Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Denny Hamlin on Sonoma Raceway: "Every mistake is magnified at Sonoma"

Denny Hamlin is 60/1 to win at Sonoma on Sunday
Event: Toyota/Save Mart 350
Date/Time: June 22/12 p.m. PT
2013 winner: Martin Truex Jr.
2012 polesitter: Jamie McMurray
Distance: 110 laps/218.9 miles
Track Length: 1.99 miles
Turns: 12
Track Shape: Road Course


Michigan Recap:
Denny Hamlin finished 29th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, fighting an ill-handling #11 FedEx Express Toyota throughout the 200-lap race won by Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne. Hamlin started in 29th and began working his way through the field from the start, moving up to 21st prior to his first green flag pit stop at lap 40. Adjustments made during each pit stop provided more security, and by mid-race, the FedEx crew had moved into the top-20. However, it was short lived, as Hamlin lost the handle and spun in Turn 4 on Lap 122, making slight contact with the outside wall and damaging the right rear bodywork. The FedEx crew made quick repairs during the caution period, but the #11 machine returned to the race two laps down in 32nd. The finish dropped Hamlin four spots to 12th in the NASCAR standings following Michigan, 102 points behind leader Jeff Gordon after 15 of 26 regular season races.

Sonoma Preview: The Series heads to Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the first of two road course races on the 2014 NASCAR schedule. Hamlin owns a pair of top-10 finishes in eight previous starts at the 1.99-mile, 12-turn circuit, including a career-best fifth best result in 2009. Hamlin has led 48 laps at Sonoma. One year ago, the #11 FedEx Toyota started 17th and finished 23rd.

FedEx Office – Closest to Sonoma Raceway: 901 East Washington St., Petaluma, CA 94952, (707) 763-6553

Eureka, Calif., Along for the Ride in Sonoma: For the Toyota/Save Mart 350, FedEx Freight recognizes the company’s Eureka, Calif., service center by featuring the call letters “EKA” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota. The center serves customers in the coastal areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon.


What makes Sonoma so challenging for a driver?

“Sonoma is definitely a slower, more technical track than Watkins Glen, which makes it difficult as the first road course race of the year. You really have to focus on hitting your marks and avoiding mistakes to turn good laps. With the elevation changes and tight corners, every mistake is magnified at Sonoma, and there isn’t really any room to get away from other drivers, so you’re bound to get into some contact before the day is over. We have had some pretty decent runs over the years at Sonoma that we don’t have good finishes for, but hopefully we can start near the front on Sunday, hope that our strategy plays out right and keep the car on the asphalt.”

Feb. 23Daytona 500Daytona42200/200Running$1,148,451162nd
March 2The Profit on CNBC 500Phoenix1219312/312Running$87,4808th
March 9Kobalt Tools 400Las Vegas2712267/267Running$121,41018th
March 16Food City 500Bristol16500/500Running$116,86547th
March 23Auto Club 500Fontana*1317202/202Running$107,41011th
March 30STP 500Martinsville219500/500Running$94,47512th
April 7Duck Commander 500Texas613340/340Running$137,7702013th
April 12Bojangles’ Southern 500Darlington1019374/374Running$101,905315th
April 26Toyota Owners 400Richmond2822400/400Running$88.89014th
May 4Aaron’s 499Talladega351188/188Running$303,3151212th
May 105-Hour Energy 400Kansas3018266/267Running$94,76512th
May 25Coca-Cola 600Charlotte622398/400Running$112,98514th
June 1FedEx 400Dover75400/400Running$136,8809th
June 8Pocono 400Pocono14160/160Running$137,50048th
June 15Quicken Loans 400Michigan2929198/200Running$92,64012th
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.

- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing

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