Talladega – Pre Race Report
Denny Hamlin recorded his seventh-straight top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a ninth-place result in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile oval. Hamlin qualified 18th in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota but quickly moved up in the running order early in the race. He made his first green flag pit stop on Lap 50 from the sixth position and stayed in the top-10 for the majority of the 334-lap race won by Brad Keselowski. A series of green flag pit stops through the race's midpoint saw quick work by the FedEx crew to service the #11 machine and to make changes at the direction of crew chief Darian Grubb. The track conditions changed significantly as the track temperature dropped. Hamlin maintained his position in the top-10 as the laps clicked, and a late caution bunched the field for the final restart. Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch finished third and fifth, respectively.
The Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's 500-mile race on the 2.66-mile high-banked oval that features big pack racing. This spring's race at Talladega marked Hamlin's return to action following a back injury, and he drove the first 23 laps before being replaced by Brian Vickers during the first caution. Unfortunately, Vickers was collected in a multi-car incident on Lap 44 and spent extensive time in the garage for repairs. He returned later to record a 34th-place finish for the FedEx team. Hamlin has three top-fives and five top-10 finishes in 15 career races at Talladega, including a career-best third-place result in the spring 2008 event at the track. He has led at least one lap in 11 of 15 Talladega races.
Northeast Atlanta Along for the Ride in Talladega:
The FedEx Freight service center in Northeast Atlanta is being recognized for its outstanding performance in providing both FedEx Freight® Priority and FedEx Freight® Economy services throughout the state of Georgia with its "NEA" code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway.
FedEx Racing Conversation – Denny HamlinDo you think Talladega owes you a win after leading so many laps at the track?
You can never expect anything at Talladega other than you are going to need a great car and a good amount of luck. We've improved so much here over the years and we now come to Talladega thinking we can run up front and our record here shows that we can. It's a matter of getting that strategy just right so when the time comes you know you are ready to go. If we can keep our car out of trouble at Talladega, I think we'll have as good of a chance as anyone to win there. It'll be good to run the full event this weekend after having to get out in the spring. Hopefully we can avoid trouble and be there at the end."