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Jul 02, 2014 - 07:24 PM
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2014 Daytona II (Coke Zero 400): Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 02, 2014 - 07:21 PM
2014 Daytona II (Coke Zero 400): Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

Event: Coke Zero 400
Date/Time: July 5/7:30 p.m. ET
2013 winner: Jimmie Johnson
2013 polesitter: Kyle Busch
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Banking: 31 degrees
Track Shape: Tri-Oval


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Kentucky Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 43rd in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway after a right-front tire blew on the #11 FedEx Office Toyota on Lap 27, sending Hamlin into the outside retaining wall for heavy contact and damage too severe to repair. Hamlin started fourth and was up to third early in the 267-lap race won by Brad Keselowski, hoping to maintain his equipment before the competition caution on Lap 30 after rain earlier in the day washed the rubber off the track. The tire gave way just prior to the caution, prematurely ending the FedEx team’s race.

Daytona Preview: The Series returns to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 under the lights at the “World Center of Racing.” Hamlin has found great success in restrictor-plate races in 2014, and at Daytona in February, the #11 team completed one of the most successful “SpeedWeeks” in history, with victories in the prestigious Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and the Budweiser Duel qualifying race before a runner-up result in the Daytona 500. To follow that up, Hamlin scored his first points victory of the season at Talladega Superspeedway, leading 12 laps en route to victory lane for his first career restrictor-plate win in a points-paying event. Hamlin has three top-five finishes in 17 Cup Series starts at Daytona, with a career-best third-place result in the summer event at the 2.5-mile, high-banked track.

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

Western Rockies Along for the Ride in Daytona: The FedEx Ground Western Rockies district will be recognized for exceptional safety performance with its district code “WROK” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota. The Western Rockies district extends from its Salt Lake City hub to include most of Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

Why do you think the FedEx team has had so much success in restrictor plate races this year?

“We have obviously had a lot of success in the restrictor plate races this year. It’s important that you have a fast car that can work out front and come from the back. Our FedEx team has had great superspeedway cars this year. It has worked well in the draft and we have been in great position to win those races. Secondly, I think I have learned a lot about that style of racing over the years. I was always the guy that tried to start a new line and make something happen, and it didn’t always work out for me. I think this year I have been a little more patient and let the race come to me a bit more. In the Daytona 500, we were just a little too far back on the last lap and made it up to second. I knew at Talladega that I wanted to be the one out front holding people off. I think that has been the preferred position in the last few plate races.”

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