Hamlin, FedEx Racing Finish 17th at Las VegasFebruary 24, 2020
Denny Hamlin finished 17th in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, unable to overcome an ill-handling #11 FedEx Ground Toyota in the race won by Joey Logano.
Hamlin lined up fourth on the grid, but had to drop to the back of the field after the team was penalized for a technical inspection violation. At the drop of the green flag, Hamlin began reporting that the car was extremely loose and he felt like he was driving on ice.
As the race progressed, the FedEx crew made significant adjustments to the chassis during each pit stop, but Hamlin continued to struggle with the handling. Mired back in the pack in 24th, the team changed their strategy and stayed out during a caution with 90 laps to go in an effort gain valuable track position. The gamble paid dividends as the laps clicked and Hamlin was up to 14th when a caution waved with six laps remaining. Hamlin pitted with the rest of the leaders, but was penalized for speeding on pit road, sending him back to 24th for the green-white-checker finish.
Following the restart, the field scrambled back to the white flag as a multi-car accident unfolded in front of Hamlin, who dodged the melee, bringing the FedEx car back around to the checkers in 17th place.
“It was just a tough day all the way around for our FedEx team,” said Hamlin. “We just didn't have a good handle on the car throughout the entire race. We finally worked our way up into the top-15 and the pit road speeding penalty killed our chances of any kind decent finish.”
The series returns to action Sunday, March 1 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.