Alabama 500 (Talladega)
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.

Kansas Recap:

Denny Hamlin finished 15th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, overcoming a variety of issues to keep the FedEx Racing Team's chances alive to advance in the Chase for Sprint Cup championship. An early race splitter issue forced Hamlin to pit multiple times for repairs in the 267-lap event won by Kevin Harvick. Hamlin felt something amiss with the right front of the car, and a timely caution allowed him to bring it to the attention of the crew. They noticed damage to the front splitter, and Hamlin drove from the tail of the field back to the front to position himself for a promising day. However, just past the race's midpoint, Hamlin made unavoidable contact with Brad Keselowski in Turn 4, causing damage to the nose of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. After another set of stops for repairs, the team incurred an "uncontrolled tire" penalty and was again sent to the tail end of the field. As the laps clicked and crew chief Mike Wheeler worked strategy to regain track position, Hamlin pitted during the race's final caution and came out eighth. Unfortunately, the team received another penalty for the crew being over the wall too soon. Hamlin restarted 25th and drove up to 15th at the checkered flag. The finish dropped Hamlin to 10th in the Chase standings, just six points behind the eighth and final transfer spot heading into the final Round of 12 race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Talladega Preview:

The Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's 500-mile Chase cutoff event at the high-banked 2.66-mile track. Hamlin has been one of the most successful restrictor plate racers in recent years, winning the season-opening Daytona 500 and the spring 2014 race at Talladega. Hamlin has seven top-10 finishes in 21 races at the track and has led at least one lap in each of the last five Talladega events.

Race Info

Race Alabama 500
Date/Time Oct. 23/1 p.m. CT
Distance 188 laps/500 miles
Track Length 2.66 Miles
Track Shape Tri-Oval
2015 Winner Joey Logano

Hamlin Statistics

Track Talladega Superspeedway
Races 21
Wins 1
Top-5 4
Top-10 7
Average Start 18.7
Average Finish 20.0
Laps Led 232

Hamlin Conversation (Talladega)

How can the FedEx Racing Team advance in the Chase at Talladega?

"For us, it's pretty clear: we have to win to advance. Unfortunately, we have had some things happen in this round of the Chase that have been out of our control and within our control that have put us in this situation, but I'm confident that my FedEx team will bring another strong plate car to Talladega this weekend, one that we can run up front, lead laps and hopefully have a shot to win at the end."

Quality Action Team Along for the Ride at Talladega:


A FedEx Ground Quality Action Team for the company's operations managers will be recognized with the "FMO" code letters, representing Field Manager Orientation, on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Talladega.

FedEx Office – Closest to Talladega Superspeedway:


117 Resource Center Pkwy
Birmingham, AL 35242
(205) 981-0077

#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
Transportation - Frank Hodel