Hamlin Earns Top-Five Finish at Charlotte
Denny Hamlin finished fourth in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, capitalizing on swift pit stops by the #11 FedEx crew to move his way to the front of the field and capture his 13th top-five finish of the 2017 season.
Hamlin fluctuated throughout the top-10 during the race’s final 154 segment, ultimately earning more than 16 spots in the race of pit road during his final four stops.
After gaining four spots on pit road, Hamlin restarted second next to eventual race winner Martin Truex Jr. with only five laps remaining in the race. Three laps later, a caution quickly emerged, forcing the drivers to tighten up for a final overtime restart with Denny lined up second again. Despite his best efforts to work the preferred line, Hamlin wound up fourth in the scramble to the checkers.
“We expect so much out of our #11 FedEx crew and as always, they delivered today,” said Hamlin. “Overall our team had a great weekend and a solid Playoffs points day, but we’ll continue to keep pushing ourselves for the win. That’s our ultimate goal.”
After starting on the pole for Sunday’s race, Hamlin battled a tight #11 FedEx Office Toyota throughout the duration of the 500-mile event, working the preferred line to the best of his ability to earn himself valuable track position despite the ill-handling conditions. He remained consistent during the races first two 90-lap Stages, accumulating 10 bonus Championship points for back-to-back sixth-place Stage finishes.
Hamlin also led a total of 45 laps during Sunday’s 334-lap race, triggering a $4,995 donation to Safe Kids Worldwide through the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program. To date, $70,396 has been donated to Safe Kids through the initiative.
Following his fourth-place finish at Charlotte, Hamlin moves up two spots to fifth in the overall 2017 NASCAR Playoffs standings. The Series returns to action next Sunday, October 15th, at Talladega Superspeedway for the second of three races in the Round of 12.