DENNY HAMLIN — #11 FEDEX EXPRESS TOYOTA CAMRY
Event: Sprint All-Star RaceDate/Time: May 21/9 p.m. ET2010 winner: Kurt Busch2010 polesitter: Kurt Busch
Distance: 100 laps/150 milesTrack Length: 1.5-mileBanking: 24 degreesTrack Shape: Quad-oval
Denny in Dover: Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team recorded a 16th-place finish in Sunday’s “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Battling a tight race car throughout the 400-lap event on the one-mile concrete oval, Hamlin improved from his 26th-place starting spot, but was never able to gain the track position needed to contend with the frontrunners. Crew chief Mike Ford called for a host of changes during the team’s pit stops in hopes of bringing the #11 Toyota to life, but the car’s lack of grip never improved. Despite the disappointing finish, Hamlin climbed three spots to 13th in the NASCAR standings, 112 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Hamlin trails 10th-place Tony Stewart by just 24 points after 11 of 26 regular season races in the battle to clinch a spot in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
All-Star Festivities: The FedEx team will enjoy two weeks at home, with Saturday night’s All-Star Race and next Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin is making his fifth-career Sprint All-Star Race appearance this weekend, looking for the $1 million winner’s prize in the 100-lap, non-points event at the 1.5-mile track. The event will again feature four segments, broken down into a 50-lap opener, two 20-lap segments and a final 10-lap dash to the finish. Hamlin has finished fourth in the special event in each of the last two years (2009 and 2010), and has an average finish of 12.0 in four All-Star starts. The 30-year-old also finished fourth in his only All-Star Open appearance — where the top-two finishers transfer to the main event — during his 2006 rookie campaign. All-Star Weekend festivities begin Thursday night in downtown Charlotte, when the #11 FedEx pit crew looks to defend its Sprint Pit Crew Challenge title from one year ago. In 2010, the #11 team changed four tires, added fuel (water) and pushed the car 40 yards in 23.132 seconds to take the crown.
Race Series Date Start Finish Laps Led
Sprint All-Star Race Non-Points May 22, 2010 12 4 100/100 2
Sprint All-Star Race Non-Points May 16, 2009 18 4 100/100
Sprint All-Star Race Non-Points May 17, 2008 20 23 86/100 7
Sprint All-Star Challenge Non-Points May 19, 2007 9 17 63/100
Nextel All-Star Open Non-Points May 20, 2006 2 4 30/30 1
FedEx Office – Closest to Charlotte Motor Speedway: 7741 Gateway Lane NW, Ste 110, Concord, NC 28027, (704) 979-1971
2011 FedEx Racing Press Kit – Available for Download: Please visit www.fedexracing.com/presskit 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.
Charleston FedEx Express Along for the Ride for the All-Star Race: The FedEx Express operations team in Charleston, S.C., just secured its fifth-consecutive “Station of the Year” award in the Piedmont District and Southern Region, and for their efforts, will be recognized with its “CHS” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Is it a good point in the season to get a couple weeks at home?
“”For me, these next two weeks at home are great. The All-Star Race is such a cool event where you can really lay it on the line to get that win. It’s a little misleading because we always race for wins, but since it’s for no points, putting your car in tighter spots or making riskier moves doesn’t have the consequences a DNF would have on a regular race weekend. We’ve had a couple good finishes in All-Star races before, but I really want to win one of these things. We’ve had some pretty fast cars in the race, and the way the segments are broken down is good for the fans. It’s a fun week with some fun events both on and off the track and that’s why the fans and teams enjoy it so much. You’ll see a lot of friends and family around the track through the weekend and this event makes that possible – it’s a chance for the teams to spend some time at home before we start a long summer haul.”
Are you able to learn some things for the Coke 600?
“I think we have learned a lot over the last couple years in the All-Star Race that have helped us in the 600. Charlotte hasn’t been our best track, but both races finish around the same time at night, so we can learn some things if the weather is about the same. We have some good tracks for us coming up in June, so it’s important that we learn as much as we can in Charlotte to apply it later in the year. I know that this team is working as hard as any to keep moving up in the points and get into a comfortable position in a few weeks. I still believe we can make that happen.”