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Aug 06, 2014 - 06:52 AM
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2014 Watikins Glen: Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 06, 2014 - 06:49 AM
2014 Watikins Glen: Denny Hamlin NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

Pocono Recap: Denny Hamlin finished ninth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in his first event with interim crew chief -- and longtime FedEx Racing Team engineer -- Mike Wheeler. Hamlin was in position to capitalize on a differing fuel strategy, running in third before a caution flag with 20 laps to go erased a big gap back to the rest of the field. On the ensuing restart, Hamlin fell back on older tires and came to pit road during the event’s final caution on Lap 254 (of 260). In the final three-lap dash to the checkered flag, Hamlin drove from 14th up to ninth at the finish line behind winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Pocono result was Hamlin’s fourth-consecutive top-10 finish dating back to Daytona International Speedway in July.


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Watkins Glen Preview: The Series heads to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International for Sunday’s 90-lap event on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course. Hamlin has four-career top-10 finishes in eight starts at The Glen, with a runner-up result in his second trip to the track in 2007. Hamlin started 20th and finished 19th at Watkins Glen one year ago.

FedEx Office – Closest to Watkins Glen International: 605 W. State St., Ithaca, NY 14850, (607) 272-0202

Northwest Region Along for the Ride in Watkins Glen: The FedEx Ground Northwest district will be recognized for exceptional safety performance with its district code “NWST” on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The Northwest district includes the Portland hub and surrounding stations in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the northern Idaho Panhandle.

How was your first race with interim crew chief Mike Wheeler?

“It was pretty seamless. ‘Wheels’ (Wheeler) has been with this FedEx team for a long time and he has been with me since I got into the Cup Series almost 10 years ago, so I knew it was going to be pretty smooth in terms of me telling him what I needed in the car and what we were thinking about for adjustments. Obviously, there was a learning curve for him to call a race as a crew chief, but he’s been in the position for strategy and fuel before, and he did a great job. We lacked a little bit of speed throughout the weekend, but he got us in a great strategy before that second-to-last caution. There were three of us at the front with a big lead on the rest of the pack and close on fuel. Ultimately, it didn’t play out that way, but we were able to get a top-10 finish and keep up some of our recent momentum.”

What does it take to be successful at Watkins Glen?

“Watkins Glen is definitely a faster road course than Sonoma, and not as technical. It’s still difficult to make up a lot of spots if you don’t start near the front, and like the last couple weeks, strategy will certainly come into play. We haven’t had all the success we would’ve liked at Watkins Glen in recent years, but we have a handful of top-10 finishes and hopefully we have another good car this weekend to be in the mix again.”

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