Hamlin Cuts Tire, Finishes 33rd at MichiganJune 14, 2016
Denny Hamlin cut a left rear tire and hit the inside retaining wall with 11 laps to go in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, relegating the #11 FedEx Office team to a 33rd place finish in the race won by Joey Logano.
After starting fourth, Hamlin held that position until after the first caution at lap 46. On the restart, Hamlin reported that it took too long to get the car up to speed and that he couldn't hold the car down on the bottom. Both conditions remained throughout the race and hampered his ability to run among the top-five. With track position at a premium, Hamlin spent the majority of the race just inside the top-10.
Hamlin lined up 13th for his final restart with 33 laps to go and 13 laps later passed teammate Matt Kenseth, but as Hamlin crossed the line with 11 laps remaining, the left rear tire let go and Hamlin spun through the grass and hit the inside retaining wall. Hamlin was able to to drive the car back to the garage, but the FedEx teams day was over.
“It looked like we cut a left rear tire – I'm not sure if it was from the damage on the restart or we ran something over,” said Hamlin following the incident. “I was pretty low on the race track on a line to try and get out of the way of other cars so not sure if it was that or what exactly it was. Proud of the effort, we had a good FedEx Toyota – we had a top-three car I thought on speed, just restarts we weren't very good. That set us back for most of the race.”
Hamlin slipped one spot to 13th in the NASCAR standings after 15 of 26 regular season races.
The Series returns to action Sunday, June 26 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.