Firekeepers Casino 400
Pre Race Report

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Press Kit

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.

Pocono Recap:

Denny Hamlin finished 12th in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota in Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Speedway won by first-time Cup Series winner Ryan Blaney. Sunday's race was a battle of varying pit strategies, and Hamlin and the #11 FedEx team looked to capitalize on strategic pit stop timing to climb their way from their 18th-starting position to the front of the field. Hamlin and two of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez, were the last drivers to pit during Stage 2, stretching out their time in between stops to give themselves a shot at the top spot during the race's final 60-lap Stage. The strategy paid off for Hamlin as he moved into the top spot with nine laps to go in Stage 2, leading one lap before him and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez came to pit road for scheduled green-flag stops. A multi-car wreck immediately following their green-flag pit stops on lap 97 quickly foiled their master plan, and the red-flag appeared with only three laps remaining in Stage 2, giving the competitors a new, opportune window to pit. Sticking to the original idea, Hamlin stayed out, restarting third when the race returned to green on lap 105 for the start of Stage 3. He fought to maintain his position for the remaining laps, but struggled to hold off cars on fresher rubber. After Sunday's 12th-place finish at Pocono, Hamlin remains in ninth in the overall NASCAR standings, 198 points behind leader Martin Truex Jr.

Michigan Preview:

The Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for its first race of the 2017 season at the 2-mile oval in the Irish Hills. Hamlin has two wins at the Michigan fast track, visiting Victory Lane at back-to-back races in 2010 and 2011. He's qualified within the top-five for his past three starts at Michigan, succumbing to a cut left-rear tire during last summer's event to ultimately finish 33rd. This weekend at Michigan, Hamlin will also compete in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing.

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.

Hamlin led one lap during Sunday's race at Pocono, adding $111 to the total donation amount to Safe Kids. To date, FedEx has donated $16,761 to Safe Kids through the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program. 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 Firekeepers Casino 400
Date/Time June 18/3 PM ET
Distance 200 Laps/400 Miles
Track Length 2 miles
Track Shape Oval
Banking 18 degrees
2016 Winner Joey Logano

Hamlin Statistics

Track Michigan International Speedway
Races 22
Wins 2
Top-5 6
Top-10 10
Poles 0
Average Start 13.4
Average Finish 15.2
Laps Led 158

Hamlin Conversation - MICHIGAN:

What's the biggest lesson your FedEx team has learned in the first 14 starts of the 2017 season?

"Our #11 FedEx team is obviously still on the hunt for our first win of 2017, but I think we're on the steady incline to getting to where we need to be. If you look back to other seasons, it's always taken me some extra time to get back into a rhythm before scoring that first win of the season. Each race has definitely given us some new perspective on what we can do to improve, we just need to put it all together with some speed and we'll be there."

FedEx's Davenport, Florida, Sales Team Along for the Ride at Michigan:


FedEx's Davenport, Fla., sales team will be recognized for being a leading team in FedEx's annual President's Club program by having its "7362" code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend at Michigan.

FedEx Office – Closest to Michigan International Speedway:


2800 S. State Street,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 665-2400

#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