RACE INFO: Event: Coke Zero 400 Date/Time: July 2/7:30 p.m. ET 2010 winner: Kevin Harvick 2010 polesitter: Kevin Harvick Distance: 160 laps/400 miles Track Length: 2.5 miles Banking: 31 degrees Track Shape: Tri-Oval

EXPRESS NOTES:  Sonoma Recap: Denny Hamlin led 12 laps early in Sunday’s race on the road course in Sonoma, Calif., but contact from a competitor midway through the 110-lap event caused damage to the #11 FedEx Toyota that eventually led to a broken left-rear track bar mount, extensive time in the garage for repairs and a 37th-place finish. Hamlin looked strong early on, moving from his fourth-place starting position up to the lead by Lap 6. Staying inside the top-10 through the first round of green flag pit stops, the car seemed to be one that could contend for the victory. However, Hamlin was hit from behind in Turn 11 on the 1.99-mile road course just past the halfway point of the race, causing damage to the left-rear of his machine. At first, the damage appeared minimal, but after a few more restarts and turns on the tight, technical track, Hamlin radioed to crew chief Mike Ford that something was wrong with the rear of the #11 car. He came to pit road so the crew could assess the damage, where they discovered a broken left-rear track bar mount, and instructed him to the garage. After lengthy repairs, Hamlin returned to the track 10 laps down to the leaders and he eventually took the checkered flag in 37th to race-winner Kurt Busch. The finish dropped Hamlin two spots to 11th in the standings following Sonoma, now 110 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

Daytona Preview: The Series heads back to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400. Hamlin was in position to win the season-opening Daytona 500, running third with two laps remaining before an incident on the backstretch caused right-front damage, repairs on pit road and a 21st-place result. Hamlin is making his 12th career Cup start at Daytona this weekend, with a best finish of third in the July 2009 event. In that race, the Virginia-native started sixth and led 63 laps. Hamlin has led at least one lap in his last four Cup starts at the ‘World Center of Racing,’ including seven in this year’s Daytona 500 and four in last summer’s Coke Zero 400. In total, he has led 123 laps at the track.

HAMLIN CONVERSATION – DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: How exciting is racing at Daytona International Speedway? “I think it’s an exciting race for everyone.  Even the teams that maybe run mediocre at times, Daytona is always their chance to win a race because it puts everyone on such a level playing field that no matter what you got under you, you’re capable of winning.  I think that part of it is exciting.  Now that they’ve repaved it, it almost seems like we’re racing at a different race track.  So, for me the Daytona that I won on is the old Daytona and we don’t even run on that anymore.  It feels like a total different race track, so it’s hard for me to bring back memories when I feel like I’m racing somewhere else.”


Crew Chief:  Mike Ford– Morristown, Tenn.                      Front Tire Changer: Nick Krizmanich – Kenosha, Wis. 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. Shocks: Drew Bible – Coldwater, Mich.                   Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry – Belmont, N.C. Tire Specialist: Patrick Mullen – Brick, N.J.                   Jackman: Nate Bolling – Swanton, Ohio Engine Tuner: Chris Woodward – Franklin, N.H.           Gas Man: Scott Wood – Liberty, S.C. Mechanic: Rick Bray – Placerville, Calif.                       Pit Crew Coordinator:  Paul Alepa – Vienna, Va. Mechanic: John Furino – Long Island, N.Y.                       JGR Athletic Director: Michael Lepp – Charlotte, N.C. Spotter: Curtis Markham – Fredericksburg, Va.

Hauler Driver: Jerry Hess – Lancaster, Pa.          Hauler Driver: Frank Hodel – Blythe, Calif.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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