Posted by kryan June - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Denny Hamlin finished 18th in Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, battling a tight race car throughout the 400-mile event won by Jimmie Johnson.

Hamlin started 10th in a specially-wrapped #11 FedEx Freight/Autism Speaks Toyota Camry, and lingered near the top-10 early in the race on the concrete ‘Monster Mile.’ Fighting a tight condition on corner exit, Hamlin worked with crew chief Darian Grubb on a host of changes to try and free the car up.

A long green flag run past the race’s midpoint saw the FedEx team fall a lap down to the leaders, but a late caution put Hamlin back on the lead lap for the final dash to the checkered flag.

“We just fought our car all day,” said Hamlin. “Whenever we worked on it to make the exit better, we just hurt the entry. Darian and the guys worked hard to get the FedEx Toyota a bit better for me, but it was tough without the clean air up front. I’m proud of the team and we’ll head to Pocono next week.”

Johnson led 289 of 400 laps en route to his seventh Dover win, and he was followed to the finish line by Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer.

The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to fourth in the NASCAR standings following Dover, now 22 points behind leader Greg Biffle after 13 of 26 regular season races. The Series returns to action on Sunday, June 10, at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Tags : , 2012

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