Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Phoenix 'a good gauge' for Denny Hamlin's team

Denny Hamlin is 12/1 to win Sunday at Phoenix
Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Freight Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:
Race: 500
Date/Time: March 15/12:30 p.m. MT
Distance: 312 laps/312 miles
Track Length: 1-mile
Track Shape: Oval
Banking: 9-11 degrees
2014 Winner: Kevin Harvick

Express Notes:
Las Vegas Recap:
Denny Hamlin finished fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, charging from a 19th-place starting position to record his second top-five finish in three races to start the 2015 season. Hamlin made his final pit stop under green from the third position with 40 laps remaining in the 267-lap event won by Kevin Harvick, hoping for one perfect adjustment to make a run at the checkered flag. Unfortunately, the change made the #11 FedEx Office Toyota just too loose down the stretch, as Hamlin crossed the finish line in fifth. Hamlin started 19th and moved forward immediately after seeing the green flag, passing six cars on the opening lap and settling into the top-10 after just 15 circuits. He remained there throughout the race and methodically worked into the top-five. Crew chief Dave Rogers and the FedEx crew overcame a pair of setbacks during the event, including left-front damage sustained after contact on pit road early in the race, as well as right-rear damage as a result of an on-track incident involving Kasey Kane and Carl Edwards mid-race. Harvick won his first race of the season, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The fifth-place result moved Hamlin up to eighth in the NASCAR point standings after three of 26 regular season races.

Phoenix Preview: The Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s 312-lap event on the flat, one-mile desert oval. Hamlin is making his 20th career Cup start at Phoenix this weekend, looking for his second win at the track. Hamlin led 61 laps en route to victory lane in the spring event in 2012. Hamlin has nine top-five finishes in 19 Phoenix starts and has led 441 laps. Last fall, Hamlin started on the pole and led 24 laps before finishing fifth. The finish propelled the FedEx Racing Team to a spot in the Championship 4 battle at Homestead.

Hamlin Statistics:
Track: Phoenix International Raceway
Races: 19
Wins: 1
Top-5: 9
Top-10: 10
Average Start: 11.3
Average Finish: 11.0
Laps Led: 441

Hamlin Conversation:

How important is this weekend’s race at Phoenix?

“This weekend’s race will be a big barometer for where our program is at early in the season. Last fall, we finished fifth there, but after early trouble, we were lapped twice under green. The strategy played out in our favor at the end. We need to make sure we can go there and have a fast enough car to make passes, and it will be a good gauge for our team.”

Service Center Along for the Ride in Phoenix: The FedEx Freight service center in Phoenix will be recognized with its “PHX” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

FedEx Office – Closest to Phoenix International Raceway: 1619 N. Dysart Rd., Ste 102, Avondale, AZ 85392, (623) 536-8077
Feb. 22Daytona 500Daytona424203/203Running$680,48344th
March 1Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500Atlanta438284/325Running$111,1051419th
March 8Kobalt 400Las Vegas195267/267Running$162,3808th
Averages/Totals21.715.794.8% $953,96818  

- Weber Shandwick WorldWide for FedEx Racing

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