#11 FedEx Office Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Coke Zero Sugar 400
Date/Time: July 6/7:30 p.m. ET
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Track Shape: Tri-Oval
Banking: 31 degrees
2018 Winner: Erik Jones
Chicago Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 15th in Sunday’s rain-delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, following an on-track incident in Stage 2 that caused significant damage to the #11 FedEx Express Toyota in the event won by Alex Bowman. During a pit stop under caution on Lap 105, NASCAR deemed the FedEx crew had an “uncontrolled tire,” which forced Hamlin to give up his fourth-place position to restart at the tail end of the field. The lost track position put the #11 machine back in traffic, and Hamlin spent the majority of the second segment mired back in the field. Late in Stage 2, Hamlin got a huge run coming off Turn 4, and made contact with Daniel Suarez, causing heavy right-front damage to the #11 Camry. He limped to the stage break and pitted multiple times for repairs. Ultimately, the damage caused an ill-handling racecar, and Hamlin rallied to finish 15th in the event. Hamlin started ninth, and was up to eighth by Lap 11 when lightning and a strong storm system rolled through the track. The race was red-flagged for nearly three hours. Upon resumption, Hamlin pitted for fresh tires, and crew chief Chris Gabehart employed exemplary pit strategy in Stage 1. Hamlin made his second stop with just five laps to go in the stage, and with others on varying strategies, he assumed the lead. The caution flew two laps later for an on-track incident, and Hamlin won the stage. It was his third segment win of the season and came with an additional playoff point.
Daytona Preview: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be returning to the world center of racing next weekend for a 400-mile duel at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 6. Hamlin and team will be seeking Denny’s second win at the high banks of Daytona in 2019, marking his third win on the season.
Hamlin Daytona Statistics:
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Wins: 2 (2016, 2019)
Laps Led: 437
Avg. Start: 16.8
Avg. Finish 17.0
Chicago dealt the team a tough break. How do you regroup and get ready for Daytona?
“We had a strong FedEx Camry in Chicago, but unfortunately that penalty in the second stage ruined our day. Track position is so important, and in previous races once we’ve lost that, it is very difficult to recover. We’ve had some tough days, but we need to continue to take the positives and keep giving it our best shot every week and the wins will come.”
Do you feel any pressure to repeat your success earlier this year at Daytona, or feel you have a slight edge going into the race?
“We had a great race earlier this year in Daytona, but this weekend will be entirely different. Just like all the other teams, we have learned a lot about ourselves in the weeks since the Daytona 500, and we will be fighting for a repeat win, but we are ready and preparing for the challenge that is coming our way.”
FedEx District 74 Upstate New York Along for the Ride at Daytona International Speedway: For the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, the FedEx Office #11 will feature the letters D74 on its B-Post. This Upstate New York team is being recognized for their top performance on unlocking their potential as a result of Spring Revenue Generation training initiatives based on performances tracked through May 31.