Date/Time: April 1/1 p.m. ET
2011 winner: Kevin Harvick 2011
polesitter: Jamie McMurray
Distance: 500 laps/263 laps
Track Length: 0.526-mile Banking: 12 degrees
Track Shape: Oval
2012 FedEx Racing Press Kit – Available for Download: Please visit www.fedexracing.com/presskit 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.
EXPRESS NOTES: California Recap: FedEx Racing team crew chief Darian Grubb elected to bring Denny Hamlin to pit road under caution for rain in hopes that Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway would restart, but the skies opened and the remainder of the 200-lap event was cancelled on Lap 129 with the #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry recording an 11th-place result. Hamlin started on the pole and never ran outside the top-five during the event, leading twice for two laps. NASCAR and the teams were in a race against Mother Nature throughout the day, and when the rain first started to fall on Lap 125 to bring out the race’s first caution, the radar showed what could have been a small passing cell with a window of dry weather behind it. However, the rain never stopped, and Hamlin — who pitted from second-place while the majority of lead lap cars stayed on-track — suffered the disappointing result behind winner Tony Stewart. Hamlin and Grubb worked during four green flag pit stops to help free up the #11 machine on initial throttle. Hamlin’s car would strengthen later in runs, and had closed the gap to Stewart to less than one second before the rain came. The finish dropped Hamlin two spots to seventh in the NASCAR standings following California, now 24 points behind leader Greg Biffle after five of 26 regular season races.
Martinsville Preview: The Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the year’s second short track race and one of Hamlin’s best NASCAR venues. The Virginia native has four wins and nine top-five finishes in 13 starts at the half-mile ‘paper clip.’ Hamlin won his first race at Martinsville in the spring 2008 event, and won three-straight Sprint Cup races at the track — in the fall of 2009 and a sweep of both races in 2010. Hamlin started fifth in the spring race one year ago and led 89 of 500 laps, but was forced to make a late pit stop for fuel under green and finished 12th. Last October, he started 11th and led 58 laps en route to a fifth-place result. Hamlin has two poles at Martinsville, in 2007 and 2010.
Race Series Date Start Finish Laps Led Tums Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Oct. 30, 2011 11 5 500/500 58 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup April 3, 2011 5 12 500/500 89 Tums Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Oct. 24, 2010 1 1 500/500 40 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup March 29, 2010 19 1 508/508 172 Tums Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Oct. 25, 2009 17 1 501/501 206 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup March 29, 2009 8 2 500/500 296 Tums QuikPak 500 Sprint Cup Oct. 19, 2008 12 5 504/504 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 Sprint Cup March 30, 2008 2 1 500/500 82 Subway 500 Nextel Cup Oct. 21, 2007 30 6 506/506 Goody’s 500 Nextel Cup April 1, 2007 1 3 500/500 125 Subway 500 Nextel Cup Oct. 22, 2006 3 2 500/500 28 DirecTV 500 Nextel Cup April 3, 2006 41 37 307/500 Subway 500 Nextel Cup Oct. 23, 2005 5 8 500/500 Averages/Totals 11.9 6.5 97.0% 1,096
FedEx Office – Closest to Martinsville Speedway: 3731 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, NC 27410, (336) 282-5650
Roanoke Service Center Along for the Ride at Martinsville: The FedEx Freight Roanoke, Va., service center is a district leader and will be recognized with its code, “ROA,” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION – Martinsville Speedway: What are your chances for a fifth victory at Martinsville Speedway? “I think we have a great chance to get back to victory lane at Martinsville. We have always been strong there and hopefully will be again this weekend. Darian (Grubb) and the FedEx guys have been giving me fast race cars each week and I think we’re close to another victory. I always enjoy going to Martinsville and being from Virginia, it’s good to get in front of the fans and run well.”