|Denny Hamlin is 15/1 to win this week at Chicago|
Date/Time: Sept. 14/2 p.m. ET
2013 winner: Matt Kenseth
2013 polesitter: Ryan Newman
Distance: 267 laps/400.5 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Banking: 14 degrees
Track Shape: Oval
Richmond Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 21st in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, battling an ill-handling #11 FedEx Express Toyota throughout the 400-lap event on the three-quarter-mile track won by Brad Keselowski. Hamlin, a two-time Richmond winner, started 11th and quickly worked into the top-10 on his hometown track. He pitted from seventh under the Lap 50 competition caution, and remained near the front of the field throughout the second run. However, following his second pit stop of the night under caution, Hamlin said the handling went away on the #11 machine, and he slid back to 15th, falling a lap down to Keselowski in the process. He remained in position for the “free pass” after a series of green flag stops, but the caution never came. As the laps clicked, Hamlin continued to battle a loose condition on corner entry and exit, and interim crew chief Mike Wheeler called him to pit road to “short pit” with 90 laps remaining, hoping to have the race go green the distance to make up time on the leaders. Unfortunately, the yellow came out 17 laps later, trapping Hamlin two laps down and relegating the FedEx team to a 21st-place result.
Hamlin in the Chase: Hamlin is making his eighth appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in 2014. He made seven-straight Chase fields to start his career (2006-2012) before missing the playoffs in 2013 due to a back injury. Hamlin has won at seven of 10 Chase tracks, including New Hampshire (2), Kansas, Talladega, Martinsville (4), Texas (2), Phoenix and Homestead (2). His best-career Chase finish was second in 2010. Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing Team enter the Chase this season in ninth-place with 2,003 points.
Chicago Preview: The Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for the first race of the 2014 Chase. Hamlin is making his eighth-career start at the 1.5-mile track. Hamlin finished a career-best fifth at the track in 2009 and has two top-10 results in seven starts. Hamlin will also compete in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race alongside Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch — who are also in the Chase — to help prepare for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series event.
FedEx Office – Closest to Chicagoland Speedway: 2199 State Rte 59, Plainfield, IL 60586, (815) 439-8490
South Texas Along for the Ride in Chicago: The FedEx Office sales team in South Texas is leading the Sales pack of the company’s President’s Club program, and will be recognized with its “7390” code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – CHICAGOLAND:
The FedEx Team is back in the Chase. How would you describe the team’s chances heading into the playoffs?
“Obviously, our performance lately has been pretty consistent, but I believe that we still need a little bit more speed to really contend for the title. The new format, I think, sets up pretty well for our FedEx team. We have proven over the years that we can win at most of the Chase tracks, and with points resetting after each segment, we just need to survive and advance. Hopefully we have some cars prepared that can go out and run up front to challenge for wins. If we can stay consistent and take care of business in the first two segments, I think we have a pretty good shot. The last four races are at really good tracks for us. I’m excited to be back in the Chase.”
|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||Auto 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||▬|
|May 25||Coca-Cola 600||Charlotte||6||22||398/400||Running||$112,985||14th||▼|
|June 1||FedEx 400||Dover||7||5||400/400||Running||$136,880||9th||▲|
|June 8||Pocono 400||Pocono||1||4||160/160||Running||$137,500||4||8th||▲|
|June 22||Toyota/Save Mart 350||Sonoma||16||26||110/110||Running||$97,035||13th||▼|
|June 28||Quaker State 400||Kentucky||4||42||27/267||Accident||$71,580||17th||▼|
|July 6||Coke Zero 400||Daytona||37||6||112/112||Running||$135,370||14th||▲|
|July 13||Camping World RV Sales 301||Loudon||3||8||305/305||Running||$109,565||20||12th||▲|
|July 27||Wayne Walding 400||Indianapolis||27||3||160/160||Running||$307,890||18||21st**||▼|
|Aug. 3||GoBowling.com 400||Pocono||13||9||160/160||Running||$96,965||21st||▬|
|Aug. 10||Cheez-It 355||Watkins Glen||17||24||90/90||Running||$84,015||20th||▲|
|Aug. 17||Pure Michigan 400||Michigan||21||7||200/200||Running||$108,940||20th||▬|
|Aug. 23||Irwin Tools Night Race||Bristol||13||40||160/500||Accident||$96,565||28||20th||▬|
|Aug. 31||Oral-B USA 500||Atlanta||17||3||335/335||Running||$182,705||37||19th||▲|
|Sept. 6||Federated Auto Parts 400||Richmond||11||21||398/400||Running||$89,615||9th||▲|
* Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
** Penalized 75 points following post-race inspection