Posted by kryan November - 5 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Via Denny Hamlin’s Website

Event: AAA Texas 500
Date/Time: Nov. 7, 2010/3 p.m. EST
2009 winner: Kurt Busch
2009 polesitter: Jeff Gordon
Distance: 334 laps/501 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Banking: 24 degrees
Track Shape: Quad Oval

Hamlin, FedEx Racing Ninth at Talladega: A predictably unpredictable race at Talladega provided lots of excitement but did little to shake up the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup standings as the series heads into the last three races. Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team entered the race knowing that finishing was job number one, but a very fast car offered hope early in the race as Hamlin pushed into the lead on lap 49. After a frustrating middle section of the race that saw Hamlin lose the draft, and go a lap down to the leader, the FedEx team stormed back into the fray. As the laps counted down, Hamlin charged forward in search of drafting partners and a pathway to the front. With the action at fever pitch, Hamlin found a drafting partner in Mark Martin but, without a Joe Gibbs Racing teammate close by, the help was fleeting. When the final caution flew when the white flag was in the air, Hamlin was scored in ninth place and will head to Texas Motor Speedway trailing points leader Jimmie Johnson by 14 points.

FedEx Delivery Vehicles Take to the Streets in Support of the FedEx Racing Team: Starting with this weekend’s visit to Texas, select FedEx delivery vehicles will carry a special decal showing the company’s support for the #11 FedEx Racing team’s ongoing Chase for the Sprint Cup campaign. The decal will be featured on a total of 600 vehicles in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Phoenix and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale markets.

Hamlin at Texas Motor Speedway
: This weekend will mark Hamlin’s eleventh start at Texas Motor Speedway and his 185th career Sprint Cup Series start. Earlier this season, Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing team waited out the rain, then outran their opponents for a stunning win. Only three weeks after reconstructive knee surgery, Hamlin claimed the win in the rain-delayed Samsung Mobile 500 by consistently improving the #11 FedEx Toyota throughout the afternoon. On pit road, Mike Ford and the #11 team made smart changes and gained positions while Hamlin showed no ill-effect as he drove an incredibly smart race, taking what the car gave him but never forcing the issue enough to put the car at risk. With the race hanging in the balance under caution on lap 319, Hamlin visited pit road for two tires only, restarted second on lap 322, and then stormed past Jeff Burton on lap 323 to claim the lead. He never looked back as he led the final 12 laps of the race and held off a late charge from Jimmie Johnson to post his second win of the 2010 season. A year ago, Hamlin and the FedEx team executed a perfect fuel strategy, covering 64 laps before taking the checkered flag for an impressive second-place finish. In the spring of 2009, Hamlin scored a hard-fought 12th-place finish. Hamlin battled handling issues for much of the race but still managed to achieve the team’s highest position by the time the checkered flag came out. In the spring of 2008 Hamlin posted a fifth-place finish at Texas, scoring his fourth top-ten finish at the track, and then scored a 17th-place finish in the fall after fighting handling issues throughout the race. Despite going a lap down in the spring 2007 event at TMS, Hamlin and team rallied back for a ninth-place finish. In the fall of 2007, Hamlin led 45 laps and battled for the lead with Matt Kenseth late in the race before making contact with the outside wall. Damage to the #11 forced Hamlin to the garage for repair and he would ultimately finish 29th – a result that didn’t do justice to the strength of the car or the effort by the team that day. Hamlin recorded a fourth-place finish in the spring race of 2006 and in November of 2005, in only his fifth career start at the Cup level, and only a day after being introduced as the full-time driver of the #11 FedEx machine, he piloted the #11 to an impressive seventh-place finish.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION – Texas Motor Speedway:

As it stand there are 14 points separating you from the lead – Is this a good scenario leaving Talladega?: “I really felt unless we could be leading heading to Texas that being really tight with Jimmie and Kevin was the best situation. I didn’t want Talladega to absolutely ruin anyone’s chances because so much is out of your control there. I think it’s better for the sport and the fans to have three guys racing each other at Texas and over the final two races. 14 points is not impossible to make up – especially when you consider that it’s not many spots on the race track. We definitely have our work cut out for us now. We know we need to race for wins and not make any mistakes from here on out.”

Earlier this season you scored a big win at Texas – why was that win so important to you?: “it was a really big win for me and this team because it came really soon after my knee surgery and I think everyone was looking at me and the #11 team and wondering if we could get through it and really compete – or if our season was over. So to go to a place like Texas where we hadn’t won, and with all that was going on away from track, and win was huge. Texas is a big race on the Cup schedule and a hard place to win so it all came together and we built on that win and it really gave us some confidence heading into the summer.

Does the win there give you more confidence heading back to Texas this week?: “It does but Texas is a place where we’ve always been really competitive so I don’t think it was a case where we finally figured out to run fast there. If anything it might show that our intermediate program is now as good as any other team and that I am more comfortable at places like Texas.”

Tags : , 2010

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