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Hamlin Manages 15th Place Finish in Kentucky

July 10, 2016

Denny Hamlin finished 15th in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the freshly paved 1.5-mile Kentucky Motor Speedway, unable to make up track position during the 267-lap event, won by Brad Keselowski.

Hamlin started 10th and fought with the balance on the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota throughout the race, and adjustments by the FedEx team on pit road never brought the car to life.

“My FedEx crew made a ton of adjustments to try and help me get the stability I needed to be able to pass,” said Hamlin. “The new asphalt and the tire just didn't agree with our car, and nothing really seemed to give me what I needed to be fast enough to catch up with the leaders.”

After pitting for right-side tires and fuel, Hamlin lined up 11th for the final restart with 67 laps to go, 10 laps later crew chief Mike Wheeler told Hamlin to start saving fuel. Hamlin pulled the reins back on the #11 and slipped to 20th while managing fuel consumption. As cars ahead pitted for a splash of fuel, Hamlin began picking up spots, but it wouldn't be enough as the leaders slowed the race pace enough to make it to the end on fuel, resulting in the 15th place finish for Hamlin.

Hamlin dropped one spot to 11th in the NASCAR standings after 18 of 26 regular season races.

The series returns to action Sunday, July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.