday night when he purposely caused a caution so he could reach pit road for a tire change.

Then Hamlin fell hard on his left hip during a pickup basketball game. He limped into Monday's test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press