#11 FedEx Ground Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: 1000Bulbs.com 500
Date/Time: Sunday, Oct. 13/2:00 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 188 Laps/500.8 Miles
Track Shape: Tri-Oval
Track Length: 2.66 Miles
Banking: 33 degrees
2018 Winner: Aric Almirola
Dover Recap: Denny Hamlin recorded his 15th top-five finish of the season on Sunday with a fifth-place finish at Dover International Speedway in his 500th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. After starting from the pole position, Hamlin kept the #11 FedEx machine up front throughout most of Stage 1, only relinquishing the lead in order to visit pit road for his first green-flag pit stop. Following the round of stops, Hamlin returned to the top spot, eventually taking the Stage 1 win, securing a playoff bonus point in the process. Leading the field to the green for Stage 2, Hamlin showed the way again, until pitting with 54 laps remaining in the segment. Hamlin assumed the top spot following the scheduled stops, however, the FedEx car was beginning to develop a tight condition as the segment progressed. As the laps wound down, Hamlin got trapped behind a lapped car and Martin Truex Jr. passed the #11 with 10 laps remaining in the Stage. Hamlin started the final segment next to Kyle Larson and tried to keep up with Larson, but the evolving tight condition returned to the FedEx car. A lack of cautions hampered crew chief Chris Gabehart’s ability to dial in enough adjustment to give Hamlin the handling he needed, and the FedEx car eventually faded to fifth by the time the checkered flag waved. Hamlin led the most laps, with 218, but Larson went on to score his first victory of the season.
Talladega Superspeedway Preview: The Series returns to the “Biggest and Fastest” track in NASCAR, Talladega Superspeedway, for Sunday’s 500-mile race. Coming off a fifth-place finish at Dover, Hamlin looks to add his second career victory at the track and score his team’s fifth win of the 2019 season.
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Laps Led: 302
Avg. Start: 17.2
Avg. Finish: 18.3
Hamlin Conversation – Talladega:
Is Talladega as much of a wild card as everyone says?
“It’s definitely a wild card. Most anyone can win at Talladega. Strategy plays such a big role. Not by the crew chief, by the driver. Trying to put yourself in the right lane at the right time is the name of the game.”
You are now 15 points behind the points leader, Martin Truex Jr. What is your FedEx Racing team’s focus as you get ready for Talladega?
“We just have to stay on our game. Talladega is known as the biggest and the fastest course in the circuit. We’ve finished top five there six times, including a win, so we have had success. We just want to stay focused and patient so we can continue to climb up the leaderboard and be up front at the end.”
FedEx Ground Along for the Ride at Talladega: The #11 car features the letters “GPLS” on its B-post to recognize the FedEx Ground Great Plains district for excelling in safety performance during the first quarter.