NSCS FedEx Racing Express Facts – Talladega Superspeedway

FedEx Racing Express Facts – Talladega Superspeedway

Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Freight Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:
Race: CampingWorld.com 500
Date/Time: Oct. 25/1:30 p.m. CT
Distance: 188 laps/500 miles
Track Length: 2.66 miles
Track Shape: Tri-Oval
Banking: 33 degrees
2014 Winner: Brad Keselowski

Express Notes:

Kansas Recap: Denny Hamlin finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, after fighting an ill-handling FedEx Express Toyota for most of the event won by Joey Logano. Following the race’s final caution, Hamlin lined up second, next to Logano on the front row for a green-white-checkered finish. He maintained that spot at the checkered flag, narrowly beating Jimmie Johnson to the line to record his sixth top-five finish in the last eight races. Hamlin started the day fifth and immediately began fighting a loose car, dropping back to 20th at one point, but a series of well-timed cautions allowed the FedEx crew to make the much needed adjustments to help Hamlin get some stability in the turns. As the handling improved, so did Hamlin’s track position, eventually setting him up to challenge for the win. The finish moved Hamlin up two spots to second in the standings after the second of three Contender Round races, currently 18 points ahead of the Chase cutline.

Talladega Preview: The Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the final race of the Chase Contender Round. Hamlin is making his 20th career Cup Series start at the high-banked, 2.66-mile superspeedway, recording one win (May 2014) and seven top-10 finishes in 19 previous events at the track. The unpredictability of restrictor-plate racing will challenge strategies among Chase competitors, with four more drivers eliminated following this Sunday’s event. Hamlin enters the weekend with an 18-point cushion to ninth place in the standings, and needs a 14th-place finish to guarantee himself a place in the Eliminator Round of the Chase. He has finished ninth or better in six of the last seven restrictor plate events.

Hamlin Statistics:

Track: Talladega Superspeedway

Races: 19

Wins: 1

Top-5: 4

Top-10: 7

Average Start: 19.8

Average Finish: 18.5

Laps Led: 222

Hamlin Conversation — TALLADEGA:

What will the team’s strategy be this weekend at Talladega?

“The success that I’ve had at Talladega has come from trying to run up front every single lap. As far as I’m concerned, there’s going to be one of those guys behind me (in points) ‑‑ if I’m going to ride in the back — that I’m going to assume is going to win the race. That moves my points position down even further. I don’t think 18 points is enough to just go out there and ride around. I just don’t think that’s safe. I remember last year, I think I was 18th going into the final race, and I crossed the line on the white flag in 22nd, out, and had to battle my way up there on the final lap to advance. I just don’t know the proper way to do it. You always think that there’s going to be a big wreck there that takes out a lot of cars, but there wasn’t last year, so I don’t know. We’ll think about it, but my gut feeling is we’ll probably have to go there and race hard.”

#11 FedEx Racing – 2015 Crew Roster

Crew Chief – Dave Rogers

Car Chief – Joe Fiorelli

Engineers – Chris Gabehart, Kenny Oates

Shock Specialist – Ron Denton

Tire Specialist – Jamie Turski

Mechanics – Joey Forgette, Jerad Hewitt, Jason Clements

Spotter – Chris Lambert

Front Tire Changer – Dustin Necaise

Front Tire Carrier – Brandon Pegram

Rear Tire Changer – Mike Hicks

Rear Tire Carrier – Heath Cherry

Jack Man – Nate Bolling

Gas Man – Caleb Hurd

Pit Crew Coordinator – Paul Alepa

Athletic Director – Mike Lepp

Transportation – Kyle Bazzell, Bob Hannigan