FedEx Racing Team Finishes 18th at Sonoma RacewayJune 29, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished 18th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma, Calif., Raceway after a loose wheel, prior to the first scheduled pit stop put the FedEx Freight Toyota on an alternate pit strategy in the race won by Kyle Busch.
Hamlin started 15th and fell back as far as 22nd before reporting the loose wheel, forcing the team to pit under green at lap 16, dropping Hamlin deep in the running order. A caution followed seven laps later, giving the FedEx team a chance to fix any damage caused by the loose wheel. Crew chief Dave Rogers took the opportunity to change the teams strategy and continued to pit off sequence during the next two cautions.
As the laps clicked, Hamlin needed a long green flag run to gain much needed track position, however the caution flag flew just shy of the leaders fuel window allowing them to pit under yellow, spoiling Hamlin’s chances of advancing, resulting in the 18th place finish.
“I felt like we had a top-five or top-ten FedEx car today, but the loose wheel in the beginning ended up putting us at a disadvantage,” said Hamlin. “It looked like we were going to be okay, but the cautions just didn’t fall our way.”
The finish by Hamlin kept him 13th in the NASCAR standings after 16 of 26 regular season races, 178 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
The series returns to action next Sunday, July 5, at Daytona International Speedway.