Posted by kryan August - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Via FedEx Racing

Indianapolis Recap

Hamlin at PoconoDenny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team endured a trying weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, culminating with a disappointing 27th-place finish in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. The #11 FedEx Express Toyota spent the last half of the race in the top-10 only to end up on the wrong side of the fuel strategy game by the time the checkered flag flew. Hamlin restarted seventh on Lap 126 (of 160), knowing he needed one more stop to make it the full distance on fuel. Crew chief Mike Ford called Hamlin to pit road for that stop five laps later, dropping the #11 FedEx Express Toyota to 30th in the running order. Unfortunately, the majority of lead lap cars were able to stretch their gas to the distance, and Hamlin was only able to make up three spots by the finish line.

Battling a tight race car throughout the 400-mile event on the 2.5-mile oval, Hamlin worked from the rear of the field into the top-25 early in the race. The #11 moved into the top-15 by Lap 35 after staying out under caution, and continued to improve spots as the laps clicked off. With track position at a premium, Hamlin battled to hang around the top-10 on long green flag runs. A multi-car incident on Lap 121 brought out the race’s final caution, and by the restart, the team was just outside its fuel window. The finish drops Hamlin one spot to 11th in the NASCAR point standings following Indianapolis, now 95 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

Pocono Preview
The Sprint Cup Series heads back to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway this weekend for NASCAR’s second 500-mile event in nine weeks at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle.” Hamlin started fourth and led a race-high 76 laps at Pocono on June 12, but a flat-tire under caution which caused a snapped rear brake line late in the race resulted in a 19th-place finish. The 30-year-old driver finished fifth in the August 2010 race at Pocono and led 19 laps. Hamlin has four wins and eight top-six finishes in 11 starts at Pocono, winning most recently in back-to-back races in August 2009 and June 2010. He also recorded his first career Cup Series win at the track, when he swept both Pocono races from the pole during his rookie season in 2006. Hamlin has led a total of 574 laps (of 2,110 completed) at Pocono, leading at least 17 laps in eight of 11 races. His 9.2 average finishing position, 8.5 average running position and 118.6 driver rating are all best among active drivers with at least three starts at the track.

Phoenix District Along for the Ride in Indy
The FedEx Express district in Phoenix won the Dispatch Circle of Excellence Award seven times in FY11, and will be recognized with its “PHX” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend.

Hamlin Conversation – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Why have you been so successful at Pocono Raceway?
“It’s just one of those race tracks I’ve got a really, really good feel for, honestly. There’s not too many tracks where you feel like when you pull in you just can’t do wrong, but that’s kind of one of the places. Honestly, we feel like we should’ve won twice as many races there as what we have even though we’ve won a lot. It’s just every time we go there we’re in position to win the race or just about every time. Fuel or things like that doesn’t always help you complete the job, but we’ve had the fastest car there probably 80 percent of the time.”

Has there ever been this much parity in NASCAR?
“No, and you look and nobody is able to keep the points lead for longer than a couple weeks and then they drop out and somebody else takes over. It’s an extremely competitive year. I don’t think anybody has more than three wins. At this point last year, I think there were a few guys with over four wins. It’s becoming tougher and tougher and a lot of that is because these fuel mileage races are playing out to where who knows who is going to win until the final lap.”

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