#11 FedEx Ground Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Date/Time: August 19/7:30 PM ET
Distance: 500 Laps/266.5 Miles
Track Length: .533 mile
Track Shape: Oval
Banking: 24-28 degrees
2016 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Michigan Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 16th in Sunday’s 200-lap Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Hamlin started 10th and immediately started fighting a loose race car when the field took the green flag. The FedEx crew took advantage of the mandatory Stage cautions throughout the race to adjust the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, but the loose condition would come and go throughout the long green-flag runs, adding to the difficulty for the team to make the necessary adjustments. During the Stage 2 break, crew chief Mike Wheeler and Hamlin decided to gamble on an alternate strategy by pitting off sequence from the cars running ahead. The strategy would pay off later in the race allowing Hamlin to show the way as the leaders pitted. But the success of the strategy was contingent upon a caution waving with the FedEx car out front. The caution never came, and after leading 16 laps, Hamlin was forced to pit, dropping him back the 15th in the running order. As the race closed in on the checkered flag, Hamlin was trying to work his way back towards the front, when an ill-timed caution trapped the #11 in 15th. Another caution forced the race to overtime and Hamlin lined up 14th for the final restart, but in the scramble to the checkers, Hamlin found himself forced into the outside groove, resulting in the 16th-place finish.
Bristol Preview: The Series returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s 500-lap race under the lights at the Tennessee short track. Hamlin has captured three pole starting positions at “The Last Great Colosseum,” a stat that ties him for both a career- and Series-best among active drivers. When Hamlin visited Bristol earlier this season, he notched his 11th top-10 finish at the high-banked concrete oval.
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, Denny has led 266 laps and captured one win, and FedEx has donated $40,526 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.
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Poles: 3 (tied for career-best and Series-best)
Average Start: 14.6
Average Finish: 15.9
Laps Led: 607
Hamlin Conversation – BRISTOL:
Is short track racing at Bristol a welcomed stop on your schedule?
“I’m obviously a fan of short track racing, so I’m always eager to compete there (Bristol). It’s definitely a track where we know we can be a strong contender, and if I can stay out of trouble on Saturday night, I have no doubt our FedEx team will have a shot at the win. It’d be great to continue building some momentum leading into the Playoffs which aren’t too far away.”
FedEx Ground’s Gulf Coast District Along for the Ride at Bristol: FedEx Ground recognizes the company’s Gulf Coast district for its success in the areas of safety and service by featuring its “GCST” code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
#11 FedEx Racing – 2017 Crew Roster
Crew Chief – Mike “Wheels” Wheeler
Car Chief – Leo Thorsen
Engineers – Justin Langdon, Sam McAulay
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