#11 FedEx Racing race car

2021 Pre-Race Reports

2021 Pre-Race Reports

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Press Kit

Download the 2020 FedEx Racing press materials here, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Homestead-Miami Recap:

Hamlin lined up on the pole in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Toyota for the start of the 400-mile event, but pre-race adjustments deemed “unapproved” by NASCAR sent him to the rear for the green flag. Despite some difficult handling, Hamlin’s Camry was able to climb back into the top five. A quick pit stop by the FedEx pit crew in the closing laps of Stage 2 put Hamlin in position to finish the segment in second, and he held that second spot for the start of Stage 3. The final segment of the race brought another challenge. A speeding penalty on a Lap 200 green-flag stop sent Hamlin to the back of the pack once again. The team took the ensuing restart in 28th, and Hamlin used the remaining 60 laps to claw his way to a spot just outside the top 10. He finished 11th, allowing him to maintain the series points lead. William Byron won the race.

Las Vegas Outlook:

The 2021 NASCAR series heads out to the desert this weekend to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile event. Hamlin continues his pursuit of his first career win at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Hamlin and the #FedEx11 team are currently atop the points standings and look to expand their lead and capture their first win of the season this weekend in Las Vegas.

Race Info

Race Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube  
Date/Time Sunday, March 7/ 3:30 p.m. ET  
Distance 267 laps/400.5 miles  
Track Length 1.5 miles  
Track Shape Tri-Oval
Banking 20 degrees  
2020 Winner Joey Logano  

Hamlin Statistics

Track
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Races 18
Wins 0
Top-5 3
Avg. Start 15.7
Avg. Finish 9.9

Hamlin Conversation – Las Vegas:

What are you looking forward to as the series heads to Las Vegas this weekend?

“Our team is continuing to work each week to improve. I’m happy with our performance this season, but we still have a lot of work to do and a lot more challenges coming our way. We’ll be ready to get back at it this weekend in Las Vegas and hopefully take home the checkered flag.” 

You’ve yet to win in Las Vegas in your career. What will be your approach this weekend to try to change that?

“Las Vegas, for whatever reason, has always been a tough track for us. We’ve had some success in previous races but haven’t ever been able to get to Victory Lane. But I enjoy the challenge of trying to get better at places like that. Our team is going to put a fast car out there and I’m going to do everything I can to bring home that win for our team.”

FedEx Ground Along for the Ride at Las Vegas:

The FedEx Ground Southwest District will be featured on the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota race car on March 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The four-letter alpha code “SWST” will appear on the B-post of the car, recognizing the district for being top in the company for safety priority metrics.

FedEx Office – Closest to Las Vegas Motor Speedway

228 S Nellis Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 431-5076

Daytona Road Course Recap:

Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team started the 253-mile event from the fourth spot and hung around in the top five for much of the afternoon, finishing Stage 1 in third and moving out front to take the Stage 2 win. The 70-lap race was interrupted by eight caution flags – including one for a brief rain shower – which made pit strategy a significant factor. The team opted to make a final pit stop for fresh tires under caution on Lap 57, putting Hamlin in 18th for the ensuing restart. He used the remaining 12 green-flag laps to pick off spots on the leaderboard, making his way up to third before the checkered flag flew. Ahead of him, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell passed Joey Logano with two laps to go to earn his first Cup career win.

Homestead-Miami Outlook:

The 2021 NASCAR series returns to Homestead, Fla., this weekend for the running of the Dixie Vodka 400. Hamlin and team will look to repeat their success from a year ago as returning race winners. In 16 career races at Homestead, Hamlin has finished in the top-5 five times while capturing three victories.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Toyota:

For the Homestead race, the #11 team will run a special paint scheme to promote the FedEx Small Business Grant contest. The grant contest awards 12 small businesses with grants to help them grow their business, with the grand prize winner receiving a $50,000 grant. The 2020 grand-prize winner, Access Trax, will be featured as part of the paint scheme for this weekend’s race. The contest entry period is open now through March 9 with more information at http://fedex.com/grantcontest.

Race Info

Race Dixie Vodka 400  
Date/Time Sunday, Feb. 28/ 3:00 p.m. ET  
Distance 267 laps/400.5 miles   
Track Length 1.5 miles  
Track Shape Oval
Banking 18-20 degrees  
2020 Winner Denny Hamlin  

Hamlin Statistics

Track Homestead-Miami Speedway
Races 16
Wins 3
Top-5 5
Top-10 11
Laps Led 393
Avg. Start 17.5
Avg. Finish 9.9

Hamlin Conversation – Homestead-Miami:

After two strong performances so far this season, how are you feeling heading into Homestead, a track where you won last year?

“We feel good in our efforts through the first two races of the season. Obviously, we wish we could have come out with a victory at either of the Daytona races, but we still had good performances. We’re confident in how we’ll run this weekend and hopefully have a repeat of last year.”

You’re running a special paint scheme this weekend. Can you tell us a little more about it and what it means to you?

“For the Homestead race, we’ll be running a special paint scheme to promote the FedEx Small Business Grant contest. My family has a background in small business, where I grew up working with my dad and that helped kick off my racing career, so I can relate to the small business mentality. I recently got to meet last year’s grand-prize winner, Kelly Twichel of Access Trax, to unveil the new paint scheme together and to hear how the grant helped her business over the last year. We’ll be running with their logo on our car this weekend, and I’ll be racing for all small businesses and hopefully come out with a win.”

FedEx Office – Closest to Homestead-Miami Speedway

18755 S Dixie Hwy, Suite 57, Miami, FL 33157, (305) 235-2911

Daytona 500 Recap:

Hamlin and his FedEx “Where Now Meets Next” Toyota won Stages 1 and 2, while leading 98 of the event’s 200 laps. When he wasn’t out front, he was actively weaving his way back up there, and it appeared he could be on his way to earning his fourth career – and third straight – Harley J. Earl trophy. With one last green-flag pit stop needed, Hamlin and the other Toyota drivers ducked down pit road together on Lap 173. But Hamlin and his teammates were too detached exiting pit road to blend back into traffic in the lead. Hamlin found himself in 13th with about 20 laps remaining, with the field staying single file until the white flag. The lead-lap group of cars then spread out for a dash to the finish, and contact between a pair of Team Penske cars triggered a last-lap wreck. Michael McDowell squeaked through for the win, while Hamlin crossed the line in fifth.

Daytona Road Course Outlook:

The 2021 NASCAR series moves on, but is not going anywhere as the teams stay in Daytona Beach this week with the running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course. Hamlin will look to secure his first career win in the 253-mile, 14-turn road course race. Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team are coming off a strong performance in the Daytona 500 and will look to use this momentum in order to end up in Victory Lane.

Race Info

Race O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 At Daytona   
Date/Time Sunday, Feb. 21/ 3:00 p.m. ET  
Distance 70 laps/253 miles  
Track Length 3.61 miles (14 turns)  
Track Shape Road Course - Oval Hybrid
Banking 31 degrees  
2020 Winner Chase Elliot  

Hamlin Statistics

Track Daytona International Speedway  - Road Course
Races 1
Wins 0
Top-5 1
Top-10 1
Laps Led 16
Avg. Start 2
Avg. Finish 2

Hamlin Conversation – Daytona:

The rain delay during the Daytona 500 didn’t seem to affect your performance on the track. In Florida, do you almost have to expect weather to play a part in the race weekend?

“That was quite a long delay we had, but our team just maintained focus. You never have control over the weather or if a race will be delayed so you always have to stay ready. You never know when you’re going to hear, OK it’s race time.”

You led a solid amount of the laps in the Clash on the Daytona Road Course. How will you use that to your advantage?

“Yeah, we had a fast car during the Clash, and I’m sure this weekend won’t be any different. We’ll take that data and learn from it, and it will certainly help us as we return to the same course. It’s going to be a tough race like all road courses are, but I’m confident in our team to put us in a position to win.”

FedEx Express Freight Along for the Ride at Daytona:

FedEx Express recognizes the employees at the MLBA station in Melbourne, Fla., for their dedication to People Service Profit and commitment to the Purple Promise by featuring the letters MLBA on the B-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona. The MLBA team prides itself on operational excellence and is dedicated to making every FedEx experience outstanding.

FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway

2274 W International Speedway, Daytona Beach (386) 323-7840

Busch Clash Recap:

Hamlin kicked off the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season with a sixth-place finish in the “Clash at Daytona” exhibition race Tuesday night. Hamlin looked sharp on the Daytona International Speedway road-course event, leading 21 of the 35 laps, but couldn’t push his way back to the front after a late-race pit stop. Hamlin started the Clash in third by virtue of random draw but didn’t stay there long once the green flag flew. The #11 Toyota passed the top two before the first lap was complete and stayed there for the first nine circuits. Despite a loose-handling car for part of the 126-mile race, Hamlin stayed in or near the front for most of the event. When the caution flag flew with eight laps to go, crew chief Chris Gabehart called Hamlin to pit road for some needed tires and fuel. After restarting 10th, Hamlin was able to climb four more spots in the remaining laps to finish sixth.

Daytona Outlook

The 2021 NASCAR season kicks off its regular season this Sunday with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Returning once again as the defending race champion, Hamlin will look to secure his fourth career and third straight win of the 500-miler in the 63rd running of The Great American Race. Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team will first participate in Thursday’s qualifying “Duel” races, which will determine the full starting grid for Sunday’s main event. Wednesday night’s time trials determined that Hamlin will race in Duel 1.

Race Info

Race Daytona 500  
Date/Time Sunday, Feb. 14/ 2:30 p.m. ET  
Distance 200 laps/500 miles  
Track Length 2.5 miles  
Track Shape Tri-Oval
Banking 31 degrees  
2020 Winner Denny Hamlin  

Hamlin Statistics

Track Daytona International Speedway
Races 30
Wins 3
Top-5 10
Top-10 11
Laps Led 530

Hamlin Conversation – Daytona:

How did it feel to be back in the car and on the track during the Clash?

“It was great to be back in the car. We had a really good FedEx Camry and led a lot of laps. Now we turn our attention to the oval, where we’ve obviously had a lot of success. We have a special FedEx ‘Where Now Meets Next’ paint scheme for the 500, showing off a new look for FedEx, and I think it would look really good in Victory Lane, celebrating three in a row.”

Do you feel any pressure going for the three-peat?

“Honestly, I never would’ve guessed we’d even be in this position if you’d asked me five years ago. So, it’s truly an honor to be defending the champion’s title and to be going for a fourth win and a third straight. We bring fast cars every week, so we just need to execute the plan, and a little luck never hurts, too. It would be a great thrill to get the three-peat and make history with FedEx and JGR.”

FedEx Office - Closest Daytona International Speedway

2274 W International Speedway, Daytona Beach (386)323-7840

Busch Clash At Daytona:

Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team return to begin their 2021 NASCAR Cup Series campaign this Tuesday with the 35-lap Busch Clash on the Daytona International Speedway road course. A three-time winner of the event on the Daytona oval (2006, 2014 and 2016), Hamlin is one of only six drivers to win both the Clash and DAYTONA 500 during the same Speedweeks. His only previous start on the infield road course yielded a second-place finish.

Race Info

Race Busch Clash  
Date/Time Tuesday, Feb. 9/ 7:00 p.m. ET  
Distance 35 laps/126.35 miles  
Track Length 3.57 miles  
Track Shape Road Course
Banking 31 degrees  
2020 Winner Erik Jones  

Hamlin Statistics

Track Daytona International Speedway
Races 14 (oval)
Wins 3 (2006, 2014, 2016)
Top-5 5
Top-10 8
Laps Led 154

Hamlin Conversation – Clash:

You had another great season in 2020. Looking ahead to this year, what can we expect from you and the FedEx team?

“We made it to the Championship 4 again last season, and our goal starting today is to get back there again for a shot at bringing home the title. I know Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and the rest of the team are ready to go, and so am I. We’re excited to get back out on the track for the 2021 season.”

Thoughts on the Clash now being on the road course?

“It’s kind of a cool change. We’ll be back racing the road course for points in a couple weeks, so it’s a good opportunity to get some laps down and see how we do. We started second and finished second on this course last year, so we’ll see if we can make enough improvements to move up one more spot.”

FedEx Express Along for the Ride at Daytona (Clash):

FedEx Express is pleased to recognize the team members at the MCOR ramp in Orlando, Fla., for their exceptional performance by featuring the letters MCOR on the B-post of the FedEx #11 at the historic 2021 Busch Clash at Daytona. This dedicated team of employees is a three-time winner of the FY21 Ramp of the Month award for July, August and November. The team is coming off an historic peak season and playing a pivotal role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Central Florida.

FedEx Office – Closest Daytona International Speedway

2274 W International Speedway, Daytona Beach (386) 323-7840

© 2021 FedEx. ‘Denny Hamlin®’ and ‘#11®’ are trademarks of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, NC. Toyota trademarks used with permission.