|Denny Hamlin is 12/1 to win again at Talladega|
#11 FedEx Express Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: GEICO 500
Date/Time: May 3/1:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 188 laps/500 miles
Track Length: 2.66 miles
Track Shape: Oval
Banking: 33 degrees
2014 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Denny Defends: Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing Team head to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway looking to defend the victory from one year ago in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the high-banked oval. One year ago, Hamlin led 12 of 188 laps en route to victory lane at Talladega, taking the lead on the final restart to capture his lone victory of the 2014 season, which propelled him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Hamlin is making his 19th career Talladega start this weekend in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and has recorded six top-10 results and led 217 laps at the restrictor-plate track. In the Series’ most recent trip to Talladega last fall, Hamlin drove to an 18th-place finish, good enough to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase.
Richmond Recap: Hamlin finished 22nd in Sunday’s rain-postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, battling a tight #11 FedEx Ground Toyota throughout the 400-lap event won by Kurt Busch. Hamlin started second but immediately began to fall in the running order due to an ill-handling race car. He reported the car lacked forward drive, was tight through the center of the corner and loose on corner exit. Crew chief Dave Rogers called for a variety of changes on pit road to try to help Hamlin on the track, but nothing seemed to bring the #11 machine to life. Hamlin eventually fell two laps down with less than 100 laps to go before a string of-late race cautions. The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to 12th in the NASCAR standings following Richmond, 112 points behind leader Kevin Harvick after nine of 26 regular season races.
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Average Start: 20.0
Average Finish: 19.0
Laps Led: 217
Hamlin Conversation — TALLADEGA:
How would you assess the team’s restrictor-plate track program heading into Talladega?
“Our (restrictor) plate program has really been our strong suit over the last few years on this FedEx team. I have learned some things over the last few plate races that have helped, and we have had really good cars in the draft. Last year at Talladega, we finally got our first plate win, and it was big for our team. It obviously gave us a Chase berth and a lot of momentum. This year, hopefully we can get another win there to get more bonus points. It’s all about winning for us.”
New York City Along for the Ride in Talladega: The FedEx Express ramp in New York City, which was temporarily relocated following Superstorm Sandy, will be recognized with its “FIDA” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend at Talladega.
FedEx Office – Closest to Talladega Superspeedway: 117 Resource Center Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35242, (205) 981-0077
|2015 FEDEX RACING TEAM – SEASON RESULTS|
|Feb. 22||Daytona 500||Daytona||42||4||203/203||Running||$680,483||4||4th||▬|
|March 1||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Atlanta||4||38||284/325||Running||$111,105||14||19th||▼|
|March 8||Kobalt 400||Las Vegas||19||5||267/267||Running||$162,380||8th||▲|
|March 15||Camping World 500||Phoenix||25||23||312/312||Running||$92,855||13th||▼|
|March 22||Auto Club 400||Fontana||6||28||209/209||Running||$106.485||56||14th||▼|
|March 29||STP 500||Martinsville||15||1||500/500||Running||$172,260||91||7th||▲|
|April 11||Duck Commander 500||Texas||18||11||334/334||Running||$146,525||8th||▼|
|April 19||Food City 500||Bristol*||5||26||505/511||Running||$109,200||11th||▼|
|April 26||Toyota Owners 400||Richmond||2||22||398/400||Running||$95,350||12th||▼|
* Drivers: Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones