Posted by kryan June - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Via FedEx Racing

Hamlin finished 34th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, forced to retire earlier following an on-track incident on Lap 132 (of 200) and subsequent fire under the #11 FedEx Office Toyota. The incident occurred on the first lap of a restart, when cars were four-wide into Turn 3 at the two-mile track in the Irish Hills. Hamlin was nudged from behind in the left-rear by another competitor, sending him spinning into the infield grass that caused left-side damage to his race car. As Hamlin drove to pit road for repairs, a fire erupted underneath the car, and he stopped before safely climbing out. Hamlin started 11th in the rain-delayed event won by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and ran in the top-15 in the early going. Pit strategy forced the team to make green flag pit stops earlier than others, and twice, the caution came out right after to put the #11 car a lap down. Hamlin used the wave around rule to get back on the lead lap, and battled back up to eighth when the Lap 132 incident occurred. The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to fifth in the NASCAR standings following Michigan, 51 points behind leader Matt Kenseth after 15 of 26 regular season races.

Infineon Preview
As the Series shifts to its first of two road course events on the 2012 schedule, Hamlin will be making his seventh career Cup start in Sonoma on Sunday. In six previous starts at the 1.99-mile, 12-turn road course in northern California, Hamlin has recorded two top-10 finishes — including a career-best fifth-place result in 2009, when he led 33 laps. One year ago, Hamlin led 12 laps early at Sonoma, but contact midway through the 110-lap event caused damage to the #11 FedEx Toyota that eventually led to a broken left-rear track bar mount, extensive time in the garage for repairs and a 37th-place finish.

Northwest District Along for the Ride in Sonoma:
The FedEx Ground Northwest district will be recognized for outstanding service and quality with its district code “NWST” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Infineon Raceway. The Northwest district includes the Portland hub and surrounding stations in Washington, Oregon, and the northern Idaho Panhandle.

Hamlin Conversation – Infineon Raceway

How important is a good finish in Sonoma following last weekend in Michigan?
“It’s important for this FedEx team to bounce back with a good finish this weekend. We want to make sure we stay in the top-five or six in points in the next few weeks to make sure we can go for race wins and get the bonus points as the Chase approaches. Michigan was obviously a disappointment for us, but we had a fast car at Sonoma last year and led some laps. Hopefully we can do that again on Sunday and get a good finish for this team.”

Tags : , 2012

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