Daytona International Speedway –
Pre Race Report

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Press Kit

Download the 2016 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, statistics and the 2016 crew roster.

'Wheels' Up

Hamlin starts the unofficial 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway with a familiar face atop the pit box. Longtime #11 FedEx team engineer Mike Wheeler begins his first season as the crew chief of the team this year after guiding the #20 Xfinity Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. ‘Wheels’ has played an integral role in the success of the #11 team through the years, including 24 victories with Hamlin behind the wheel. The duo combined for three Xfinity Series victories one year ago.

Daytona Success

Hamlin heads into Saturday's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race as a two-time winner of the 75-lap season-opener, winning as a rookie in 2006 and dominating the field in 2014. In 10 Sprint Unlimited starts, Hamlin has recorded four top-five finishes and has led 47 laps. He finished 19th one year ago after an accident on Lap 45. This year's event will consist of two segments; a 50-lap opener followed by a 25-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Race Info

Race Sprint Unlimited
Date/Time Feb. 13/8:15 p.m. ET
Distance 75 laps/187.5 miles
Track Length 2.5 miles
Track Shape Tri-oval
Banking 31 degrees
2015 Winner Matt Kenseth

Hamlin Statistics

Track Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited only)
Races 10
Wins 2 (2006, 2014)
Top-5 4
Top-10 5
Average Start 12.0
Laps Led 47

Hamlin Conversation

How can you use the Sprint Unlimited to prepare for the Daytona 500?

"It's obviously a great opportunity to get back in the car and make some laps before the (Daytona) 500, especially having recovered from knee surgery in the offseason. It's a chance to get used to Wheels (Mike Wheeler) calling practices and a race as the crew chief, and getting the team guys up to speed and working together. Daytona is obviously a different track than most and plate-racing is unique, but a lot of the same principles, in terms of race weekend preparation, is the same. I'm excited to get to Daytona and kick off the season."

Along for the Ride

The Circle of Excellence program recognizes and awards top-performing teams in AGFS for their outstanding performance. The Southern Region AGFS winner for the second quarter FY16 is BFMR. They achieved the highest combined score for performance measurements in Safety, Productivity and Service. Due to their hard work and dedication they are being given top honors for the Southern Region.

FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway

2274 W. International Speedway Blvd.,
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 323-7840

#11 FedEx Racing - 2016 Crew Roster

Crew Chief - Mike "Wheels" Wheeler
Car Chief - Leo Thorsen
Engineers - Matt Beckman, Sam McAuley
Shock Specialist - Drew Bible
Tire Specialist - Kerry Ferris
Mechanics - Troy Welty, John Furino, Sean Kerlin
Spotter - Chris Lambert
Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise
Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks
Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry
Jack Man: Nate Bolling
Gas Man: Caleb Hurd
Pit Crew Coordinator: Paul Alepa
Athletic Director: Mike Lepp
Transportation - Frank Hodel, David Ott