Event: AAA 400
Date/Time: Sept. 30/2 p.m. ET
2011 winner: Kurt Busch
2011 polesitter: Martin Truex Jr.
Distance: 400 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 1 mile
Banking: 26 degrees
Track Shape: Oval
Loudon Recap: Denny Hamlin was dominant in Sunday’s NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading 193 of 300 laps in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota en route to a series-leading fifth victory of the 2012 season in Round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The Virginia native sliced through the field from his 32nd-place starting position to take the lead for the first time on Lap 94, and could not be challenged on a late-race restart to pull away from runner-up Jimmie Johnson to the checkered flag.
Hamlin and the #11 team were the class of the field throughout the weekend at the one-mile oval, leading all three practice sessions. However, a miscue in tire pressures for qualifying put Hamlin deep in the field on the starting grid. It didn’t take long for Hamlin to work his way to the front, driving all the way to 12th by the first caution at Lap 40. Once he took the lead, the only scare came when a piece of plastic stuck to the grille of the #11 machine, causing water and oil temperatures to rise. Hamlin was able to clear the debris by pulling up behind Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Kyle Busch. The victory is the 22nd of Hamlin’s career and 100th for JGR, and moved Hamlin up one spot to third in the Chase standings following New Hampshire, seven markers behind leader Johnson after two of 10 playoff races.
Dover Preview: The Series heads to Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s 400-lap event at the ‘Monster Mile.’ Hamlin is making his 14th-career start at Dover this weekend, and he started 10th and finished 18th at the track in June’s FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks. Hamlin holds a pair of top-five finishes at Dover, fourth-place results in June 2007 and May 2010. Hamlin was victorious in NASCAR’s most recent race on a concrete surface, at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August.
Race Series Date Start Finish Laps (Led)
FedEx 400 Sprint Cup June 3, 2011 10 18 400/400 2
AAA 400 Sprint Cup Oct. 2, 2011 11 18 400/400
FedEx 400 Sprint Cup May 15, 2011 26 16 400/400
AAA 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 26, 2010 4 9 400/400
Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup May 16, 2010 14 4 400/400
AAA 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 27, 2009 13 22 398/400
Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup May 31, 2009 16 36 232/400
Camping World RV 400 Sprint Cup Sept. 21, 2008 3 38 362/400
Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup June 1, 2008 33 43 16/400
Dodge Dealers 400 Nextel Cup Sept. 23, 2007 3 38 308/400 61
Autism Speaks 400 Nextel Cup June 4, 2007 29 4 400/400
Dover 400 Nextel Cup Sept. 24, 2006 23 9 400/400
Neighborhood Excellence Nextel Cup June 4, 2006 7 11 400/400
Averages/Totals 14.8 20.5 86.8% 63
FedEx Office – Closest to Dover International Speedway: 132 Elkton Road, Newark, DE 19711, (302) 368-5080
Thousand Oaks, Calif., Along for the Ride in Dover: The FedEx Office store location in Thousand Oaks, Calif., will be recognized with its “5024” code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend. The AMGEN on-site store team is a leading team in the President’s Club program.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION — Dover International Speedway:
How is your mindset heading into Dover this weekend?
“Well, I’m going to be optimistic when I go there. Darian (Grubb) and the team have been working on that race track for quite a long time the last few weeks, working on a setup that would make me comfortable on that race track. The car is going to be good. I just have to have an open mind when I get out there for the first green flag run and have faith that I can do it. I’ll be leaning on my teammates quite a bit this weekend. Obviously they are both very good at that track.”
2012 FEDEX RACING – TEAM ROSTER
Crew Chief: Darian Grubb – Floyd, Va. Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise – Gulfport, Miss.
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.