Via FedEx Racing
Denny Hamlin finished sixth in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, starting on the pole and leading twice for 27 (of 160) laps in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota en route to his 11th top-10 finish of the 2012 season.
Battling a tight condition in traffic throughout the second half of the event on the famed 2.5-mile oval, Hamlin took the checkered flag behind winner Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“We were just so tight back in traffic,” said Hamlin, following the race. “We were decent in clean air at the beginning of the race, but none of the adjustments we made seemed to help. It’s a good result for this FedEx team to help solidify our stop in the top-five in points, but we need to shoot for a couple more wins before the Chase.”
Hamlin took the point position from the outset, beating outside polesitter Carl Edwards to the lead on the backstretch of the opening lap, leading the race’s first 26 laps. Johnson passed Hamlin on pit road during the race’s first green flag pit stop, as the #11 team settled into second place.
A restart nearing the race’s midpoint saw Hamlin take the green flag in second, but the car shot up the track in Turn 2 and Hamlin slipped in the running order back to 14th. From there, Hamlin worked with crew chief Darian Grubb on changes to help free up the car, and Hamlin drove back up into the top-10 for the final dash to the finish line.
Hamlin remains fifth in the NASCAR standings following Indianapolis, 64 points behind new leader Earnhardt Jr. after 20 of 26 regular season races. The Series returns to action at Pocono Raceway on August 5.