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Feb 18, 2014 - 08:20 PM
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2014 Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 18, 2014 - 08:20 PM
2014 Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Dominant in Daytona: Denny Hamlin dominated Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, leading 27 of 75 laps en route to Victory Lane in the pre-season, non-points exhibition race. Hamlin made a daring, three-wide pass for the lead on Daytona’s backstretch with two laps remaining and held off the field to the checkered flag, winning the event for the second time in his career and first time since his 2006 rookie campaign. Hamlin started on the pole by way of a fan vote, logging the fastest lap time in final practice. A stout #11 FedEx Express Toyota allowed Hamlin to move from the back of the draft pack to the front with ease, winning all three segments in the race. Hamlin has now won consecutive Sprint Cup Series races, dating back to the 2013 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


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Daytona 500 Preview: Hamlin will make his ninth-career Daytona 500 start on Sunday in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. In 16 career Daytona points races, Hamlin has lead at least one lap in 11 events, including 33 in last year’s Daytona 500. Driving up from a 35th-place starting position, Hamlin restarted second after the final caution, but wasn’t in the preferred outside groove, fading to 14th for the checkered flag. The FedEx Racing Team posted the 22nd-fastest qualifying time in last Sunday’s time trials at Daytona, and Hamlin will start 11th in Thursday night’s second Budweiser Duel race to determine his starting position for Sunday’s ‘Great American Race.’

FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway: 2274 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114, (386) 323-7840

How will you carry over Saturday’s performance into the Daytona 500?

“Obviously, everyone saw that we had a really strong FedEx Camry. It was the best car in the Sprint Unlimited, and our (Daytona) 500 car has even better wind tunnel numbers, so I’m optimistic that we can run well again. Winning these plate races is all about putting yourself in position to make a run at the end, avoid the wrecks that are bound to happen, and get a little luck with the draft, whether it’s a push from behind or maintaining your lead. We have been in position many times in the Daytona 500 to try to win, but different circumstances have prevented us from getting it done. Hopefully, this year is the year to get the #11 car to Victory Lane.”

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