Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin finished fourth in Sunday’s Coca Cola 600 after winning the pole with a track-record lap on Thursday. Hamlin led the first six laps in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, spending the majority of the race inside the top 15.
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Hamlin – pole 5/23/13
“We just could never hit it,” said Hamlin post-race. “We just hung around the top-five, but the pit crew did an awesome job. Luckily, we got the pole and really made up some positions on pit road, so hats off to the pit crew. They stepped up big time today and proud of our whole FedEx Office team. We need solid runs like this.”
Kyle Busch – Charlotte damage – 5/26/13
The longest race in the NASCAR season was not kind to Hamlin’s JGR teammate Kyle Busch, whose No. 18 M&Ms Toyota sustained damage on Lap 122, when a guide cable for the “CamCat,” the remote-control mobile camera that crosses the frontstretch, broke and fell across the track; Busch was leading the race at the time.
Busch led 65 laps during the early part of the race, but on Lap 258, Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost engines at the same time, ending both drivers’ evenings. Busch was credited with a 38th-place finish.
No. 18 – garage – 5/26/13
“I commend NASCAR first of all for taking the initiative and letting us all repair our damaged cars from the issue that we had earlier in the race,” said Busch. “Appreciate that, but from there I thought we were about a fourth or fifth place car tonight. We had been running first, second or third most of the evening, but just catastrophic engine failure – it seems to be that time of year again. I hate it for all my guys. They worked too hard and they always do, but Dave Rogers (crew chief) and these guys – they pour their hearts and souls into this deal and it’s just so frustrating to see it end on a short note like that and not getting the finish that we needed. Now we go to Dover.”
Matt Kensth – February 2013
Matt Kenseth drove the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota to a 15th-place finish, two laps down after pitting three laps before a caution flag flew on Lap 304 during green-flag stops. Kenseth led 112 laps in the race.
Kevin Harvick won the race by 1.491 seconds over Kasey Kahne. Kurt Busch finished third, and former JGR driver Joey Logano finished fifth.
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Kenseth remains third in points, 51 behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Busch dropped three places to 11th, while Hamlin climbed three places to 24th.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series are all in action next weekend, Thursday through Sunday, May 30th through June 2nd, at Dover International Speedway. Keep up with the NASCAR action at www.nascar.com and joegibbsracing.com.