FedEx Racing Team Posts Top-10 Finish in Coca-Cola 600 at CharlotteMay 26, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished eighth in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, forced to make an unscheduled pit stop from the lead in the #11 FedEx Office Toyota with 37 laps to go in the season’s longest event won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards.
Hamlin retook the lead on a late restart on Lap 330 of 400, and kept a series of competitors -- including Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick -- at bay as the laps clicked. However, he radioed some 30 laps later that he thought he had a loose wheel, and crew chief Dave Rogers elected to bring him to pit road to change four tires.
The majority of the field still needed to make one more stop for fuel as well, but Edwards and a handful of teams stretched their gas to the end, as the FedEx Racing Team settled for an eighth-place result.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the finish we deserved, but it would’ve been worse if some of those guys didn’t make it on fuel,” said Hamlin, who led twice for 53 laps on Sunday. “The FedEx Team gave me another fast car this weekend, and it was great to lead some laps and get in a position to try to win another race. I’m confident in our program right now and extremely happy for Carl (Edwards) getting his first win here at JGR.”
Hamlin started fifth and ran among the top-10 throughout the event. The #11 machine showed its strength on long runs during the race, as Hamlin took the lead from Joey Logano on Lap 44 and led 20 laps in the early going.
A tight condition in the car dropped Hamlin back to ninth through the race’s midpoint, but with the help of good adjustments and quick work by the FedEx crew on pit road, Hamlin worked his way back through the field.
The finish marked Hamlin’s fifth top-10 result of the season, and moved him up one spot to 15th in the NASCAR standings after 12 of 26 regular season races. The Series now heads to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.