Darlington Recap: Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team posted its second-straight top-10 finish Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway with a sixth-place result. Hamlin started third in the #11 Toyota and ran among the leaders throughout the 370-lap event on the historic 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval. Hamlin never led a lap during the race won by Regan Smith, but improved his average finishing position at Darlington to 6.5 in six starts — best among active Sprint Cup Series drivers. The result moved Hamlin up one spot in the NASCAR point standings to 16th following Darlington, 102 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Hamlin sits just 19 points out of 10th place in the standings and a guaranteed spot in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup after 10 of 26 ‘regular season’ races.
American Muscle

Dover Bound: The Series shifts north for Sunday’s 400-lap race on the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The event — the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks — marks the first time FedEx has sponsored a race since joining NASCAR in 2005. Hamlin has four career top-10 finishes in 10 Dover starts, including a fourth (spring) and ninth (fall) in the two races at the ‘Monster Mile’ in 2010. The fourth-place result one year ago matched the 30-year-old driver’s best finish at Dover, set in the spring 2007 event. Hamlin has started third in two Dover events — the fall races in 2007 and 2008 — and has led a total of 61 laps at the high-banked oval.

Racing for a Cause: Helping raise awareness for Autism Speaks through the sponsorship of Sunday’s race, FedEx will also donate $100,000 to the organization if Hamlin wins the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. The donation will be made in addition to the specially-priced pair of $111 race tickets that has proceeds going to Autism Speaks. Furthermore, the #11 Toyota will carry a special FedEx Ground/Autism Speaks paint scheme throughout this weekend’s racing activities.

FedEx Office – Closest to Dover International Speedway: 132 Elkton Road, Newark, DE 19711, (302) 368-5080

2011 FedEx Racing Press Kit – Available for Download: Please visit for the 2011 FedEx Racing press materials, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Ford and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, program statistics and 2011 crew roster.

FedEx Ground Florida District Along for the Ride in Dover: The FedEx Ground Florida district is leading the company in package care metrics, and will be recognized with its “FLDA” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground/Autism Speaks Toyota this weekend.


How important have these last couple weeks been for the team?

“We always knew we were a team capable of running up front and competing for wins, and we usually start a little slow, but this year it was just moved back a week or two. Usually, we turn it on when we get to Martinsville, and when we didn’t this year, people started to ask questions. The runs we had at Richmond and Darlington were good to gain some points on the guys in front of us. I knew it was only a matter of time before we started moving up, and hopefully we continue that at Dover this weekend. We just need to continue to put solid weeks together and everything will take care of itself.”

Do you feel a little more pressure knowing that FedEx will donate $100,000 to Autism Speaks if you win at Dover?

“I think that’s a cool thing they’re doing and for me, I’ll definitely be going for the win. FedEx does so much for a lot of different organizations, and has taught me a lot about how to give back. Autism Speaks has been a part of NASCAR for a few years now, and you always see guys with the blue puzzle pieces on their helmet or car. We’ll have a special scheme this weekend on the #11 car, and hopefully we’ll be running up front to raise awareness for them.”


Crew Chief: Mike Ford – Morristown, Tenn. Front Tire Changer: Nick Krizmanich – Kenosha, Wis.

Car Chief: Chris “Spider” Gillin – Smithtown, N.Y. Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram – Statesville, N.C.

Engineer: Mike Wheeler – Southholt, N.Y. Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks – Salisbury, N.C.

Shocks: Drew Bible – Coldwater, Mich. Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry – Belmont, N.C.

Tire Specialist: Patrick Mullen – Brick, N.J. Jackman: Nate Bolling – Swanton, Ohio

Engine Tuner: Chris Woodward – Franklin, N.H. Gas Man: Scott Wood – Liberty, S.C.

Mechanic: Rick Bray – Placerville, Calif. Pit Crew Coordinator: Paul Alepa – Vienna, Va.

Mechanic: John Furino – Long Island, N.Y. JGR Athletic Director: Michael Lepp – Charlotte, N.C.

Spotter: Curtis Markham – Fredericksburg, Va.

Hauler Driver: Jerry Hess – Lancaster, Pa.

Hauler Driver: Frank Hodel – Blythe, Calif.

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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