Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Date/Time: August 17/7:30 p.m. ET
Distance: 500 laps/266.5 miles
Track Length: .533 mile
Track Shape: Oval
2018 Winner: Kyle Busch
Press Kit: Download the 2019 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.
Michigan (Consumers Energy 400) Recap:
Denny Hamlin finished second to Kevin Harvick at Michigan International Speedway Sunday in a race where the closing laps had everyone guessing who had enough to fuel to make it to the finish. Hamlin and the #11 team had a fast FedEx Office Toyota, shooting from their starting position of 14th to the top five by Lap 23 and to the lead by Lap 40. Hamlin stayed in the top five for most of the 200-lap event, well ahead of numerous wrecks that victimized several mid-pack cars throughout the race. He led twice for a total of six laps. The final pit stop of the day proved pivotal to the race’s outcome. The leaders all came to pit road after a caution on Lap 150, with some filling their fuel tanks enough to make it to Lap 200 and some coming up a little short. As the final laps of the race ticked down, some of the top five had to peel off for fuel, while Harvick stayed out front and Hamlin worked to chase him down. The #11 wasn’t fast enough and crossed the line for a runner-up finish – Hamlin’s fifth straight top-five finish.
Bristol (Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race) Preview:
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads next to the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” for 500 laps of action at Bristol Motor Speedway for a Saturday night race on August 17. With five top-five finishes, including a win, in the past five races, Hamlin and team will be looking to continue their momentum as playoff racing approaches in the coming weeks.
Hamlin Bristol Statistics:
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Wins: 1 (2012)
Poles: 3 (2013, 2014, 2015)
Laps Led: 618
Avg. Start: 14.0
Avg. Finish 14.9
How is your team making adjustments to racing at tracks the second time around?
“As we did in Michigan, the FedEx team did a great job adjusting from the last time we were there. The fastest car won the race, speed-wise, but I feel like we had a great FedEx Camry and performed better than last time. We secured a top-five finish last time out at Bristol, so our team is hard at work looking at what we can improve and how we can put ourselves in the best position to win.”
How is your team preparing for Bristol, and do you find it more difficult preparing for a night race?
“Our team is always working hard to prepare for every race, and of course we learn about ourselves and our Toyota Camry through practice, but how we practice is totally different from how we race at night. As a result, you see a lot of experienced drivers perform well at night races, and we will have to be at the top of our game to stay competitive.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!