Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hamlin Looking To Build on Back to Back Wins This Week at Sonoma

Back to Back – Hamlin, FedEx Racing Claim Second Consecutive Win with Dominating Run at Michigan: Denny Hamlin dominated the Helluva Good! 400 Sunday at Michigan International Speedway to win his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the 2010 season and his second race in a row following a victory at Pocono Raceway last weekend. Hamlin led on four occasions for a race-high 123 laps, coupling a dominating car with a sterling drive to take the win. Hamlin’s five victories in 2010 already bests his single season career mark while also marking the first time the FedEx team has triumphed on at 2.0-mile track. It was Hamlin’s 13th win in 166 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, his third win in the last five races and he’ll head to Sonoma next weekend sitting third in points, 47 points out of the lead and trailing only current points leader Kevin Harvick and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

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

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.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION – INFINEON: You added win number five to your haul last weekend and did so at a 2.0-mile track – which was a first for the FedEx team. Can you add a road course win this week?: "To be honest we’ve always been better on road courses than the results have shown so it’s not too much of a stretch to think we can go to Sonoma and be a car to beat. So much of the racing there comes down to fuel strategy and track position so if we can get ourselves in position I think we’ll have as good a chance as anyone. We are really showing that we can go to any kind of track and be competitive and that started at Homestead last fall. That was our first win on an intermediate and then we went to Texas and won and it gave us a lot of confidence that we had improved a ton on the tracks that usually caused the most problems. We’d been good on short tracks and good on the superspeedways but our program on the intermediates has really picked up and we feel like we can unload anywhere with a chance to compete for a win."

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."

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