Race Report: KansasOctober 7, 2014
Denny Hamlin finished seventh in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, a solid finish for the FedEx team, placing them fifth in points.
A two-tire pit strategy call by crew chief Darian Grubb and quick work by the FedEx crew had the #11 machine third in line for the restart with 33 laps to go, however, in the scramble for turn one on the restart, Hamlin got shuffled back to seventh where he would eventually finish in the 267-lap event won by Joey Logano.
"Well, you know it's kind of a best case scenario for us in our FedEx Office Toyota team," said Hamlin. "Just a solid day. We didn't think we were going to contend for a win here today, but we knew we could contend for a top-five, top-10 finish and we did. I'm proud of my team -- no mistakes on pit road, just nice smooth day."
After starting 25th and initially battling a loose race car, the FedEx crew made adjustments to the car during the first pit stop that allowed Hamlin to steadily move his way up in the order, cracking the top-10 by lap 75.
While battling to stay in the top-10, Denny had a scare as he reported smoke coming from the dash of his #11 FedEx Office Toyota. There wasn't any issue with performance so Hamlin stayed out as the electrical problem was traced to a faulty cooling fan switch.
With the electrical problem out of the way, Hamlin and the team continued to keep the top-10 competitors in their sights, falling as far back to 15th at one point. But the team rallied during each stop and Denny picked off opponents one by one as the laps clicked down.
"I feel good about where we're at," said Hamlin. "It was a good race for us all around. There are some guys that are faster than us week in and week out and they had some issues -- we didn't and kind of capitalized on that and finished well. Really proud of this FedEx team -- this is a good run for us and this is obviously the type of runs that we need to keep moving on."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.