FedEx Racing Express Facts – Atlanta Motor Speedway
#11 FedEx Ground Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Date/Time: Feb. 25/2 p.m. ET
Distance: 325 laps/500.5 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Track Shape: Quad Oval
Banking: 24 degrees
2017 Winner: Brad Keselowski
Press Kit: Download the 2018 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.
Daytona Recap: Denny Hamlin finished third in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, overcoming a pit road penalty and avoiding a number of multi-car wrecks to position himself and the #11 FedEx Express Toyota for a shot at the 2018 ‘Daytona 500 Champion’ title. Hamlin grabbed ahold of the lead with only two laps remaining in the 200-lap event, but a caution simultaneously appeared for a single-car incident, forcing the field to an overtime restart. Hamlin lined up first in line for the green-white-checkered finish and fought to maintain his lead, but he was challenged by a hard-charging outside line who was able to overtake the top spot. Hamlin crossed the finish line third to secure his first top-five finish of the 2018 season. Hamlin started the 500-mile event in second on the front row of the field, taking an immediate lead and showing the way for the race’s first 10 laps before the first caution flag of the event waved. He led the leaders down pit road during the caution to refresh the #11 FedEx Express Toyota with fuel, but received a one-lap penalty hold for pitting outside of his pit box after overshooting the stall. The penalty relegated Hamlin to 39th place, but he maintained his position and received the “free pass” to begin the second 60-lap Stage on the lead lap. From there, consistent lap times and swift pit stops by the #11 FedEx Racing team put Hamlin back into contention for the win in the race’s closing laps.
Atlanta Preview: The Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 500-mile event on the tough, 1.5-mile asphalt Georgia oval. Hamlin is a one-time winner at the track, taking the checkered flag when the race was run over Labor Day Weekend in 2012. Hamlin owns three top-fives and six top-10 finishes in 18 career races at Atlanta, leading 365 laps. Hamlin was relegated to a 38th-place finish one year ago after completing just 182 of 325 circuits.
Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares: This season, FedEx is tying the performance of the #11 FedEx Toyota on the track to its efforts to improve road safety through a new program, Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares, by donating $111 for each lap Hamlin leads and $11,000 for each race victory to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit working to protect kids on the road, at home and at play. FedEx will also contribute $111,000 to Safe Kids if the #11 team wins the 2018 NASCAR championship. New for the 2018 season, the Denny Hamlin Foundation will also match the total donation to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Hamlin led 22 laps during Sunday’s race at Daytona, triggering a $2,442 donation to Safe Kids on behalf of FedEx. Fans can track the total amount donated to date from the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program on the homepage of FedExRacing.com.
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Wins: 1 (2012)
Laps Led: 365
Avg. Start: 12.3
Avg. Finish 19.1
What are your expectations heading into the first intermediate race track of the season?
“Obviously, Daytona is a different animal than almost every track we go to, so Atlanta this weekend will give us a good idea of which teams will start off the season strong on more traditional tracks. Atlanta is a bit more worn out than most other intermediate tracks, so handling will definitely play a big role in Sunday’s race, but I’m always happy to see tires fall off in speed and put the race a bit more in the drivers’ hands. Our #11 team is confident we can go out there and compete for the win.”
FedEx Ground Northwest District Along for the Ride at Atlanta: The FedEx Ground Northwest district will be recognized for their safety performance this fiscal year by having their “NWST” call letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.