Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Denny Hamlin's team picking up speed at right time as Chase starts

Denny Hamlin is 15/1 to win this week at Chicago
Event: Geico 400
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.


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.”

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
June 22Toyota/Save Mart 350Sonoma1626110/110Running$97,03513th
June 28Quaker State 400Kentucky44227/267Accident$71,58017th
July 6Coke Zero 400Daytona376112/112Running$135,37014th
July 13Camping World RV Sales 301Loudon38305/305Running$109,5652012th
July 27The John Wayne Walding 400Indianapolis273160/160Running$307,8901821st**
Aug. 400Pocono139160/160Running$96,96521st
Aug. 10Cheez-It 355Watkins Glen172490/90Running$84,01520th
Aug. 17Pure Michigan 400Michigan217200/200Running$108,94020th
Aug. 23Irwin Tools Night RaceBristol1340160/500Accident$96,5652820th
Aug. 31Oral-B USA 500Atlanta173335/335Running$182,7053719th
Sept. 6Federated Auto Parts 400Richmond1121398/400Running$89,6159th
Averages/Totals15.015.291.8% $4,155,576163  
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
** Penalized 75 points following post-race inspection

- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing

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