Phoenix – Pre Race Report
Denny Hamlin finished seventh in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, recording a second-straight top-10 result for the #11 FedEx Racing Team heading into the final two events of the 2013 season. Hamlin charged from 12th after the final round of green flag pit stops in the 334-lap race, passing five cars in the final 40 laps to take the checkered flag behind winner Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin qualified 14th in the #11 FedEx Office Toyota at Texas, and spent the entire day in the top-15. A handful of early incidents gave crew chief Darian Grubb the chance to work on the car's handling, as Hamlin reported a tight condition in the center of the corner. A long green flag stretch through the race's midpoint saw the FedEx team pit a few laps earlier than others, using the fresh tires to make up track position and move comfortably into the top-10. The finish came on the heels of another seventh-place finish at Martinsville one week ago leading into next Sunday's event at Phoenix International Raceway, where Denny finished third earlier this year.
Hamlin is making his 17th career Cup Series start at Phoenix this Sunday, a place where he and the FedEx Racing Team have enjoyed good success at over the years. Hamlin recorded his first Phoenix win in March 2012, leading 46 laps en route to victory lane, and has post top-three finishes in each of his last three starts at the recently reconfigured one-mile desert oval, including a runner-up result to Kevin Harvick in the event one year ago. Hamlin finished third in the race at Phoenix earlier this year, and has led 399 career laps at the track, with an average finish of 9.8.
Western Rockies Along for the Ride in Texas:
The FedEx Ground Western Rockies district will be recognized for outstanding performance in all areas of the operation with its district code "WROK" on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The Western Rockies district extends from its Salt Lake City hub to include most of Idaho, Nevada and Utah.
FEDEX RACING CONVERSATION -- DENNY HAMLINWhy does the Phoenix track suit your driving style so well?
""I love the short, flat tracks, and Phoenix is a great place for our FedEx team. We qualified on the pole there my first-ever trip in 2005, and that really springboarded my career. It qualified me for the Shootout in 2006, which we won, and really gave our team the confidence that we belonged. It all goes back to Phoenix. It obviously changed a bit when they reconfigured it last year, but we still have had good success there. The backstretch really lets you find a line where your car works, and gives you the chance to cut the corner to try to set up a pass. Hopefully we can run up front and contend for another win this weekend."