GoBowling.com 400 – Pre Race Report
Denny Hamlin piloted the #11 FedEx Express Toyota to an 18th place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After starting the day on the outside of Row 2, a stubbornly loose racecar dissolved Hamlin's hopes of a first career win at The Brickyard. Indiana-native Ryan Newman took the checkered flag for his first win of the 2013 season, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth. Hamlin worked with crew chief Darian Grubb throughout the 160-lap event to try to tighten up the #11 machine, both under green flag pit conditions and under caution. Passing was at a premium during the race, and the team tried various pit strategies to make up track position. During green flag stops late in the race, Hamlin stayed on track to lead four laps, but was forced to come to pit road for fuel with less than 20 laps remaining, settling for an 18th-place finish at the checkered flag.
The Series heads back to Pocono Raceway for Sunday's 400-mile event on the 'Tricky Triangle.' Hamlin finished eighth at Pocono in June, driving up from a 17th starting position after rain washed out qualifying. Hamlin has four wins and 10 career top-10 finishes in 15 starts at the three-turn track in central Pennsylvania. The 32-year-old driver swept both Pocono races from the pole as a rookie in 2006, and also scored victories at the track in August 2009 and June 2010. He has led a total of 663 laps at Pocono, with an average finish of 10.5.
FedEx Racing Conversation – Denny HamlinWhat are your expectations heading back to Pocono this weekend?
"Pocono is a track that this FedEx team has a lot of success at over the years. Before they repaved it a few years ago, it was a track that we circled on our calendars as one to expect to run up front and compete for the win. It has been a little bit challenging the last few races, but our team is working hard to try to get back that advantage. We weren't the strongest car at Pocono in June, but we got ourselves a top-10 finish and we need to start stringing some good finishes together. Pocono is a great place to do that."