Thursday, June 17, 2010
Hamlin Looking To Build on Back to Back Wins This Week at Sonoma
Hamlin at Infineon: This weekend’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 will mark Hamlin’s fifth Cup start at Infineon Raceway and 167th career start at the Cup level. Last year, the combination of a great strategy and great drive added up to a fifth-place finish for Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing team. Hamlin led twice for 33 laps and looked to have the fuel game won until the last stop when eventual winner Kasey Kahne, and runner-up Tony Stewart, exited pit road before him. On slightly older tires, Hamlin found himself unable to catch the leaders and in a fight with Jimmie Johnson and Juan Pablo Montoya for a spot in the top-five. In 2008, after carving his way forward from the 13th-place on the starting grid, Hamlin was caught by the caution and dropped deep in the field. As he worked his way forward, he spun in turn 11 on lap 51 and was then forced off the track when traffic stacked up in turn two following a lap-109 restart. He ended the day a disappointing 27th. In 2007 Hamlin started 36th, drove from deep in the field to lead three laps and looked to have managed the mileage challenge correctly before several cars stretched their fuel loads to the end - leaving Hamlin and the FedEx team to finish tenth. Hamlin's shifter knob broke loose during lap 17 of the 2007 race, forcing him to drive over twenty laps without it before he could work with the team to make repairs under caution on lap 41. In his 2006 debut at Infineon, Hamlin was forced into a backup car after a practice session wreck and, with no opportunity to practice before qualifying, was forced to start from the 40th-spot on the grid. Following the drop of the green flag, Hamlin and crew had their work cut out for them as they persevered through early handling issues and then a cut tire to post an impressive 12th-place finish. Hamlin has experienced additional road course success in his career, recording three top-ten finishes in three Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen, including a second-place finish in 2007, and winning the Nationwide Series race at Mexico City in March of 2006.
"Your Small Business Here" – FedEx Race Time Promotion Offers Big Opportunity for Small Business Customers: FedEx has launched the FedEx Race Time Promotion providing an opportunity for an eligible small business owner to have its company logo placed on the #11 FedEx Toyota for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire on Sept. 19, 2010. For more information on FedEx Race Time, visit www.fedex.com/racetime.
FedEx Express Los Angeles Area Along for the Ride in Sonoma: The #11 FedEx Express Camry will carry the letters LAX on the B-posts this weekend at Infineon Raceway in recognition of the AGFS and U.S. Operations teams in the Los Angeles (Calif.) area market. The market is being recognized for achieving cost savings, and exemplifying both teamwork and efficiency. Additionally, the top performing station in this market, APVA, is ranked #1 the region on the divisional scorecard for all Level 1 stations in FY 2010.
Infineon Raceway Chassis – JGR 241 & 208: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 241 this weekend in Sonoma. This car has two starts to date, posting top-ten finishes both at Sonoma and Watkins Glen in 2009. JGR 208 will serve as the backup this weekend.
With some experience to point to, what are your impressions of Infineon?: "Infineon demands you to be really consistent on each lap. The turns are sharp, you have some big elevation changes that throw the car around a lot, and the speeds are actually slower than Watkins Glen so you need to be methodical and fast, but also really careful. I got off track in practice during my first year here and ended up tearing up a good race car so I know what can happen on these courses. In 2007 I lost my shift knob early in the race and I had to fix it on the fly. The guys handed me a replacement knob and some tools through the window and I had to remove the broken piece and attach the new one during the cautions. I was steering with my knees and working on it all at the same time. I figure we won't have a more unusual problem than that."
Do you count yourself among the road course fans?: "I get this question a lot and I definitely do count myself among the road course fans. In fact, I think we should consider adding a road course to the Chase. I can honestly say I look forward to running these courses. I know some folks go back and forth on that subject but I really think they should be a part of the series because they offer different challenges for the teams and the drivers. It's the same car, but you are preparing it differently and it's not just turning left and right - you have elevation changes and different forces to deal with and in this new car, especially, that is a fun challenge. I think my background running flatter tracks has really helped me learn how to run a road course and I have been able to translate that experience to good races at Infineon, and also up at Watkins Glen where we finished second and in Mexico where we had some really good runs in the Nationwide Series."