Event: Price Chopper 400
Date/Time: Oct. 3, 2010/1 p.m. EST
2009 winner: Tony Stewart
2009 polesitter: Mark Martin
Distance: 400 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Banking: 15 degrees
Track Shape: Quad Oval
Hamlin, FedEx Racing Persevere at Dover: Denny Hamlin drove the #11 FedEx Express Toyota to a ninth-place finish at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, securing his second top-ten finish in the Chase and keeping his lead at the top of the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings intact heading to Kansas this weekend.
Hamlin at Kansas Speedway – Back Where it All Began: This weekend will mark Denny Hamlin’s sixth Cup start at Kansas Speedway, his 180th career Cup start, and a return to the site of Hamlin’s Cup Series debut five years ago this weekend. Kansas has represented a tricky stop for Hamlin from their first visit in 2005, but a year ago they not only broke into to the top-ten, they ran fourth as Hamlin charged forward early in the race and never looked back. As the laps counted down, Hamlin look poised to challenge for the win but a late caution gave all of the teams the chance to pit – undoing the #11 team’s fuel advantage – and Hamlin couldn’t chase down the leaders before the end. In 2008, despite starting deep in the field, the FedEx team made continual gains on the car but never found the exact balance they needed to compete with the leaders. They did, however, fight their way forward from 30th place into the top-ten with just over 30 laps before taking the checkered flag in 11th place. In 2007, Hamlin had a promising run derailed when he was collected in a lap-184 wreck. After enduring long delays for rain, Hamlin had the #11 car inside of the top-15 but the incident forced him back in the pack and he finished 29th. In 2006, Hamlin and team suffered through a pit-road speeding penalty on lap 146 and a loose wheel on lap 209 before ultimately finishing 18th. In September of 2005, with the #11 team struggling to find success and consistency, J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing, offered his then Busch Series driver Hamlin the opportunity to make his first Cup start. After turning heads with a top-ten qualifying lap, Hamlin ran competitively until being forced two laps down by a cut tire and eventually finishing 32nd.
Race Series Date Start Finish Laps (Led)
Price Chopper 400 Sprint Cup Oct. 4, 2009 22 4 267/267 1
Camping World RV 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 29, 2008 30 11 267/267 1
Lifelock 400 Nextel Cup Sept. 30, 2007 5 29 209/210
Banquet 400 Nextel Cup Oct. 1, 2006 25 18 266/267
Banquet 400 Nextel Cup Oct. 9, 2005 7 32 265/267_________
Averages/Total 16.8 22.5 99.6% 2
Kansas Chassis – JGR 285 and 270: The team will unload JGR 285 – a new car from the JGR stable this weekend at Kansas. JGR 270, a winner at Texas in April, will serve as the backup.
FedEx Freight Kansas City Center Along for the Ride in Kansas: The #11 FedEx Freight Camry will carry the letters KCL on the B-posts this weekend in recognition of the Kansas City, MO Service Center. The Kansas City center continues to demonstrate a strong commitment towards achieving FedEx initiatives. During the current fiscal year, Kansas City is one of only a few FedEx National service centers to achieve certain operational metrics which can qualify them the People Service Profit Compass Excellence Award for 2011.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – Kansas Speedway:
The Chase features tracks that you only visit once a season, how does that affect your preparation – both in terms of the car and for you behind the wheel?: “It’s a different situation, really. It seems that every time we finish a race in the first half of the season we talk about what we can learn when we come back in the fall or come back in the Chase. Obviously we don’t have that luxury here and I think it does play a factor in our performance but it’s not really a concern for us. We work hard to prepare for every race and there are things we can do in the shop but I think a situation like this means you’ll see us get every minute and every lap we can out of the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. There are things we can plan for in the shop but we depend a lot on what we learn on the track, in the conditions we’ll be racing in.”
Each year that passes puts your Cup debut deeper in memory, do you remember that weekend?: “I’ll never forget that weekend because everything was happening so fast and then I was here in Kansas with the #11 FedEx team and making my first start in a Cup car. It was an amazing experience and I think about how close it was to being a really good weekend. I wrecked the primary in qualifying after a really good first lap and we were really good in the race until we cut a tire. If you would have told me that weekend I would be coming back here five years later running as well as we are and leading the points, I am sure I would have laughed at you and wouldn’t have been the only one.”
You pointed to getting through New Hampshire and Dover as key to your Chase hopes – are you satisfied with where you are heading to Kansas?: “Well I would say we could have been in even better shape with a couple of wins but just knowing how we’ve performed at those tracks in the past, we did what we had to do to put ourselves in a good place looking ahead. There are no easy races in the Chase, just those that you look forward to more than others.”
2010 FEDEX RACING – TEAM ROSTER
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.