Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Denny Hamlin only driver with road course top-5s in last four

Denny Hamlin is 10/1 to win Sunday at Sonoma.
Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Express Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:

Race: Toyota / Save Mart 350
Date/Time: Sunday, June 24/3 p.m. ET
Distance: 110 Laps/218.9 Miles
Track Length: 1.99 miles
Track Shape: Road Course
Turns: 12
2017 Winner: Kevin Harvick

Express Notes:

Michigan Recap:
Denny Hamlin rebounded from his 36th-place starting spot to finish12th in the rain-shortened event at Michigan International Speedway. Hamlin qualified 10th for the 400-mile race, but he was forced to start at the back of the field following a pre-race inspection penalty for a non-compliant splitter. Hamlin worked his way up to 21st by the competition caution on lap 25, and the team’s subsequent pit strategy paid dividends as Hamlin lined up third following a two-tire stop. Hamlin finished fifth in the first Stage, but that would be the last time during the event that the FedEx Toyota would be in the top-five as Hamlin battled a loose condition and having to line up in the undesirable bottom lane for the following restarts. With inclement weather moving in, Hamlin tried to stay within the top-10, but his progress was hampered after a vibration developed late in the second Stage. Denny started the final Stage in ninth, but he found himself trapped in 12th when the race was officially called with 67 laps remaining.

Sonoma Preview: The Series heads to Sonoma Raceway for the first road course event of the season where Hamlin will look to capture his second career road course victory. Hamlin has three top-five and four top-10 finishes at the 12-turn road course including a fourth-place finish in last year’s race following a 14th-place qualifying effort.

Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares: This season, FedEx is tying the performance of the #11 FedEx Toyota on the track to its efforts to improve road safety through a new program, Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares, by donating $111 for each lap Hamlin leads and $11,000 for each race victory to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit working to protect kids on the road, at home and at play. FedEx will also contribute $111,000 to Safe Kids if the #11 team wins the 2018 NASCAR championship. New for the 2018 season, the Denny Hamlin Foundation will also match the total donation to Safe Kids Worldwide.

After 15 regular season races, Hamlin has led 235 laps resulting in an $26,085 donation to Safe Kids Worldwide which will ultimately be matched by the Denny Hamlin Foundation. Fans can track the total amount donated to date from the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program on the homepage of FedExRacing.com.

Press Kit: Download the 2018 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Hamlin Statistics:

Track: Sonoma Raceway
Races: 12
Wins: 0
Poles: 0
Top-5: 3
Top-10: 4
Laps Led: 92
Avg. Start: 17.8
Avg. Finish: 19.4

Hamlin Conversation:

You have scored two consecutive top-five finishes in your past two starts at Sonoma. Do you think you and the #11 FedEx team have the right strategy to win this weekend?

“Last time we visited Sonoma (Raceway), we really had a great car, we just didn’t have quite enough to contend for a win at the end. If we can improve our qualifying effort (from last year) and make some slight set-up adjustments, I think we’ll be in an even better spot to go after a win this year.”

FedEx Express Operations Station in Cheyenne, Wyo., Along for the Ride at Sonoma: FedEx Express recognizes the company’s operation station in Cheyenne, Wyo., for their charitable contributions to the local community by featuring their call letters “CYSA” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota at Sonoma.

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