Michigan 400 – Post Race Report
FedEx Racing Team Tallies Top-20 Finish at Michigan
Denny Hamlin finished 20th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, overcoming untimely cautions following various pit and fuel strategies in the 200-lap, 400-mile event won by Joey Logano.
Hamlin restarted 14th after the race's ninth and final caution on Lap 178, but a loose race car on corner entry in traffic prohibited him from advancing prior to the checkered flag. Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer.
"We were just so loose in traffic," said Hamlin, following the race. "I wasn't able to get into the corner how I would like to have, and it really hindered our speed in the middle of the corner and down the straightaways. We are getting closer and closer each week to being back to the competitive level we should be at, and hopefully we can show the strength of our race team in the next few weeks."
Hamlin, a two-time Michigan winner, started eighth, but was back to 17th after a trio of cautions early in the race. With the majority of lead lap cars staying out, Crew Chief Darian Grubb called him to the pits for tires and adjustments.
Now off-sequence with the leaders, Hamlin assumed the race lead on Lap 48 when others had to pit for fuel. Following a green-flag stop for gas three laps later, Hamlin returned at the tail end of the lead lap.
The next caution came on Lap 72, and Hamlin stayed out to restart from the race lead. Another stop for tires and fuel under green put the #11 machine one lap down, and two untimely cautions (on Lap 107 and Lap 139) forced Hamlin to use the wave around to get back on the lead lap, never giving the team the necessary track position to compete for the win.
NASCAR returns to action at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 24.