|Hamlin is 12/1 to win Sunday at Bristol|
Date/Time: March 16/1:00 pm ET
2013 winner: Kasey Kahne
2013 polesitter: Kyle Busch
Distance: 500 laps/266.5 miles
Track Length: 0.533-mile
Banking: 36 degrees
Track Shape: Oval
Choose Denny’s Ride: For the seventh-consecutive season, FedEx will raise awareness for the March of Dimes with a special #11 FedEx Office/March of Dimes paint scheme at Texas Motor Speedway in April. This year, race fans will decide what Denny Hamlin’s car will look like in that race by voting for their favorite scheme at http://bit.ly/1ndBuJW. Voting ends Friday, March 14.
Las Vegas Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 12th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fighting an ill-handling #11 FedEx Ground Toyota throughout the 267-lap event won by Brad Keselowski on the bumpy 1.5-mile oval. Hamlin lined up third for the final restart on Lap 226, but was put three wide in the middle into Turn 1, losing a handful of spots. The #11 machine was too loose on corner entry during the final run, and Hamlin did all he could to hold off a host of other drivers down the stretch. Hamlin started 27th and quickly worked his way through the field from the drop of the green flag. Varying strategies on pit road moved Hamlin into the top-15 nearing Lap 100, where he remained as the laps clicked. On the edge of the team’s fuel window to make the checkered flag on just one more stop, crew chief Darian Grubb elected to keep Hamlin on the track until his final pit stop on Lap 213 — and leading one lap — hoping for the race to stay green for the remaining laps. Unfortunately, the final caution flew for debris less than 10 laps later, and Hamlin was forced to stay out for the valuable track position.
Bristol Preview: The Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 500-lap race on the high-banked, half-mile bullring. Hamlin has one victory (August 2012) and seven top-10 finishes in 16 career Bristol starts, and is eight laps shy of 500 career laps led at the track. One year ago, Hamlin started third and led 117 laps, but contact prior to the final restart eventually caused a flat right-front tire, forcing Hamlin to limp to the checkered flag in 23rd, two laps down. In August, Hamlin qualified on the pole and led the first 23 laps. A late-race multi-car incident relegated the FedEx team to a 28th-place finish.
FedEx Office – Closest to Bristol Motor Speedway: 2116 North Roan St., Suite 1A, Johnson City, TN 37601, (423) 283-9503
Columbia, S.C., Along for the Ride at Bristol: The FedEx Freight service center in Columbia, S.C., which earned “District of the Year” honors in 2012 and 2013, will be recognized with its “CUB” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota this weekend.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – BRISTOL:
What are your thoughts on racing at Bristol?
“Bristol has been a pretty good track for our FedEx team over the years. We don’t have all the good finishes that I think we deserved, but we have run up front, led a bunch of laps and got a win there. It’s a tough place to pass and you have to deal with a lot of traffic, but it’s a fun track for the drivers and a great place to watch the race as a fan. Hopefully we can get another Bristol trophy on Sunday.”
- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing