Fourth-Place Finish for FedEx Racing Team in CharlotteOctober 12, 2015
Denny Hamlin finished fourth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, running near the front of the field throughout the 334-lap rain-postponed event won by Joey Logano and putting the FedEx Racing Team in solid position after the first event of the Chase playoff Contender Round.
Hamlin restarted third following the race’s final caution on Lap 246 and maintained that spot at the checkered flag behind Logano, runner-up Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., recording his fifth top-five finish in the last seven races.
“It was another solid finish for our #11 FedEx Ground Camry today,” said Hamlin, who now has 12 top-five finishes in 30 races in 2015. “We didn’t have the outright speed we needed to win the race, but we were a top-five car throughout the day and we put together a mistake-free day and that’s what we needed to do.”
Rain Saturday pushed the scheduled night race to Sunday afternoon, forcing teams to adjust for the changing track conditions. Hamlin started fifth in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and stayed inside the top-10 in the early going. Varying strategies shuffled the running order at different points in the race, and track position was vital on the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval as passing was at a premium.
A series of mid-race cautions involving fellow Chase competitors bunched the field, but Hamlin was able to avoid trouble and stay up front for the final long green flag run to end the race.
The finish moved Hamlin into fourth in the standings after the first of three Contender Round races, currently 11 points ahead of the Chase cutline. The Series returns to action next Sunday, Oct. 18, at Kansas Speedway.