FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks – Pre Race Report
Coca-Cola 600 Recap
Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Office Toyota finished fourth in last Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway behind race winner Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch. Starting from the pole after setting a new track record of 195.624 mph in qualifying, Hamlin led the first seven laps before being overtaken by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth as his car began to tighten up in the afternoon sun. As day turned to night, his #11 Toyota began to get loose and from then on it was up to Darian Grubb and his FedEx Office pit crew to keep making the right adjustments. There were 11 caution periods and the race was red-flagged twice, once for a multi-car accident, the other after a cable from an overhead camera broke and fell on the track surface, causing minor damage to the #11 FedEx Toyota's right roof rail and right roof flap. Hamlin ran in the top five most of the race but had fallen to ninth after his last green flag stop with 37 laps to go. On lap 384 of 400 the final caution came out for debris and Hamlin pitted from seventh to take two tires, picking up three spots on pit road. Hamlin's fourth-place finished moved him up three spots to 24th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 53 points out of 20th position after 13 of 26 regular season races.
The Series heads to the one-mile Dover International Speedway for Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. Hamlin will drive a special #11 FedEx Freight/Autism Speaks Toyota in the 400-lap event at the 'Monster Mile,' showcasing the famous puzzle piece pattern of the organization. Also, the first 11,000 fans at the gate on Sunday morning will receive a special FedEx Racing gift. Hamlin started on the pole, led 39 laps and finished eighth in the Sprint Cup Series' most-recent visit to Dover last September. Hamlin has 14 career starts at the concrete track, and has posted five top-10 finishes.
Gaylord Texan Along for the Ride in Charlotte
The FedEx Office location at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Grapevine, Texas is a leading store in the company's annual President's Club program. The store team will be recognized for excellent service and dedication to their customers with its "5518" code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
FedEx Racing Conversation – Denny HamlinWhat did you find at Dover last fall that can be applied to Sunday's FedEx 400?
"Obviously, Dover hasn't been one of our strongest tracks over the years. Last fall, Darian (Grubb) brought such a strong car that it made me a lot more comfortable at that track. It was a big confidence boost for our team to qualify on the pole and run up front all day. We were a top-three car -- Kyle had everyone covered -- but a little fuel mileage late didn't let us finish where we deserved. Hopefully we'll have just as strong of a car this weekend to be up front again. Our team is gaining a little momentum, and we're close to contending for wins with some great tracks coming up for us, and hopefully we can make some noise in Sunday's FedEx 400."