When FedEx Paint Schemes: Express, Ground, Freight, Office were run
FedEx Express - orange:
Sprint Unlimited - 2/15
Daytona 500 - 2/23
Auto Club - 3/23
FedEx Office - blue:
Phoenix - 3/2
Texas - 4/6, March of Dimes
FedEx Freight - red:
Bristol - 3/16
FedEx Ground - green:
Las Vegas - 3/9
Sports Clips (2) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2014 at:
Darlington - 4/12
Atlanta - 8/31
Breakdown of all-time (203) wins by driver in the #11:
Cale Yarborough (55)
Ned Jarrett (49)
Darrell Waltrip (43)
Denny Hamlin (23)
Junior Johnson (11)
Bill Elliott (6)
Geoff Bodine (4)
Terry Labonte (4)
Bobby Allison (3)
Buddy Baker (2)
A.J. Foyt (1)
Mario Andretti (1)
Parnelli Jones (1).(11-17-2013)
Contract Status: Driver: 2014+; Primary Sponsors: 2014?; Manufacturer: 2014+
Sports Clips returns to the #11 at Darlington: Sport Clips Racing is excited to enter its sixth season (2014) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing and will serve as the primary sponsor of NASCAR's Denny Hamlin's # 11 Sprint Cup car in Darlington (April) and Atlanta (August). Through their partnership with Darlington Raceway, Sport Clips will be the entitlement sponsor for Friday night's Nationwide Series race, showcasing their support for VFW with the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Sport Clips will continue to use its NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW's mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families. As the "Official Haircutter" of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated more than $2 million to the organization through its annual "Help A Hero" campaign, which was established in 2007.. Eligible service members can now apply through April 30 at www.VFW.org/scholarship.(Sports Clips)(4-11-2014)
March of Dimes scheme for Hamlin at Texas: To help raise awareness for the March of Dimes and March for Babies walks around the country, Denny Hamlin and Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tight end Jason Witten will host the March of Dimes national ambassador family for a VIP experience during the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. For the seventh-consecutive NASCAR season, FedEx is working with the March of Dimes for a special #11 FedEx Office/March of Dimes paint scheme, in an effort to help give every baby a healthy start in life. Aidan Lamothe is the 2014 March of Dimes National Ambassador. Born 12 weeks premature, Aidan weighed just 3 pounds and spent 7 weeks in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). With the help of the March of Dimes, he is now a healthy 6-year-old.(FedExRacing), see images of the scheme on the #11 Team Schemes page.(4-4-2014)
Hamlin discusses issue with eye at Fontana: Friday at Martinsville Speedway, #11-Denny Hamlin talked about the series of events that caused him to set out the race at Auto Club Speedway:
"I literally thought on Friday that I was starting to get a sty. It happened sometime during practice whether it came in through the car or through the air conditioning unit through the helmet -- something, it came in through somewhere, but I don't remember the exact time when it happened. Friday evening I definitely felt an agitation right in the corner to my upper eyelid so I thought I was getting a sty because it just felt like one. Then Saturday, I woke up and it was a little worse. I ran through practice and vision was fine, but just a lot of watering and I didn't see any swelling of the eyelid so I knew it wasn't a sty at that point. I didn't go to the infield care center until late on Saturday. Me and my girlfriend went to the mall -- we were shopping around and it was bothering me so much that I contacted one of the NASCAR liaisons and asked if anyone was still at the infield care center. They said they would wait on me so they waited on me. They looked at it, they dyed it, they put it under a black light -- didn't see any scratches, didn't see anything in the eye.
Immediately we started trying to figure out what would be causing it if there's nothing in it. The only thing I could think of is I was starting to actually get a little stuffy on my left hand side of my face and my nose was running a little bit. I mentioned to them in trying to cover all the possibilities that I showed them a CT scan from January where I had a really, really bad sinus infection -- it was the worst the doctor has ever seen and Dr. Petty has been around a really, really long time.
So the only other option, I went to bed Saturday night, woke up Sunday and felt twice as worse -- pain was twice as worse and vision was slightly impaired over where it was Saturday. So I stayed in the infield care center for a couple hours and we tried to go over all the possibilities of what it could be and really since they didn't see anything in it, the only thing we could do was get an optometrist to come to the race track, which it was too late into the day for that, it was too late for me to go to one and come back in time so everyone came to an agreement that the best thing for me was to go to the hospital and get scanned in case.
There's tons of different possibilities, whether it be a blood clot -- anything that affects because there's more to it, but any time wind would hit my eye it would shoot a pain right to my temple so they thought that there was something really bad going on behind the eye that they didn't have the equipment in the infield care center -- you need some pretty -- you need to get a CT scan. By the time I got to the hospital and the optometrist came in with her microscope, saw the metal, got it out -- a portion of it, she couldn't get the rust out she said -- it would need a couple more days for that to harden to get out. Once the metal came out, I felt a lot better. We went home, the CT scan showed that I was perfectly clear on the sinus part of it.
Long story short, it won't keep me from going to the infield care center at any point. I wanted to race of course, no matter what. I felt like if I was going to be a liability I would have pulled myself during the race, but there's protocols that we have to go through and it's not just my safety that has got to be taken into account. We're racing around other guys and that's one of the fastest tracks we go to. What if I caused a wreck early on? I don't need to be a liability out there and obviously with this new format we hardly lost anything in points."(Toyota Racing PR)(3-29-2014)
Hamlin cleared to return at Martinsville: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #11-Denny Hamlin will race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway after NASCAR received official confirmation from his doctors that he has been medically cleared to return to regular racing activities. Hamlin first visited the infield care center at Auto Club Speedway Saturday night bothered with an irritation in his eye. He returned to the infield care center again on Sunday morning because his condition had worsened. It was at this time that it was determined by the medical team onsite that he would not be allowed to race due to a sinus infection that was impacting his vision. The doctors at the infield care center referred him to the local hospital for further evaluation. During the evaluation at the hospital a small piece of metal was also found to be in Hamlin's eye. Doctors were able to remove the sliver of metal and Hamlin felt immediate improvement to his condition. A CT Scan did not find any other complications and thus it is believed that the metal was actually the source of Hamlin's vision issues. He was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon and was given the doctor's approval to fly home. Hamlin was then evaluated by a doctor in the Charlotte area on Monday and was sent home to rest. He was instructed to return Wednesday for a follow-up examination. Following today's examination, his doctors provided the necessary approval for Hamlin to resume all racing activity without restriction. NASCAR has received official confirmation from his doctors clearing him to resume racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-26-2014)
More info on Hamlin expected Wednesday: #11-Denny Hamlin, who missed Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway, tweeted Tuesday evening, "With due respect to the Petty family I will send out a update tomorrow. Please keep their family in your thoughts tonight."(3-26-2014)
Earnhardt, Jr. wants NASCAR to address Hamlin's issue: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to know why there hasn't been more information about what caused #11-Denny Hamlin to miss Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin was taken to a local hospital shortly before the race with what Joe Gibbs Racing said was a sinus infection that affected his vision. But Earnhardt wondered aloud why there has been no official NASCAR statement or further explanation from Hamlin on what happened. No further updates were expected from NASCAR or Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday and Hamlin has not been officially cleared for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt said there were questions because he'd never heard of a driver being pulled from the race shortly before the start after not being cleared to race by NASCAR. "I'm worried the perception is bad for NASCAR and the perception is bad for Denny," Earnhardt said Tuesday. "... If Denny didn't race because his vision is blurred and he had a sinus infection, NASCAR should put out a release and say, 'This is the timeline of the events and this is why we made this choice and this is the protocol for going forward.' That answers everybody's questions. Don't you have questions? I have questions. We shouldn't have questions. We should all feel pretty comfortable with what happened." Hamlin is expected to see doctors in Charlotte this week. He cannot race until he is cleared by a NASCAR-approved doctor. If he does not qualify Friday at Martinsville or race on Sunday, he would need another medical exemption from NASCAR in order to remain eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(USA Today)(3-26-2014)
Hamlin to be further evaluated this week: #11-Denny Hamlin remained in a local hospital Sunday afternoon undergoing a CT scan to see what may be causing severe headaches and vision problems his Joe Gibbs Racing team confirmed. Sam Hornish Jr. substituted behind the wheel of the #11 FedEx Toyota in Sunday's Auto Club 400 because in the hour before the green flag dropped NASCAR did not medically clear Hamlin to compete. "We do (go forward assuming Denny will be back next week.)," his crew chief Darian Grubb said after the race. "But it's going to be touch and go for right now obviously with him still in the hospital getting a CT Scan. Last I heard the vision was getting worse and the pain was getting worse so we're just going to wait and see what happens. Hopefully we'll get some good news this afternoon." Before the race, JGR President J.D. Gibbs said initially the team thought it was a sinus infection that was causing the headaches and vision issues. But Grubb said it soon became apparent, it may be more serious. "For him to go the infield care center, for one thing, it must have been pretty bad for him," Grubb said. "Then it got to where he couldn't see and was having trouble with vision in his left eye with all the pressure that was going on. At that point, NASCAR did some testing and knew he could not follow the finger going by his eyes as he should have been so they knew at that point,they weren't going to let him go. It wasn't just a headache, it was more serious than that. That's why they're doing the CT Scan now. He had them on the whole time and was just holding his head, it hurt him so bad. You could tell by the look on his face he was really worried." Team owner Joe Gibbs confirmed that Hamlin left the track immediately before the race started and that by late afternoon "they are still running tests. It will be later on before we get results."(NASCAR.com)(3-24-2014)
JGR Statement: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin was not medically cleared in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway because of a sinus infection that affected his vision. Hamlin was taken to a local hospital near the race track for additional evaluation and released. He will be further evaluated this week in Charlotte.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-24-2014)
Hamlin to miss Auto Club race; Hornish to fill in: #11-Denny Hamlin developed a sinus infection while in Fontana that has effected his vision. Doctors have advised him not to race. He was taken to the hospital for further treatment. Sam Hornish, Jr will fill in for Hamlin. Missing the race will not impact Hamlin's Chase changes because he qualified the car and would likely receive a medical exemption from NASCAR if it had been needed. Hornish will start the race from the rear because of the driver change.(3-23-2014)
Auto Club Speedway adds SAFER barrier: When #11-Denny Hamlin returns to Auto Club Speedway this week, he'll find more of the SAFER barrier in the area where he crashed last year. The Southern California facility has added an additional 1,000 feet of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier inside Turn 4, according to a track spokesman. The change was made in September, six months after Hamlin sustained a broken back vertebra after crashing into an unprotected area of the wall in the track's Sprint Cup Series event last March. In the wake of the accident, NASCAR officials said experts would reevaluate that section of the wall and recommend changes if necessary. SAFER barriers are typically first installed along the parts of track walls where impacts are most likely to occur, but it's not uncommon for the barriers to be added or altered in reaction to accidents. A Jeff Gordon hit at Las Vegas, an Elliott Sadler incident at Pocono and a Jeff Fuller accident at Kentucky each resulted in changes being made to walls or barriers at those facilities.(NASCAR.com)(3-19-2014)
Hamlin, Logano feud still lingers: Their feud started with some Twitter posts about the closing laps of the Daytona 500 and it heightened three weeks later at Bristol Motor Speedway, where an on-track spin nearly led to post-race fisticuffs. Things took a turn for the worse between #11-Denny Hamlin and #22-Joey Logano a week later at Fontana when the two drivers refused to give an inch while attempting to win. It led to a crash, a broken vertebra for Hamlin and a destroyed relationship between the former teammates. As they return this weekend to Bristol a year later, Hamlin has finally put his malevolent feelings toward Logano aside.
"We're OK," Hamlin said. "We don't talk or anything like that more than we should and really no less than we should, I would say. You can hold grudges all you want, but it's not going to make you any faster and it's not going to get you any closer to a championship. I'm bitter in ways, and in other ways it's been so long ago and there's so many trials and tribulations between then and now, that I think I'm a better person now and I think I'm a better driver now."
Said Logano: "I feel like we're fine. A year is a long time. It's over now. I feel like we've moved on. Obviously, people were talking about it this week because it's the one-year anniversary of the whole fiasco," Logano said. "But you move on and forget about things. You're supposed to forgive and forget and that goes both ways, so we both knew what we had to do and I feel like we've moved on and we're going from there."
"As far as my relationship with him, I treat him with respect on the race track, as I should," said Hamlin, who chooses to limit his conversations with Logano because "what do you say? How can you express how upset you are with someone without punching them?"(Associated Press)(3-16-2014)
Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Ragan running in Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: NASCAR stars #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Matt Kenseth are joining host Denny Hamlin as headliners for the celebrity-laden Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown scheduled for South Boston Speedway on April 24. The three teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing have a combined 82 NASCAR Sprint Cup series wins among them. Defending champion Busch is the only three-time winner of the Short Track Showdown. Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan also confirmed his participation in the charity event. Like Hamlin, another group of drivers is returning to South Boston Speedway, the track referred to as SoBo that served as a major springboard for their entry into NASCAR. Elliott Sadler, Hermie Sadler, Timothy Peters, Jeb Burton and Drew Herring are scheduled to race the 200-lap Short Track Showdown along with many of the top Late Model racers in the region. Elliott Sadler, Peters and Herring each won track championships at South Boston. Scheduled as a weekday prelude for the weekend NASCAR races at Richmond International Speedway, the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown raises awareness and funding for the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports and funds Cystic Fibrosis research and new therapies in the region. Advance tickets to the Short Track Showdown are available by calling the track ticket hotline at 1-877-440-1540. General admission is $20 Advance/$25 Race Day for Adult; $10 Advance/$15 Race Day for Youth (ages 12-17); and Free for Children ages 11 and under (with an Adult ticket purchase). Season passes are not honored for this special event.(Denny Hamlin Foundation)(3-13-2014)
Hamlin going for the triple: #11-Denny Hamlin is attempting to do something no other driver has done. Win the Sprint Unlimited, a Budweiser Duel and the Daytona 500 in the same year. Nine drivers have won the Sprint Unlimited and a Budweiser Duel 13 times in the same year but didn't win the Daytona 500:
year, driver, Daytona finish, Daytona 500 winner
2014: Denny Hamlin, finished 2nd, won by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013: Kevin Harvick, finished 42nd, won by Jimmie Johnson
2011: Kurt Busch, 5th, won by Trevor Bayne
2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 9th, Ryan Newman
2007: Tony Stewart, 43rd, Kevin Harvick
2003: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 36th, Michael Waltrip
1995: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Sterling Marlin
1993: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Dale Jarrett
1991: Dale Earnhardt, 5th, Ernie Irvan
1989: Ken Schrader, 2nd, Darrell Waltrip
1986: Dale Earnhardt, 14th, Geoff Bodine
1983: Neil Bonnett, 22nd, Cale Yarborough
1981: Darrell Waltrip, 36th, Richard Petty
1979: Buddy Baker, 40th, Richard Petty (2-23-2014)
Hamlin wins Budweiser Duel 2: #11-Denny Hamlin won the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway followed by #24-Gordon, #41-Busch, #27-Menard and #33-Scott. The race ended when #48-Johnson ran out of fuel coming to the checked flag and slowed, #1-McMurray got into the rear of the #48, crashing the #48 into the wall and collecting outside pole winner #78-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer (who flipped over but landed on his wheels and kept driving), #99-Edwards, #66-Waltrip and #34-Ragan. Four drivers deep in 2013 owners points or low qualifying speed, raced into the Daytona 500: #21-Bayne (6th), #40-Cassill(9th), #32-Labonte(12th) and #52-Labonte(13th). No driver needed to use the past champions provisional.
Missing the Daytona 500: #83-Truex, #35-McClure, #87-Nemechek, #95-McDowell & #93-Shepherd.
See race results on the Budwesier Duel 1 Race Results page (pdf).(2-20-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Changes to Front Office Structure: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today a re-organization to its management structure. Longtime JGR executives Dave Alpern and Todd Meredith have been named Chief Marketing officer and Chief Operations Officer, respectively. Both have over 20 years of experience in the sport and have been invaluable assets to J.D. and Joe Gibbs since the team's inception. In the front office, Alpern will oversee the team's three primary business units: Sponsorship, Communications and Marketing. Meredith will manage all departments involved in the racing operation.
"This is something that we believe will make us more efficient in all aspects of our organization," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Over the years we have grown from 18 employees to nearly 450 today, so it's important to review our structure and make sure we are operating in an efficient manner that best serves our partners. Todd (Meredith) and Dave (Alpern) have been with us from the beginning of our organization and have had a tremendous impact on our growth over the past 20 years. Their leadership will help guide JGR for years to come."
Dean Noble will continue his role of Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and will oversee sponsor contracts and business to business opportunities across JGR's partners. Also announced were the promotions of Heath Cherry, Vice President Sponsorship; Chris Helein, Vice President of Communications, and JJ Damato, Vice President Marketing Services, each of whom will report to Alpern. Cherry enters his 10th season with Joe Gibbs Racing and will direct the organization's sales efforts as well as the day to day sponsor management. He also currently serves as the rear tire carrier for JGR's #11 Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams.
Prior to joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, Helein was Vice President of Communications for Comcast SportsNet and more recently served as Vice President of Public Relations for the Washington Redskins. Helein will manage all traditional public relations as well as digital media. In addition, Jessica Smith, who serves as the PR representative for the No. 20 Sprint Cup Series team, will take on the additional role of Director of Media Relations to assist PR efforts across the organization. Bryan Cook has also been promoted to Director of Digital Media. Damato enters his 6th season with Joe Gibbs Racing after long stints with the National Hockey League and NASCAR. Damato will continue to manage Consumer Products along with other branding and marketing initiatives.(JGR)(2-10-2014)
Sports Clips continues partnership with JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Sport Clips Haircuts announced they will continue their partnership during the 2014 NASCAR season with Sport Clips serving as the primary sponsor for a total of nine races. "Sport Clips is proud to announce our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2014 season," said Sport Clips CEO and Founder Gordon Logan. "All of us, including our Team Members at our 1,150 stores in 46 states, value the drive and integrity JGR demonstrates both on and off the track. We are proud to have Denny, Elliott and Drew represent our Sport Clips' Brand, and we look forward to an exciting season!"
During the 2014 season, Sport Clips will serve as the primary sponsor for Denny Hamlin and the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for two races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), marking the fifth season Hamlin has represented Sport Clips Racing. Hamlin will carry the colors of Sport Clips for the night race at Darlington Raceway on April 12 and again for the night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31. Hamlin's best finish for Sport Clips came at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he started seventh and led 105 of 327 laps on his way to securing his fourth of five wins during the 2012 season.
After making his debut with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013 and representing Sport Clips for seven races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), Elliott Sadler will run six races in 2014 in the #11 Sport Clips Toyota. Sadler's best finish in the Sport Clips Toyota came at Darlington Raceway where he finished second in the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200. Returning to the driver's seat for Sport Clips in 2014, Drew Herring will make one start for the long-time JGR partner when the Nationwide Series races at Chicago on September 13. Herring has competed in five races under the Sport Clips banner, earning one pole at Iowa Speedway in 2011 and earning a best finish of fourth at Kentucky Speedway in 2012.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-18-2013)
Hamlin wins at Homestead: #11-Denny Hamlin won the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speed for his 1st win of 2013, his 2nd win at Homestead and 23rd career win. The win allowed Hamlin to extend his season winning streak to at least one win in eight straight seasons.
Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 9th and won his 6th NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship by 19 points over #20-Kenseth. Pole sitter #20-Kenseth finished 2nd and led the most laps with 144 of 267 laps run.
#20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr. #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick.
There were 22 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 130.693mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Homestead Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-17-2013)
Hamlin has not decided on off-season surgery: From #11-Denny Hamlin's media availability Friday at Martinsville:
Q: Have you made any decision about surgery in the off-season?
Hamlin: "As far as surgery, I still haven't decided on it. I still haven't met with the doctors to figure out the best option. I have been feeling so much better this last month or so that I'd like to steer away from surgery if possible. Obviously, I don't want to just cover up the pain with the treatments that I've been doing. That just numbs you a little bit. We still have an issue there that we have to address in the next month or so."(Toyota Racing PR)(10-26-2013)
Hamlin trying new treatment to avoid back surgery: #11-Denny Hamlin is trying a new treatment on his injured back in an effort to avoid offseason surgery. Painkiller injections in his spine the past two weeks have helped, but he won't know until the season ends if he's made enough progress to skip surgery. "These last two weeks, I've gotten some treatment done, and I've felt as good as I did before the accident," he said. "Now, the 10 races before that, I felt horrible. I had to get out of the car at Richmond during practice because I just couldn't handle it anymore, and there's been several instances where it was really, really bad. But this is hopefully going to buy me enough time to get healthy. That's the problem, there's just not enough time in our schedule to recover fully from an injury." Hamlin had persistent back trouble even before he suffered a compression fracture in a March accident that sidelined him for more than a month. With eight races left in the season, beginning Sunday at Dover, Hamlin said he needs time out of the car to rest and let his back heal.(Associated Press)(9-28-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Chase Digital Magazine: Joe Gibbs Racing currently holds the first and second position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship standings, and now fans will have a unique way to follow the team over the next nine weeks with the launch of a new digital magazine. The magazine will be available on both Apple and Android devices including tablets. It will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and accessed through the following direct link: www.joegibbsracing.com/chaseapp. The magazine, which will be updated throughout the Chase and through the conclusion of the season, will feature profiles on each of Joe Gibbs Racing's three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The digital magazine will be informative for all NASCAR fans and not just those passionate about JGR's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It includes educational pieces that provide in-depth and interactive aspects of the sport including the importance of camber and toe to the performance of a race car. In addition, there is an infographic on each of the race tracks featured in the Chase. Of course there is plenty of information specific to JGR, including photo essays, video profiles of each driver, a feature on driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. and statistical analysis of each driver.(JGR)(9-20-2013)
Hamlin's back hasn't fully recovered: #11-Denny Hamlin's chronic back pain continues to plague the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. After Hamlin won the pole Friday, it was as if the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway exacerbated the problem. "My daily life is miserable," Hamlin said. "This is nothing." Surgery to repair his spine is still "on the table" at the end of the season. Hamlin contends that "once I'm strapped in I'm fine" but also acknowledges that certain tracks - such as Watkins Glen two weeks ago - "definitely took its toll." He describes the sensation as "a nagging pain that just won't go away" but one has to wonder how long Hamlin can play hurt. "I have to weigh the options," Hamlin said. "What options do I have? There are 10 different things you can do to help with either pain or the structure of your back I just have to figure out which one is the right one for me."(FoxSports)(8-26-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Partners with Pit Crew U: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that it has partnered with Pit Crew U, a division of Performance Instruction & Training, on a pit crew development program designed to keep a flow of talent coming to the organization for years to come. "It certainly is no secret how important pit crews have become in our sport especially with track position playing such a vital role in each race," said J.D. Gibbs, President of JGR. "We've always believed in developing our own talent through our driver program and our Nationwide Series program, which has seen many team members, including crew chiefs, make the step to the Sprint Cup Series. We're excited to partner with Pit Crew U now to make sure we have a consistent flow of over the wall talent coming to JGR in the years to come." Pit Crew U has produced some of the best over-the-wall talent in NASCAR with several of JGR's current Sprint Cup Series pit crew members having come out of their program. JGR will work with Pit Crew U to identify 10 talented athletes to form a development squad for their racing programs with the intent to eventually fill the organization's needs in their Nationwide Series programs and ultimately the Sprint Cup Series.(JGR)(8-15-2013)
Hamlin plans to start at Talladega UPDATE2 Hamlin cleared: #11-Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers.(ESPN)(4-30-2013)
UPDATE: NASCAR confirmed that medical clearance has not yet been given for Denny Hamlin to return to racing the #11 FedEx Toyota (many sources on Twitter)(5-1-2013)
UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin was injured during an accident at Auto Club Speedway and has missed the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races while recovering. Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega.(JGR)(5-3-2013)
Hamlin discusses decision to set out Richmond; consideration of surgery: Denny Hamlin met with the media Thursday at Richmond:
What did the doctors see that is keeping you out of this race?
"They were -- during our call yesterday they were speaking as much Chinese as I could understand. I saw the scan and saw the healing that they were talking about. However, some kind of in-plate is not healing the way that they wanted it and that's what they wanted in order to clear me. Really, that was their determining factor and, obviously, my injury is very, very hard because there is no exact science to the risk. They don't -- no one knows what the risk will be if I race this week or if I race two weeks from now. Bone healing is completely subjective. It takes bone healing a year most times to be 100 percent, so how do you quantify how much more risk is there this week versus two weeks down the road or three weeks down the road or two months down the road, so that's the tough part of it -- everyone is erring on the cautious side because no one ultimately wants to be responsible and have their name on the line of clearing a driver and then he goes out and gets hurt."
Do you still feel like you can compete in a portion of the Talladega race?
"They all came to the conclusion they were happy with me starting Talladega and getting out when it's a safe time to get out. Ultimately, we even talked about doing that here at Richmond, but it's unfair to the team for me to get out and then go three or four laps down on pit road and really know that the team's not going to finish any better than 35th -- why would they even show up for that? So, I think it's better for them to at least have a chance to win with one full-time driver and we decided not to do that this weekend and we'll start our process at Talladega and then rescan again and try to go to Darlington."
Is there a possibility of surgery?
"We talked briefly about the injury that I deal with every day and that was not the main focus of our conversation, but I think that it is going to be a possibility in the off-season. If I get back to it in a timely fashion in the Cup Series this year then am still able to salvage some kind of season, then obviously it's not going to be an option until the off-season. So, either way, I'd like to get it fixed and get it over with."
At what point will you consider not returning this season?
"I think if this goes past Darlington then I don't know what the chances of us making the Chase are even if we were to race this weekend, race next weekend or the one after -- I don't know the chances. There's a lot of good teams that you have to beat to guarantee you're going to win the races. Obviously, if it goes past Darlington our chances are crushed even harder. Eventually you have to have a shut down point of not going out there and racing for nothing at a point. I think a recovery on the kind of surgery that I would like to have is about a month-and-a-half or so -- I could potentially come back maybe for the tail end of the year. It wouldn't be a season-ending -- I don't think anything would be season-ending I guess you could say. Eventually you have to know the point at which you're looking at improbabilities of making the Chase and just being smart about it. If everyone keeps getting these penalties, I'm going to be the points leader soon."Toyota PR)(4-26-2013)
Hamlin still waiting on clearance to race UPDATE - still out at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin's latest scan is done. Now he's waiting for doctors to read the results and arrive at a consensus of opinion as to whether he can race this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. "A doctor has seen a scan [Tuesday], but, obviously, there's a large team of doctors who have to have a consensus," Hamlin said Wednesday morning during a visit to the Grooming Lounge in downtown Washington. "Until all of them get the images, we're still waiting on that. They should have them this morning. "Hopefully, by the end of the day, everyone will have consensus and have time to review what's the safe thing to do." Whether he's approved to race at Richmond or not, Hamlin plans to start the race the following week at Talladega and then give way to a relief driver. He'll exit the car at Talladega at the first opportunity after riding in the back. "We do have an agreement, I believe, on starting next week and getting out, so at least we'll get some points starting next week," Hamlin said. "After that, I don't know. It just depends on what the doctors, the results of this (the scan) are and when they want to re-scan and check progression again.
Hamlin is leaning toward back surgery during the offseason -- or perhaps sooner if his prospects of making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup evaporate -- because the compression fracture exacerbated a problem with bulging disks that existed before the crash. The bulging disks are far more painful to the 32-year-old-driver than the compression fracture was. "(The accident) really screwed 'em up," Hamlin said. "I'm at the point now where, if they don't let me back in the car in a timely fashion, where I'm going to be racing for nothing for the rest of the year, I'd just as soon do it now and get it over with and come back next year strong and ready to go." (NASCAR Wire Service)(4-24-2013)
UPDATE: Hamlin tweeted Wednesday evening, "Unfortunately I won't be racing this weekend at Richmond. It kills me to not be in the car for my team and sponsors but after long discussions with the doctors we have decided to wait on my return back to racing. Thanks to all of my fans who have sent encouraging messages over the last month. I'll be back in no time."(4-24-2013)
Hamlin hopes to return at Richmond UPDATE: Injured #11-Denny Hamlin told ESPN.com on Saturday there is a 50-50 chance he'll return to his Sprint Cup car next weekend at Richmond. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said it's almost 100% he will at least start the May 5 race at Talladega. Hamlin was expected to miss six weeks after suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the last lap of the March 24 race at Auto Club Speedway. That would have put his scheduled return at the May 11 race at Darlington. But Hamlin said if the follow-up scan of the fracture that will take place either late Tuesday or early Wednesday shows bone growth he will be in the car at his home track in Richmond if doctors give him clearance. "If everything works out, and if the scan looks the way I feel we're going to be in good shape for Richmond,'' Hamlin said after the final practice for Sunday's race at Kansas. "I feel there's been growth there. I feel I've gotten stronger. Everything is a lot better. Last week, I would have said probably not. But this week I feel a lot better.'' Hamlin said there won't be another scan for two weeks after this week's. Even if he is not given clearance for Richmond, the plan is to start Talladega to collect driver points and give way to a backup driver after the first caution. Hamlin said there is no consideration for starting and then putting a backup driver in at Richmond because he would lose at least two laps making the exchange at the three-quarter mile track. Hamlin said he's been off pain medicine for a week and a half, so that won't be an issue with getting medical clearance. He is confident after looking at the crash data from Auto Club Speedway that it would be tough to duplicate what led to his injury.(full story at ESPN.com)(4-20-2013)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin tweeted Tuesday evening, "No update tonight guys."(4-23-2013)
Hamlin first JGR driver to miss a race because of injury: #11-Denny Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races while recovering from a compression fracture in his back. Hamlin amazingly will be the first Sprint Cup driver in the 21-year history of Joe Gibbs Racing to miss a race because of an injury.(Sporting News)(4-7-2013)
Hamlin released from hospital UPDATE 3 - out about 6 weeks: #11-Denny Hamlin spent the night at a local hospital in the Fontana, CA, area and was released on Monday to fly home to Charlotte, where Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates will evaluate him later in the week. Hamlin told reporters that it is too hard to say if he will be ready for the next Sprint Cup race as he walked out under his own power, according to one of his representatives. The Sprint Cup series has this weekend off, then resumes its schedule on April 7 at Martinsville Speedway. Dr. Petty declined to talk about Hamlin's case or compression fractions in general until he has met with Hamlin.(ESPN.com)(3-26-2013)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin walked out of Loma Linda University Medical Center on Monday night under his own power, one day after sustaining a fractured L1 vertebra in a crash at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin, wearing a thick back brace under a gray sweatshirt, had difficulty breathing as he spoke to two reporters, including one from USA TODAY Sports, upon his release. Hamlin said he immediately knew "I was in big trouble" after he felt a pop in his back following a violent collision with the wall the result of a crash triggered by contact with rival Joey Logano as the two raced for the win on the final lap. "The position I was in, I couldn't breathe at all," Hamlin said. "I'm still having a hard time breathing. Literally, when I felt a pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again. That's why I rushed out and just laid flat on the ground to start breathing again." Hamlin, who was en route to fly home to North Carolina, said he had to be 100% straight no bending at all. Otherwise, he said, "I run out of breath." Though it's too early to tell whether Hamlin will miss any races, he seemed to understand there was a lengthy recovery in front of him. He tried to read up on the injury, he said, and nothing was very encouraging. Hamlin said he will meet with Dr. Jerry Petty near Charlotte on Wednesday or Thursday for further evaluation. "He's going to spend tomorrow looking at scans to distinguish what the next step is," Hamlin said. "We're kind of leaving the analyzing for him on what to do either surgery-wise or just stick with a brace and let it heal itself. Either way, obviously, both of them take a lot of time."(more at USA Today)
UPDATE2: Asked specifically Monday night if Logano had tried to call him, Hamlin said, "No. I've heard from pretty much all my peers which has been humbling to say the least. It makes me really happy and keeps your spirits up when you hear from all your peers and everything," he added. "That part of it has been very encouraging." So, does he view the incident as the product of hard racing or as a part of the rivalry between the two? "I think it's a little bit of both if I had to characterize it," he said. "I really went out of my way throughout the day to give the #22 (Logano) room in a lot of places. He raced me really hard for really the entire event and obviously other guys as well. But at the end I think he saw I was going to win and wasn't going to let that happen."(FoxSports)(3-26-2013)
UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin was evaluated today by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates after suffering an L1 Compression Fracture during an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Dr. Petty determined that Hamlin will not require surgery, but will need time to properly heal, which is estimated around six weeks time. Dr. Petty will make the determination when Hamlin will be able to return to racing this season. No decision has been made on a replacement driver for Hamlin during his absence from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-26-2013)
Logano says he wasn't trying to wreck Hamlin: #22-Joey Logano said he did not realize #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a hard crash when he made televised comments suggesting the driver had it coming - nor did he mean to wreck his former teammate on the last lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400. Logano told USA TODAY Sports by phone Monday that he had "no idea" Hamlin was hurt or even that he hit the wall hard when he told Fox: "He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week (at Bristol), so that's what he gets."
"I just thought we were racing hard, you know?" Logano said Monday. "It happens. You don't ever want anyone to get hurt; you don't ever want anything to happen, especially to Denny. We were racing really hard there at the end of the race. I wish there was a SAFER barrier down there, and I wish I knew before I made any comments on TV also." Logano insisted he was not trying to wreck Hamlin "in any way, shape or form."(USA Today)(3-26-2013)
Hamlin injured in last lap wreck at Auto Club UPDATE2 & Statement: In a wild finish, #22-Joey Logano was leading the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway at the white flag and #11-Denny Hamlin was next to hm a few feet behind the #22. The two drivers raced hard and got into each other near turn 4, sending Logano into the outside wall and #11-Hamlin hard into the inside wall, which has no SAFER (for some reason). After climbing from the car under his own power, Hamlin laid down and was put on a stretcher and then an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. Hamlin was them taken by helicopter to a local hospital. #18 crew chew chief Dave Rogers was interviewed by SPEED's Kenny Wallace and said that he talked to team owner J.D. Gibbs and supposedly Hamlin has some back pain and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.(3-24-2013)
UPDATE: #11-Denny Hamlin was airlifted to a hospital after a hard single-car crash at the inside wall on the final lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400. Hamlin was awake and alert in the infield care center before being transported, but was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. A helicopter was used due to post-race traffic. Hamlin was helped from his car after the hard hit and seemed to collapse outside his car after he had pulled the window net down. He was taken by ambulance to the infield care center, where crew chief Darian Grubb hurried inside to check on the driver. Hamlin's girlfriend, Jordan Fish, tweeted Sunday night: "Thank u everyone for your messages concerning Denny. Darian is keeping us posted. He's alert n awake, main concern is his back.(USA Today)
JGR STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin was involved in an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin complained of lower back pain at the track's infield medical center and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Hamlin will remain at the hospital overnight for observation. No further updates are expected tonight.(JGR)
JGR STATEMENT 2: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin suffered a L1 Compression Fracture following an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin hopes to be released today to fly to his home in North Carolina where he will be evaluated by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates later this week.(JGR)(3-25-2013)
Win 200 for #11: #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was car #11's 200th win in the Sprint Cup Series. This win is now 2 wins ahead of the iconic #43 for all-time wins in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. Richard Petty, who drove the #43 for most of his 200 wins, actually won 192 races running the #43 and 8 in other car numbers [#41 & #42]. The car number in third is the car #3 with 97 wins.(8-25-2012)
Hamlin working on contract extension UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing could have a new Sprint Cup contract to announce within the next week, and it's not the driver everyone has been talking about. #11-Denny Hamlin is in final negotiations with JGR and sponsor FedEx on an extension of his deal, which runs through the 2013 season. "I think I'm up at the end of next year, but I know where my future is, and that's at Gibbs," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "FedEx knows who they want driving their car. We typically try to do our deals together as a partnership, because that's what it is between the three of us. As long as FedEx likes me, I know I want to be with Gibbs. We're to all working together to solidify that for years to come. I think it'll be done within a week. Everything but the ink on the paper is pretty much done. Everything is pretty much locked in, and we know where we're going to be for the foreseeable future."(USA Today)(6-28-2012)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin tweeted Saturday evening, "IT'S OFFICIAL. I've signed an extension with @JoeGibbsRacing. Happy to know where my future is. Excited for tonight and beyond with my team."(6-30-2012)
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:00pm/et
Born in APRIL
17 Tony Glover, Len Wood, Brandon Thomas, Carl Larson, Brooke McReynolds, Carol Mears, Reid Spencer
18 Geoff Bodine, Tyler Labonte, Kale Kahne, Jim Noble, Melanie Self
19 Robert Yates, Richard Yates, Jack Roush, Greg Erwin, Kevin Grubb, Al Unser Jr., Aaron Keuhn
20 Frank Stoddard, Mike Stefanik, James Barnwell, Ron Barfield, Adrian Fernandez, Dustin Skinner/P>
21 Bruce Silver, Bill Ingle, Greg Zipadelli, Bob Varsha
22 Raygan Swan, Stella Paysor, Wesley Gantt
23 Brian Whitesell, Jason Keller, Phil Gould, Joe Keller, Skip Manning, Terry Glotzbach, P.J. Jones, Tommy Croft, Charles Gafrarar, William Shakespeare, Jacob Meetze
24 Hermie Sadler, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen
25 Alex Bowman, Jason Lee, Alkie Cunningham
26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Charles Moles
27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Austin Dillon, Jason Sheets
28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf, Zach Case
29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel
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1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott
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3 Greg Ely
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5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn
6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo, Gina Henson
7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.
8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress
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11 Glenn Bobo, Tim Flock, NASCAR Hall of Fame
12 Jabe Thomas, Debra Adamczyk
13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi
14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch
15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner