Daytona 500
Pre Race Report

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Press Kit

Download the 2017 FedEx Racing press materials at, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, statistics and the 2017 crew roster.

Daytona Success:

The Series kicks off its regular season this Sunday with the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway. Hamlin returns as the defending 2016 Daytona 500 Champion, claiming last year’s victory in a historic finish, edging out Martin Truex Jr. by .01 seconds. In addition to his 2016 win, he has led 369 laps at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, with six top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 22 career starts.

FedEx Extends Relationship with JGR:

FedEx announced an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing to serve as the sponsor of the #11 Toyota with driver Denny Hamlin in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The #11 team was formed at the start of the 2005 season when JGR expanded to a third card, and since then, the iconic FedEx brand has been a mainstay on the race track and in the NASCAR garage, and is now one of the longest-tenured sponsor, team and driver combinations in the sport.

Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares:

This season -- starting with Sunday’s Daytona 500 -- FedEx is tying the performance of the #11 FedEx Toyota on the track to its efforts to improve road safety through a new program, Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares, by donating $111 for each lap Hamlin leads and $11,000 for each race victory to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit working to protect kids on the road, at home and at play. FedEx will also contribute $111,000 to Safe Kids if the #11 team wins the 2017 NASCAR championship.

Race Info

Race Daytona 500
Date/Time Feb. 26/2 p.m. ET
Distance 200 laps/500 miles
Track Length 2.5 Miles
Track Shape Tri-oval
Banking 31 degrees
2016 Winner Denny Hamlin

Hamlin Statistics

Track Daytona International Speedway
Races 22
Wins 1
Top-5 6
Top-10 7
Laps Led 369
Average Start 18.3
Average Finish 17.1

Hamlin Conversation:

As the defending Daytona 500 Champion, do you feel any added pressure heading into Sunday’s race?

“Obviously, the record books show that very few drivers have back-to-back Daytona 500 wins, but I know that our team has what it takes to go out there and put up a strong effort to defend our (Daytona 500) title. Lambert (Chris Lambert, Spotter), Wheels (Mike Wheeler, Crew Chief) and I are completely in-sync on our strategy when it comes to restrictor plate racing, and we’ll definitely use that to our advantage on Sunday. I’m going to give it my best effort to get the FedEx team back in Victory Lane this weekend.”

Daytona Beach Station Team Along for the Ride at Daytona:

The FedEx Express station team from Daytona Beach (Fla.) will be recognized for claiming the title of Southern Region FY16 Station of the Year Champions by having its “DABA” code letters appear on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota at their home track, Daytona International Speedway, throughout SpeedWeeks.

FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway:

2274 W. International Speedway Blvd.,
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 323-7840

#11 FedEx Racing - 2017 Crew Roster

Crew Chief - Mike "Wheels" Wheeler
Car Chief - Leo Thorsen
Engineers - Ryan Bowers, Sam McAulay
Shock Specialist - Drew Bible
Tire Specialist - Kerry Ferris
Mechanics - Tony Hamm, Scott Eldridge, Sean Kerlin
Spotter - Chris Lambert
Front Tire Changer - Dustin Necaise
Front Tire Carrier - Brandon Pegram
Rear Tire Changer - Mike Hicks
Rear Tire Carrier - Ben Fischbeck
Jack Man - Nate Bolling
Gas Man - Caleb Hurd
Transportation - Frank Hodel