Party in the Poconos 400 – Pre Race Report
FedEx 400 Recap
Denny Hamlin started from the pole, led three times for 41 laps and was running among the top-five with less than 25 laps remaining in Sunday's FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway when a flat right-front tire on the #11 FedEx Freight/Autism Speaks Toyota sent Hamlin hard into the outside wall in Turn 1 and delivered the FedEx Racing team a disappointing 34th-place finish. Tony Stewart was victorious in the race, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin was in contention for his first Cup Series win at the 'Monster Mile' throughout the 400-lap event on the one-mile concrete oval. Battling a tight condition for the first half of the race, the #11 machine came to life just past the halfway mark, and was the fastest car on the track. Hamlin was leading with less than 100 laps remaining and stayed out front until the second-to-last caution on Lap 318. He pitted for right-side tires and fuel, setting into fifth after the restart before the impact with the wall on Lap 378. The finish dropped Hamlin two spots to 26th in the NASCAR standings following Dover, 73 points behind 20th position after 13 of 26 regular season races.
The Series shifts to Pocono Raceway for Sunday's 400-mile event on the 2.5-mile triangular track. Hamlin has four wins and eight top-five finishes in 14 career starts at the 'Tricky Triangle,' and is one of his best tracks on the circuit. Adapting quickly to the three unique turns, Hamlin swept both Pocono races from the pole in his 2006 rookie season, and won back-to-back races at the track in the summer of 2009 and spring 2010. The 32-year-old Virginia native has started inside the top-seven in 12 of his 14 Pocono starts, including the last eight in a row, boasting a 5.6 average starting position. He has led at least one lap in all but three Pocono starts, leading 663 of 2,568 total laps at the track (25.8 percent). In the race one year ago, Hamlin qualified third and finished fifth in the #11 FedEx Toyota.
Great Plains Team Along for the Ride in Pocono:
The FedEx Ground Great Plains district will be recognized for outstanding service quality with its district code "GPLS" on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Pocono Raceway. The Great Plains district, based out of the St. Paul hub, includes all of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and northern areas of Wisconsin and Iowa.
FedEx Racing Conversation – Denny HamlinWhat is the key to success at Pocono?
"Since the track was repaved, it has changed a little bit, but you really have to get your car working in all three corners to make speed at Pocono. The front straightaway is long, so your car really has to be setup well for Turn 3. It's going to be really fast in these new cars, and I'm looking forward to going out there Sunday to put on a good show for the fans. We were certainly disappointed with the way Dover ended for us, and now it's up to our FedEx team to dig down and capitalize on some of our better tracks coming up."