Download the 2017 FedEx Racing press materials at http://www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, statistics and the 2017 crew roster.
Denny Hamlin finished 30th in Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after sustaining damage to the #11 FedEx Express Toyota during a multi-car incident on lap 418 during the short track race. The left side of Hamlin's front splitter required extensive repair and prolonged time on pit road, relegating the team to a 30th-place finish, seven laps down. When the caution came out on lap 310, the FedEx team decided to take a gamble with their pit strategy and elected to stay on track while the rest of the leaders pitted for tires and fuel. Hamlin took charge of the lead for the restart, but quickly found himself shuffled to the 14th position, unable to keep up with the competitors' fresh rubber. Hamlin was battling for the 14th position during Stage 3 when he made contact with Danica Patrick, setting off a chain reaction in turn four. Although Hamlin was able to return to track following the incident, the #11 FedEx Toyota required multiple stops on pit road so the team could attempt to repair the damage to the front splitter, resulting in lost laps on track. Hamlin restarted the race in 30th on lap 432 where he would continue for the remainder of the race. After starting 12th for the 500-lap event, Hamlin tactfully maneuvered his way through the front of the field, making his way to sixth before the first caution flew on lap 71. Combined with the #11 FedEx crew's precision on pit road, Hamlin earned himself a second-place finish and nine Championship points at the conclusion of Stage 1. Hamlin's finish drops him to 16th in the overall NASCAR standings.
The Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's 334-lap event on the 1.5-mile oval. Hamlin has captured two wins at the intermediate track, scoring back-to-back victories at the Lone Star State speedway during his prosperous 2010 season. In 22 starts at Texas, he has also notched five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and has led 155 laps. Hamlin finished 12th at last year's race following a "spring shower" that caused a two-hour delay to the 500-mile race.
Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares:
This season, 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.
Fans can track the total amount donated to date from the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program on the homepage of FedExRacing.com. FedEx will donate $444 to Safe Kids on the #11 FedEx Team's behalf following Hamlin's four laps led this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
|Race||O'Reilly Auto Parts 500|
|Date/Time||April 9/1:30 p.m. ET|
|Distance||334 Laps/501 Miles|
|Track Length||1.5 miles|
|2016 Winner||Kyle Busch|
|Track||Texas Motor Speedway|
Hamlin Conversation - TEXAS:
How are you feeling about switching gears from short track racing to intermediate racing at Texas?
"After our weekend in Martinsville, I'm ready to head to Texas and chase down the top-five finish that I know our FedEx team is capable of. While it's been some time since I've won there (Texas), I'm looking forward to testing out the new racing surface and will be curious to see how it affects competition this weekend."
Durham, NC Research Park Team Along for the Ride at Texas:
The Durham, NC Research Park Team will be recognized as a leading team in FedEx's annual President's Club program by having its "3008" code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota at Texas.
FedEx Office – Closest to Texas Motor Speedway:
9604 Old Denton Rd., Suite 104,
Fort Worth, TX 76244
#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