Well those are things you never think about…or want to think about.
Denny Hamlin finished fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings in 2023, which was a bit of a disappointment for the veteran driver of the #11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing as he sought his elusive first championship.
But it turns out that Hamlin was dealing with some personal struggles inside the car during the last few races of the season.
Immediately after the Cup Series season wrapped up at Phoenix, Hamlin underwent shoulder surgery on his right shoulder. And while discussing his recovery on an episode of The Dale Jr. Download with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin says it had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even flip the switches inside his car:
“There was a two-race stint where I couldn’t hit the switches on the dash, I couldn’t change the brake bias if I had to. There was just no way. I couldn’t reach it. I couldn’t get my right shoulder up. So I just really struggled.”
Originally the surgery was just meant to address a bone spur, but Hamlin says that late in the season he caused further damage that ended up having to be repaired:
“The Thursday before the Vegas race I had a sports incident and I ended up popping two tendons in the right shoulder on top of the bone spur, and once I kept driving on it the last five races it was destroying some stuff in there. There’s some rotator cuff that had to get repaired as well.
So went from a three week recovery to now three months.”
While the recovery will still be ongoing when the NASCAR Cup Series kicks off with the Daytona 500 in February, Hamlin says it still won’t be as bad as trying to drive through the injury at the end of the 2023 season.
But he also revealed some of the struggles he’s dealt with during his recovery – and it sounds like a pretty sh*tty situation.
“Got a lot of sh*t on my hands. Literally. Have you ever tried to wipe your a*s with your other hand?”
I mean, I’ve never really thought about it. But now that he’s mentioning it I can imagine that would be a problem.
“You’ll bust through the toilet paper pretty quick if you wipe with the other hand.”
I know Denny has said that we need more personality from our drivers – and he definitely gives it to us – but maybe there are just some things that we don’t need to know…