Late Stop for Fuel Relegates FedEx Team to 27th at Watkins GlenAugust 10, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished 27th in Sunday’s 90-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International after being forced to stop on the final lap for fuel in the event won by Joey Logano.
Hamlin needed one more late-race caution to make it to the end on gas, but the event stayed green from Lap 60 to the checkered flag, and the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota began to run out of the fuel on the backstretch of the long road course on Lap 89.
It was an eventful day for the FedEx Racing Team at the 2.45-mile, seven-turn circuit. Hamlin started 13th and was running comfortably inside the top-15 in the early going. However, he was caught speeding on pit road during his first stop and forced to restart from the tail end of the field. During that restart, the field stacked up and Hamlin sustained significant damage to his car’s nose.
The hood of the #11 FedEx Toyota flipped up, and Hamlin drove two laps with limited vision. He pitted multiple times for repairs through the race’s midpoint, and returned to action still on the lead lap. Varying strategies among teams left some drivers, including Hamlin, close to making it to the scheduled distance.
The race stayed green, however, and the strategy was foiled as Hamlin came to pit road on the final lap to get gas. Logano passed Kevin Harvick in the final turn after Harvick also ran out of fuel.
Hamlin moved up one spot to 10th in the NASCAR standings following Watkins Glen, 192 points behind leader Kevin Harvick with four races remaining in the regular season. The Series returns to action on Sunday, August 16 at Michigan International Speedway.