Kansas – Post Race Report
Hamlin, FedEx Racing Finish 23rd in an Up and Down Day at Kansas
Denny Hamlin piloted the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota to a 23rd place finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Starting the day in the 10th position and reaching as high as second place, pit windows down the stretch did not go in the FedEx team's favor in a race that featured 15 caution flags.
"We're obviously disappointed with the finish, but the FedEx crew gave it their all and we just didn't luck out with pit strategy today," said Hamlin. "We'll continue to learn and build from here and focus on the final six races of the year."
Kevin Harvick claimed the checkered flag after starting the day on the pole. Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five finishers. Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch finished 11th and 34th, respectively.
Hamlin worked the FedEx car to fourth place by lap 90 of 267 when the car's handling started to loosen. Wedge and track bar adjustments on the subsequent two pit stops helped keep the No. 11 FedEx machine running in the top ten.
A caution flag on lap 155 brought Hamlin to pit lane for four tires and fuel. Much of the field made the decision to stay out, leaving the FedEx team in 26th place when green flag racing returned.
15 laps later, the FedEx team was able to reap the benefits of the early pit stop. As the remaining cars pitted under caution, Hamlin kept the No. 11 car on the track and moved into second place behind Joey Logano.
Despite a tightening race car, Hamlin maintained a top-ten position until being forced to pit under caution on lap 217. Taking four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment, the No. 11 returned to the pack having fallen to 31st place.
Many of the lead cars stayed on the track during the caution. This proved to be a strategic move as two cautions within 50 laps of the finish provided additional opportunities for them to pit. Unable to gain significant track position, Hamlin fought to gain as much position as possible before the checkered flag waived across the frontstretch.