Camping World 301 – Pre Race Report
Denny Hamlin led 20 laps in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway but was involved in a pair of late-race, multi-car incidents to finish 36th in the 161-lap event won by Jimmie Johnson. Hamlin qualified 24th in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota but quickly moved into the top-10 on Daytona's high-banked oval. During the first series of pit stops, however, Hamlin was blocked in after a two-tire stop, and elected to take left-side rubber and return in 34th. Proving to be one of the strongest cars on the track, Hamlin drove through the field to take the lead on Lap 73 and paced the field until Lap 92. Seven laps later, Hamlin tangled with Martin Truex Jr. on the front straightaway and sustained damage to the right side of the #11 machine. The FedEx crew repaired the car on the pit road and returned to the track one lap down. Hamlin received the 'Lucky Dog' during a caution on Lap 128, and was right back in the mix to compete for the win. Unfortunately, Hamlin was again involved in a multi-car accident on the fronstretch and suffered heavy damage to the car, ending the team's night early. The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to 26th in the NASCAR standings following Daytona.
New Hampshire Preview
The Series heads north to New Hampshire Motor Speedway and one of the FedEx Racing Team's best tracks on the NASCAR circuit. Hamlin was victorious the last time he raced at the one-mile track, leading 193 of 300 laps in the Chase race last September en route to victory lane. In that race, Hamlin qualified 32nd but drove to the lead by Lap 91 and never looked back. In the July race at New Hampshire, Hamlin's car was just as dominant, leading nearly half (150 of 301) the laps. However, a miscommunication on pit road saw Hamlin take four tires while the majority of lead lap cars took just two, putting Hamlin in 13th for the final restart. He drove on a mission, picking off cars to the front, but ran out of time to chase down eventual winner Kasey Kahne. The FedEx team settled for second. Hamlin has 10 top-10 finishes in 14 career starts at New Hampshire, including a pair of wins (July 2007 and September 2012). He has completed all but two laps (4,166 of 4,168), leading 417.
FedEx Racing Conversation – Denny HamlinHow will the FedEx team approach this weekend's race in New Hampshire?
"Obviously, it's a race that we think we can win and our approach now is to go out and win as many races as we can. We were probably the strongest car at both New Hampshire races last year, but we didn't make it easy on ourselves. Winning these races is so hard because of so many great teams, that we have to make sure we're on our game from practice to qualifying and the race. It'll be interesting to see how these new cars will be this weekend, but I'm confident we'll have a fast FedEx Freight Camry and hopefully we can compete for the win."