|Denny Hamlin is 20/1 to win the All-Star race Saturday night at Charlotte|
Date/Time: May 18/9 p.m. ET
2013 winner: Jimmie Johnson
2013 polesitter: Jamie McMurray
Distance: 90 laps/145 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Banking: 24 degrees
Track Shape: Quad-Oval
Kansas Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 18th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway after battling handling issues with the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota throughout the 267-lap event won by Jeff Gordon. Hamlin started 30th and was lapped early by pole-sitter Kevin Harvick, but after two quick cautions, the #11 machine was back on the lead lap and running in the top-20. By lap 60, Hamlin had the FedEx car up to sixth, but 10 laps later, he spun without contact to bring out another yellow, and said the car was too loose at both ends of the track. Crew chief Darian Grubb and the FedEx crew made adjustments to the chassis of #11 Toyota Camry on every pit stop, but couldn’t dial in enough grip he needed for the 1.5-mile track. Pit strategy and cautions helped Denny advance to second with nine laps to go, but the fuel was running low and Hamlin had to pit for a splash of gas, returning to the race in 18th, where he finished. The result kept Hamlin in 12th place in the NASCAR standings, 76 points behind leader Gordon after 11 of 26 regular season races.
All-Star Race Preview: The Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at the 1.5-mile oval. Hamlin will make his eighth All-Star appearance in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, a non-points event reserved for 2013 and 2014 race winners, previous NASCAR champions and former All-Star Race winners. Hamlin qualified for the event with his victory in last year’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and a win earlier this month at Talladega Superspeedway ensured him a place in next year’s event. The race, broken down into five segments, will consist of four 20-lap heats before a 10-lap dash to the checkered flag. Hamlin has four top-10 finishes in seven previous All-Star starts, including career-best fourth-place runs in 2009 and 2010. He has led a total of 25 laps in the All-Star Race. He competed in the All-Star Open as a rookie in 2006, finishing fourth. The top-two finishers in the Open, combined with the Sprint Fan Vote winner, will transfer for Saturday night’s main event.
FedEx Office – Closest to Charlotte Motor Speedway: 7741 Gateway Lane NW, Ste 110, Concord, NC 28027, (704) 979-1971
Richmond Along for the Ride in Charlotte: The FedEx Express ramp in Richmond, Va., will be recognized for its outstanding performance and service measurements with the center’s “LFIA” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – ALL-STAR RACE:
What can the team learn at the All-Star Race this weekend?
“Anytime you can get on the track and get information, it’s definitely a learning experience for the team. Our mile-and-a-half track program isn’t where it needs to be, and this will give us a chance to try some things and work on some setups for future races. Obviously, next week’s Coke 600 will end around the same time that the All-Star Race will, and Charlotte has a night race in the Chase, so anything that we learn this weekend has some application to those races. Hopefully we’re in contention coming down to the last segment, because you better believe I’ll be going for the win.”
2014 FEDEX RACING TEAM – SEASON RESULTS
|Feb. 23||Daytona 500||Daytona||4||2||200/200||Running||$1,148,451||16||2nd||▬|
|March 2||The Profit on CNBC 500||Phoenix||12||19||312/312||Running||$87,480||8th||▼|
|March 9||Kobalt Tools 400||Las Vegas||27||12||267/267||Running||$121,410||1||8th||▬|
|March 16||Food City 500||Bristol||1||6||500/500||Running||$116,865||4||7th||▲|
|March 23||Club 500||Fontana*||13||17||202/202||Running||$107,410||11th||▼|
|March 30||STP 500||Martinsville||2||19||500/500||Running||$94,475||12th||▼|
|April 7||Duck Commander 500||Texas||6||13||340/340||Running||$137,770||20||13th||▼|
|April 12||Bojangles’ Southern 500||Darlington||10||19||374/374||Running||$101,905||3||15th||▼|
|April 26||Toyota Owners 400||Richmond||28||22||400/400||Running||$88.890||14th||▲|
|May 4||Aaron’s 499||Talladega||35||1||188/188||Running||$303,315||12||12th||▲|
|May 10||5-Hour Energy 400||Kansas||30||18||266/267||Running||$94,765||12th||▬|