Event: Coke Zero 400

Date/Time: July 7/7:30 p.m. ET
American Muscle

2011 winner: David Ragan

2011 polesitter: Mark Martin

Distance: 160 laps/400 miles

Track Length: 2.5 miles

Banking: 31 degrees

Track Shape: Tri-oval


Kentucky Recap: Denny Hamlin finished third in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, leading three times for 58 laps and stretching his fuel to the checkered flag en route to his eighth top-five finish in 17 events this season. Staying out under the race’s final caution on Lap 210 shortly after pitting for the final time for tires and fuel, Hamlin restarted second behind eventual winner Brad Keselowski. Hamlin had to conserve gas on the final run, crossing the stripe third behind Keselowski and Kasey Kahne. Hamlin started third in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota and remained in the top-five throughout the 267-lap event on the 1.5-mile oval. He took the lead for the first time on a Lap 130 restart and led all but two laps until Lap 187. The finish moves Hamlin up two spots to fifth in the NASCAR standings following Kentucky, 68 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with nine races to go before the Chase cutoff.

Daytona Preview: The Sprint Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night’s 400-mile event on the high-banked, 2.5-mile track. Hamlin is making his 14th start at Daytona this weekend. His best-career finish at Daytona of third came in the July 2008 race, and he finished fourth in this year’s season-opening Daytona 500. The 31-year-old Virginia native led a race-high 57 laps in February’s ‘Great American Race,’ and has led at least one lap in nine of 13 Cup Series events at the ‘World Center of Racing.’ Hamlin finished 13th in last summer’s Daytona race, surviving a variety of incidents during two ‘green-white-checkered’ overtime attempts before being sent spinning through the infield grass to the checkered flag.

Race Series Date Start Finish Laps (Led)

Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Feb. 27, 2012 31 4 202/202 57

Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup July 2, 2011 36 13 170/170 4

Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Feb. 20, 2011 18 21 207/208 7

Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup July 3, 2010 4 24 158/166 4

Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Feb. 14, 2010 24 17 208/208 1

Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup July 4, 2009 6 3 160/160 63

Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Feb. 15, 2009 10 26 152/152

Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup July 5, 2008 15 26 162/162 6

Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Feb. 17, 2008 4 17 200/200 32

Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup July 7, 2007 2 43 99/160 10

Daytona 500 Nextel Cup Feb. 18, 2007 9 28 201/202

Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup July 1, 2006 6 17 160/160

Daytona 500 Nextel Cup Feb. 19, 2006 17 30 203/203

Averages/Totals 14.1 20.7 97.0 % 184

FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway: 2274 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114, (386) 323-7840

Bentonville Along for the Ride in Daytona: The FedEx Office store 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.

2012 FedEx Racing Press Kit – Available for Download: Please visit for the 2012 FedEx Racing press materials, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Darian Grubb and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, program statistics and 2012 crew roster.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION — Daytona International Speedway

Are you happy with NASCAR’s current restrictor-plate program?

“I think it’s good. I really think that NASCAR has honed in on our restrictor plate program. I think that they’ve monitored the temperatures, the drafting and things like that to where the racing is as good as it’s been on superspeedways in a long time.”


Crew Chief: Darian Grubb – Floyd, Va. 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.

Engineer: Ross Kippenbrock – Indianapolis, Ind. Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry – Belmont, N.C.

Shocks: Drew Bible – Coldwater, Mich. Jackman: Nate Bolling – Swanton, Ohio

Tire Specialist: Kerry Ferris – Perry, N.Y. Gas Man: Scott Wood – Liberty, S.C.

Mechanic: Nick Fuller – Casa Grande, Ariz. Pit Crew Coordinator: Paul Alepa – Vienna, Va.

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

Spotter: Chris Lambert – Kannapolis, N.C. 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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