#11 FedEx Office Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date/Time: May 28/6 PM ET
Distance: 400 Laps/600 Miles
Track Length: 1.5 mile
Track Shape: Quad-oval
Banking: Turns: 17-20°; Straights: 5-11°
2016 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
All-Star Race Recap: Denny Hamlin took home a tenth-place finish in Saturday night’s Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway after making contact with Brad Keselowski in the final 10-lap dash to the finish, causing irreparable damage to the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota. Hamlin scored an average finish in the first three Stages that secured his spot amongst the top-10 drivers who would compete in the race’s final shootout. The #11 FedEx crew worked quickly on pit road to earn Hamlin four spots prior to the final restart, but his hopes of claiming the $1 million prize were quickly dashed after contact with Keselowski caused a left-rear tire rub that forced him to retire with only two laps remaining. Hamlin started the 70-lap event from ninth, and he maintained his position within the top-10 for the entirety of the race. Hoping to help tighten up a loose race car, Hamlin’s team elected to use their softer tires for Stage 2, and the decision paid off as he moved into the top-five. From there, the competitors’ varying strategies on pit road and three-wide racing saw Hamlin fluctuate between sixth and tenth until he was forced to withdraw the damaged #11 from the race.
Charlotte Preview: The Series prepares for the marquee event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the year’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, this Sunday, May 28th. Hamlin is on the hunt for his first points win at the 1.5-mile speedway, but he has still seen success at Charlotte earning himself six top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 23 starts there. Hamlin notched one of those top-five finishes during last year’s 600-mile race, finishing fourth after running in the top-10 for the entirety of the event. Hamlin will also compete in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin Salutes: Hamlin’s #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry will feature a special name on the windshield for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. This Memorial Day Weekend, as part of the NASCAR Salutes: 600 Miles of Remembrance program, each team will pay tribute to a fallen soldier. The #11 Camry will honor Army Air Corps Corporal John Harrison Kenner Jr. of Franklin, N.C., who was killed when his plane was shot down during his return trip from a bombing mission over the Polesti oil fields in Romania on August 17th, 1944. Members of Keener’s family will be in attendance for Sunday’s race.
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 2017 NASCAR championship.
To date, FedEx has donated $15,540 to Safe Kids through the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program. Fans can track the total amount donated to date from the Delivering Laps for FedEx Cares program on the homepage of FedExRacing.com.
Press Kit: Download the 2017 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, statistics and 2017 crew roster.
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Average Start: 11.4
Average Finish: 13.1
Laps Led: 292
Hamlin Conversation – CHARLOTTE:
What are some of the biggest challenges drivers face during the longest race of the year at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
“The obvious challenge is of course the physical stamina it takes to be up on the wheel for a 600 mile-race. It looks like it could be a hot day for Sunday’s race, so it’ll be important to stay hydrated to anticipate the heat we’ll be feeling in the car. Since the race transitions from afternoon to night, it’s also a challenge to get your car handling just right as things definitely change on track when the sun goes down.”
#11 FedEx Racing – 2017 Crew Roster
Crew Chief – Mike “Wheels” Wheeler
Car Chief – Leo Thorsen
Engineers – Justin Langdon, Sam McAuley
Shock Specialist – Drew Bible
Tire Specialist – Kerry Ferris
Mechanics – Tony Hamm, Scott Eldridge, Sean Kerlin
Spotter – Chris Lambert
Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise
Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks
Rear Tire Carrier: Ben Fischbeck
Jack Man: Nate Bolling
Gas Man: Caleb Hurd
Transportation – Frank Hodel, Josh Collins