Tales of the Turtles 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.

Richmond Recap:

Denny Hamlin finished fifth in Saturday night's Cup Series regular season finale at Richmond Raceway, overcoming a tight #11 FedEx Express Toyota to position himself at the front of the field in the closing laps of the 300-mile event to score his 11th top-five of the 2017 season. During the race's first two Stages, Hamlin communicated that his #11 Toyota Camry was very tight, and he was relegated to mid-pack as he struggled to find his preferred line around the .75-mile speedway. Hamlin made his comeback in the race's final 200-lap segment, working his way up to 10th as the field's final green-flag pit stops cycled through. A late-race caution appeared with only three laps to go, and it gave Hamlin an opportunity to pit with the leaders, and he returned to the track in eighth for the overtime restart after a swift stop by his #11 FedEx crew. Hamlin propelled himself into third on the final dash to finish, and even after contact with second-place driver, Martin Truex Jr., he held on to his standing within the top-five. Following Saturday's finish at Richmond, Hamlin is seventh in the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs standings, 40 points behind Playoffs leader, Martin Truex Jr.

Chicagoland Preview:

The Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for the first of 10 races in this year's NASCAR Playoffs. Hamlin notched is first career win at the 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, IL, in 2015 and has scored a total of five top-10 finishes in 11 starts at the Windy City track, including a sixth-place finish during last year's visit to Chicagoland. Hamlin is in the NASCAR Playoffs for the 11th time in his 12th full season driving the #11 machine.

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.

To date, Denny has led 390 laps and captured two Cup Series wins, and FedEx has donated $65,290 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 Tales of the Turtles 400
Date/Time September 17/3 PM ET
Distance 267 Laps/400 Miles
Track Length 1.5 miles
Track Shape Oval
Banking 14 degrees
2016 Winner Martin Truex Jr.

Hamlin Statistics

Track Chicagoland Speedway
Races 11
Wins 1
Top-5 2
Top-10 5
Poles 0
Average Start 14.6
Average Finish 16.1
Laps Led 12

Hamlin Conversation - CHICAGOLAND:

What's your overall feeling as you prepare for the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs?

"It took our team some time to find our speed and rhythm at the start of this season, but we've obviously shown improvement and that we have what it takes to contend for a Championship. It's important that we focus on earning as many Playoff points as we can at each race, and these next few tracks should definitely play to my strengths and help give us an advantage."

FedEx Office's San Diego, California, Convention Center Team Along for the Ride at Chicagoland:


FedEx Office's San Diego, Calif., Convention Center location will be recognized this weekend at Chicagoland by having its "1324" code numbers featured on the #11 FedEx Office Toyota.

FedEx Office – Closest to Chicagoland Speedway:


11330 Lincoln Highway,
Mokena, IL
(815) 806-0231

#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