Hamlin, FedEx Racing Finish Third in Bristol Night RaceAugust 24, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished third in Saturday night’s prestigious Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, leading 54 laps in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota in the 500-lap event won by Joey Logano.
Hamlin lined up third for the final restart with 64 laps to go and maintained that spot to the checkered flag behind Logano and runner-up Kevin Harvick. It was the eighth top-five finish of the 2015 season for the FedEx Racing Team.
“It was a pretty solid day for our FedEx Camry,” said Hamlin, the August 2012 Bristol Night Race winner. “We showed good speed in practice on Friday, but the track changes so much at night and we just lost the handle a little bit.”
Hamlin posted a new track record for the pole position in qualifying, leading the field to the green flag at the high-banked, half-mile concrete oval. He led the first 26 laps of the race before giving way to teammate Kyle Busch. After a pair of cautions and pit stops, Hamlin retook the lead on Lap 128 and led for another 27 circuits.
The #11 machine, however, began to become too tight for Hamlin, as he fell back in the running order during the race’s midpoint. Track position was at a premium throughout the night, and quick work on pit road by the FedEx team -- and the first pit stall -- kept Hamlin in the game.
He steadily worked back into the top-five as the laps clicked before the race’s final caution. Four tires and a wedge adjustment got Hamlin out in third for the restart.
The finish kept Hamlin ninth in the NASCAR standings following Bristol, 196 points behind leader Harvick after 24 of 26 regular season races. The Series will enjoy the final off-weekend of the season before returning to action at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on September 5.