Geico 500
Pre Race Report

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Press Kit

Download the 2018 FedEx Racing press materials at http://www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Richmond Recap:

Denny Hamlin battled his way to a third-place finish in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway. Despite handling issues during the race’s first two stages, Hamlin capitalized on quick pit stops by the #11 FedEx Ground team in the final Stage to deliver his fourth consecutive top-five finish in his last four starts at his Virginia home track. Hamlin started the 300-mile event from the outside lane in fourth and immediately felt something amiss with the handling of his #11 FedEx Ground Toyota. He struggled to maintain his track position, and he slipped back to 14th as the first 100-lap Stage ran caution free. During the first stage break, the crew performed major adjustments to attempt to correct the handling issues. After restarting 14th, Hamlin climbed his way to eighth, but the tight-handling conditions persisted, and he was forced to settle for 11th at the end of the second caution-free Stage.

The race’s final Stage started with another long green-flag run and Hamlin capitalized on it to pick off his competitors one by one, and by lap 328, he was scored fifth. In the race’s final 50 laps, three cautions appeared, giving Hamlin another opportunity to pit. Quick work on pit road by the #11 FedEx crew earned Hamlin three spots, and he lined up second alongside teammate Kyle Busch for the restart with 25 laps to go. He maintained his position until the yellow flag waved with only three laps remaining, sending the 300-mile event into overtime. Hamlin restarted on the outside of the front row for the final moment, but was challenged by Chase Elliott for second, ultimately forcing him to third when the checkered flag waved.

Talladega Preview:

The series travels to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s 500-mile race on the Alabama tri-oval. Hamlin has secured five top-five and nine top-10 finishes at the Superspeedway in 24 starts, and he captured his first and only win at the 2.66-mile track in spring 2014, marking his first points-paying restrictor plate victory.

Hamlin at the Hub:

Denny Hamlin and the entire #11 FedEx crew traveled to Memphis on Monday for a tour of the FedEx Express World Hub. The team got a first-hand look at how the massive operation receives, sorts and delivers roughly 1.5 million packages each night through the facility. Hamlin and his crew even had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with FedEx aircraft and learned what it takes to be a mechanic on a Boeing 767.

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 2018 NASCAR championship. New for the 2018 season, the Denny Hamlin Foundation will also match the total donation to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Hamlin led six laps at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, generating a $666 donation to Safe Kids on behalf of FedEx. After nine regular season races, Hamlin has led 215 laps resulting in an $23,865 donation to Safe Kids Worldwide which will ultimately be matched by the Denny Hamlin Foundation. Fans can track the total amount donated to date from the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program on the homepage of FedExRacing.com.

Race Info

Race Geico 500
Date/Time April 29/2:00p.m. ET
Distance 188 Laps/500.8 Miles
Track Length 2.66 mile
Track Shape Tri-oval
Banking 33 degrees
2017 Winner Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Hamlin Statistics

Track Talladega Superspeedway
Races 24
Wins 1
Poles 0
Top-5 5
Top-10 9
Laps Led 291
Average Start 17.8
Average Finish 18.3

Hamlin Conversation:

How are you feeling as the Series heads from your hometown short track to a Superspeedway?

“Obviously we faced some challenges last weekend at Richmond, but overall it was a great effort by the whole team to make adjustments and finish strong in front of my hometown crowd. We’re hoping to build off that momentum and deliver another strong performance at Talladega, and we believe we have a good strategy to do just that.”

Tampa, Florida, FedEx Express Ramp Along for the Ride at Talladega:


FedEx Express recognizes the team at the company’s Tampa, Florida ramp by having their call letters “TPAR” appear on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota at Talladega Speedway this weekend.

FedEx Office – Closest to Talladega Superspeedway:


117 Resource Center Pkwy,
Birmingham, AL,
(205) 981-0077