FEDEX RACING EXPRESS FACTS — MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

DENNY HAMLIN — #11 FEDEX OFFICETOYOTA CAMRY

RACE INFO: Event: Heluva Good! 400 Date/Time: June 19/1 p.m. ET

2010 winner: Denny Hamlin

CarParts.com
American Muscle

2010 polesitter: Kurt Busch

Distance: 200 laps/400 miles

Track Length: 2 miles Banking: 18 degrees

Track Shape: Oval

EXPRESS NOTES:  Pocono Recap: Denny Hamlin led four times for a race-high 76 (of 200) laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway, but a flat left-rear tire under caution with less than 50 laps to go led to myriad problems for the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota down the stretch and a 19th-place finish. Starting fourth and staying amongst the top-five as the laps clicked, Hamlin was third when the caution flew on Lap 156. Crew chief Mike Ford called for four tires and an adjustment on pit road, and quick work by the FedEx crew kept Hamlin in third. However, Hamlin radioed a potential flat tire before the green flag. After the crew confirmed it, the tire came off, causing left-rear quarter panel damage and snapping the rear brake line before Hamlin came back down pit road for repairs. With a wounded car, no brakes and restarting back in the pack in 21st, Hamlin did his best to gain spots before the checkered flag behind eventual winner Jeff Gordon. Hamlin was the class of the field for the first half of the 500-mile event on the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle,” taking the lead for the first time on the second lap. The 30-year-old Virginia native led through a handful of green flag pit cycles. The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to 12th in the NASCAR standings after 14 of 26 regular season races.

Michigan Preview: Hamlin is making his 11th Cup Series start at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) and the 202nd of his career Sunday in the #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry. Hamlin is the defending race winner at Michigan, leading 123 of 200 laps in June 2010 en route to victory lane at the two-mile track. It was his first victory at Michigan, and he followed it with a runner-up finish in the Series’ return trip to MIS last August. Hamlin has four top-five finishes and six top-10 results in 10 starts at the track — including four-straight top-10 runs, dating back to a third-place in June 2009. In total, Hamlin has completed 1,928 of 1,935 laps (99.6%) in his career at Michigan, leading 140, with an average finish of 10.9.

Race                    Series          Date                    Start           Finish          Laps            Led     Carfax 400              Sprint Cup      Aug. 15, 2010           33              2               200/200         12 Heluva Good! 400                Sprint Cup      June 13, 2010           7               1               200/200          123 Carfax 400              Sprint Cup      Aug. 16, 2009           16              10              200/200           2 Life Lock 400           Sprint Cup      June 14, 2009           14              3               200/200           1 3M Performance 400      Sprint Cup      Aug. 17, 2008           37              39              194/200 Lifelock 400            Sprint Cup      June 15, 2008           5               14              203/203          1 3M Performance 400      Nextel Cup      Aug.  21, 2007          8               5               203/203 Citizens Bank 400               Nextel Cup      June 17, 2007           7               14              199/200          1 GFS Marketplace 400     Nextel Cup      Aug. 20, 2006           9               9               200/200 3M Performance 400      Nextel Cup      June 18, 2006           21              12              129/200                 Averages/Totals                                                 15.7            10.9            99.6%             140

FedEx Office – Closest to Michigan International Speedway:2800 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104, (734) 665-2400

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.

Bentonville (Ark.) FedEx Office Along for the Ride in Michigan: The FedEx Office location in Bentonville, Ark., currently leads the company’s President’s Club program, and will be recognized with its “1588” code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION – MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: How tough is it for you to put Pocono’s disappointing finish behind you? “Although it was a disappointing finish last weekend, I’m encouraged by how our cars have been performing lately. We were fast at Pocono and led a bunch of laps. It’s tough to have a flat tire on pit road under caution ruin our day, but it could’ve been a lot worse. I didn’t have rear brakes for that last run, and was doing everything I could to hang on. But, we have had pretty good cars the last few weeks, and have been up front and challenging for wins. Pocono is tough because it’s a track we circle each year as somewhere we should run well at, but we have a long way to go before the Chase starts and I still believe this FedEx team will get some wins and get into the top-10 in points before too long.”

How has your confidence level changed at Michigan over the years? “Michigan is a track where we never ran very well early in my career — we struggled and had some bad luck.  It was also a combination of my comfort level and just not being able to get the car where we needed it. I think it was June of 2009 that we came here with a new car and a new set up and it clicked. We were fast off the truck and finished third and it was a turning point for us in a lot of ways. We came back in August and ran in the top 10 and then really hit on it when we came back last year. In June, we dominated a race probably as much as I ever have, and finished second in the second race there. That definitely gives us confidence coming back to the track.”

2011 FEDEX RACING – TEAM ROSTER

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 SpeedwayMedia.com.

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