Event: AAA 300

Date/Time: Sept. 26/1 p.m. EST
American Muscle

2009 winner: Jimmie Johnson

2009 polesitter: Jimmie Johnson

Distance: 400 laps/400 miles

Track Length: 1.0 miles

Banking: 24 degrees

Track Shape: Oval


Hamlin, FedEx Racing Second at New Hampshire: Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing team kicked off their 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup effort with a hard-fought performance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, recovering from a late-race spin to outlast all but one competitor and record an impressive second-place finish. Hamlin had steadily worked his way forward after starting the race from the 22nd spot, but contact with Carl Edwards on lap 206 sent the #11 around and, after repairs, deep in the pack for the restart. The stop put the #11 team out of sequence with the field and, as the FedEx Toyota improved, Hamlin charged forward to put himself in position for the second-place finish. The result sees Hamlin expand his lead at the top of the Chase standings to 35 points heading to Dover International Speedway this weekend.

Hamlin at Dover: This weekend will mark Hamlin’s tenth-career Cup start at Dover International, his 179th career Cup start and his fifth start at Dover in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Earlier this season, Hamlin and the #11 team posted a fourth-place finish at the often treacherous, high-banked mile. The FedEx team steadily improved throughout the race, working their way into the top-ten by lap 54, then into the top-five by lap 225. Last fall, Hamlin fought handling issues all race long and, despite best efforts of driver and crew alike, he was never able to challenge his fellow Chase contenders as he drove the FedEx Ground Camry to a 22nd place finish in the AAA 400. In June of 2009, trouble at Dover quickly turned an otherwise promising day into a day to forget for Hamlin. A very quick stop on lap 165 had Hamlin running a strong second before a cut right tire sent him hard into the turn three wall and, subsequently, into the garage. After inspection it was determined the damage was too severe to fix and the car was loaded onto the truck. In Sept. of 2008, Hamlin qualified in the top-three, and was running in the top-ten before the crew discovered oil on the inside of the rear wheel during a lap 144 stop. It was determined that a crack in a fitting on the rear-end cooler was the culprit and, after slowing the leak, Hamlin was sent back on to the track but, unfortunately, the fix was only temporary. Hamlin was running in the top ten on lap 244 when he lost the drive shaft and gear and finished 38th. In June of 2008, Hamlin suffered a DNF when he was collected in the large, multi-car wreck that red-flagged the race on lap 16. Hamlin posted a finish of 38th in the 2007 fall Chase race after contact forced him from the lead, where he had led 61 laps, and into the garage for repairs.

Race Series Date Start Finish Laps (Led)

Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup May 16, 2010 14 4 400/400

AAA 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 27, 2009 13 22 398/400

Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup May 31, 2009 16 36 232/400

Camping World RV 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 21, 2008 3 38 362/400

Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup June 1, 2008 33 43 16/400

Dodge Dealers 400 Nextel Cup Sept. 23, 2007 3 38 308/400 61

Autism Speaks 400 Nextel Cup June 4, 2007 29 4 400/400

Dover 400 Nextel Cup Sept. 24, 2006 23 9 400/400

Neighborhood Excellence Nextel Cup June 4, 2006 7 11 400/400

Averages/Totals 15.9 25.1 78.6% 61

FedEx Express, Philadelphia Market Along for the Ride in Dover: The #11 FedEx Express Camry will carry the letters PHL on the B-posts this weekend at Dover International in recognition of FedEx Express Philadelphia market’s excellence in performance and customer service.

Dover International Speedway Chassis – JGR 279 and 270: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 279 this weekend in Dover. This car recorded a fifth place finish at Pocono in August. JGR #270 will serve in backup duty this weekend – it won at Texas earlier this season.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION – Dover International Speedway:

Leaving Richmond you said getting through New Hampshire and Dover would be fairly critical to Chase success – still the case?: “It’s really important to start the Chase on a high note because more than likely it will be the Chase competitors who win these first two Chase race and who fill out the balance of the top ten. You just can’t give anyone points in this series. We know from past experience that we are better in the second half of the Chase and if we can just be right there heading to places like Martinsville, Texas and Homestead then we have a good shot. We had a good run at Loudon, a lot of things went our way when it maybe looked bad there for a moment, but we kept going and came out of there just where we wanted to be.”

How do you approach Dover this weekend? Does being in the points lead make a difference?: “We really need to approach it like any other race. We know it’s big and that we are in a good position, but we aren’t taking anything for granted. We know what we need to do and it’s just like the other weekends. At Dover, qualifying is very important because pit road there is a scary place so we’ll be hoping to improve there for sure. Being the points leader doesn’t make a difference. You can’t let that interfere with the focus of the team because there is so much racing left to do. We’ve learned that over the years.”


Crew Chief: Mike Ford – Morristown, Tenn.

Car Chief: Chris “Spider” Gillin – Smithtown, NY

Shocks: Tim Sparkman – St. Louis, Mo.

Engineer: Mike Wheeler – Southholt, NY

Tire Specialist: Patrick Mullen – Brick, N.J.

Windshield: Bobby “Spike” Christenson – Spokane, Wash.

Mechanic: Rick Bray – Placerville, Calif.

Hauler Driver: Jerry Hess – Lancaster, Pa.

Mechanic: John Furino – Long Island, NY

Hauler Driver: Frank Hodel – Blythe, Calif.

Spotter: Curtis Markham – Fredericksburg, Va.

Front Tire Changer: Jonathan Sherman – Monroe, La.

Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks – Salisbury, N.C.

Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry – Belmont, N.C.

Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram – Statesville, N.C.

Jackman: Nate Bolling – Swanton, Ohio

Motor Specialist: Chris Woodward – Franklin, NH

Gas can: Scott Wood – Liberty, S.C.

Catch Can: John Eicher – London, Ky..

JGR Athletic Director: Michael Lepp – Charlotte, N.C.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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