Homestead – Pre Race Report
Denny Hamlin finished 28th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, starting second and leading 18 laps before an ill-handling #11 FedEx Ground Toyota proved too severe for the 32-year-old Virginia native to compete for his second win on the one-mile desert oval. Hamlin and crew chief Darian Grubb worked throughout the weekend in practice to find a good balance in the chassis for Sunday's 312-lap event. However, from the drop of the green flag, Hamlin too loose in the corners, unable to turn down for the proper arc. Using a power move on the outside at the start, Hamlin passed polesitter Jimmie Johnson and led the race's first 18 laps in clean air, before being caught by Jeff Gordon. After that, Hamlin held on as he slipped in the running order, eventually spinning to bring out the race's first caution. Myriad changes throughout the race didn't help the car's handling, and Hamlin took the checkered flag 28th, one lap down to winner Kevin Harvick.
The Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday's 400-mile season finale. Hamlin is making his ninth career Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile oval this weekend, where he owns one win and four top-10 finishes in eight previous trips to South Florida. The FedEx team was victorious at Homestead in 2009, as Hamlin drove through the field from a 38th-place starting position to lead 71 laps en route to victory lane.
Boulder Along for the Ride in Homestead:
The FedEx Express station in Boulder, Colo., will be recognized for its support during recent flooding in the area with the ramp's "FNLA" code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
FEDEX RACING CONVERSATION -- DENNY HAMLINWhat are your goals for the final race of the 2013 season?
"Obviously, it's been a very difficult year for our FedEx team, and we have one more race to learn things and get ready for 2014. We tested at Homestead a couple weeks ago and were able to get some data and information that we think will help us this weekend, and the track is a place that our team has had some success at over the years. It's important for us to continue to work hard, and hopefully we'll have a strong car that we can go out and compete for the win with."