Toyota Owners 400 – Post Race Report

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Toyota Owners 400, April 2017

Hamlin Scores Third-Place Finish in Front of Hometown Crowd at Richmond

Denny Hamlin finished third in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, capitalizing on long green flag runs and quick pit stops by the #11 FedEx Ground team to deliver a solid finish at his Virginia home track.

Hamlin started the 300-mile event in 16th, but wasted no time breaking into the top-10 where he battled for the field’s top spot for the remainder of the race. He positioned himself for the lead in Stage 1 and Stage 2, officially taking over the top spot after a swift pit stop by the #11 FedEx crew immediately following the conclusion of Stage 2. Hamlin fought to maintain his position at the front of the field for the remainder of the 400-lap event, but ultimately succumbed to two of his fellow competitors to secure a third-place finish overall.

“The car drove really well today, and we we’re obviously competitive,” said Hamlin, a three-time winner at the Virginia short track. “We could afford to find more power, but overall, it was a good race day and our #11 FedEx crew worked really hard to get us where we were today. It may not have been the win we wanted, but I’m optimistic we’ll get there soon.”

Hamlin earned himself a fifth-place finish and six Championship points at the conclusion of the first 100-lap Stage, and continued to chase down the leaders during Stage 2 to secure a fourth-place finish and additional seven Championship points when the mandatory caution came out on lap 202.

Overall, Hamlin led a total of 59 laps during the 400-lap event, which triggered a $6,549 donation to Safe Kids Worldwide through the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program. To date, $10,767 has been donated to Safe Kids through the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program.

Following his third-place finish at Richmond, Hamlin gained four spots in the overall NASCAR standings, moving into 11th place. The Series returns to action next Sunday, May 7th, at Talladega Superspeedway.