Top-Five Finish for FedEx Office Team in Las VegasMarch 8, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, charging from a 19th-place starting position to record his second top-five finish in three races to start the 2015 season.
Hamlin made his final pit stop under green from the third position with 40 laps remaining in the 267-lap event won by Kevin Harvick, hoping for one perfect adjustment to make a run at the checkered flag. Unfortunately, the change made the #11 FedEx Office Toyota just too loose down the stretch, as Hamlin crossed the finish line in fifth.
“We finished about how we ran throughout the day,” said Hamlin, who also finished in the top-five (fourth) in the season-opening Daytona 500. “We were just too loose at the end. It was a solid day for our FedEx Office team, and we are just a little bit away from competing for wins each week. We’ll get there.”
Hamlin started 19th and moved forward immediately after seeing the green flag, passing six cars on the opening lap and settling into the top-10 after just 15 circuits. He remained there throughout the race and methodically worked into the top-five.
Crew chief Dave Rogers and the FedEx crew overcame a pair of setbacks during the event, including left-front damage sustained after contact on pit road early in the race, as well as right-rear damage as a result of an on-track incident involving Kasey Kane and Carl Edwards mid-race.
“I’m not sure if the damage helped or hurt our car, but fortunately, it wasn’t too bad,” continued Hamlin. “It was close to being a lot worse for us.”
Harvick won his first race of the season, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The fifth-place result moved Hamlin up to eighth in the NASCAR point standings after three of 26 regular season races.
The Series returns to action next Sunday, March 15 at Phoenix International Raceway.