Hamlin at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: This weekend will mark Hamlin's fifth Cup start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 171st-career Cup start since making his debut in 2005. Indianapolis Chassis -- JGR 276 and 253: The FedEx team will ...
Hamlin at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: This weekend will mark Hamlin's fifth Cup start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 171st-career Cup start since making his debut in 2005.
Indianapolis Chassis -- JGR 276 and 253: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 276 this weekend in Indianapolis. JGR 253 will serve as the backup this weekend -- it recorded at tenth-place finish at Michigan last season.
HAMLIN CONVERSATION -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
You've made no secret that this is a place you hold above almost every other track as a place you'd like to win -- what is it about IMS?: "There is so much history here and I think every driver wants to win here and be a part of that history. I had the chance to visit the museum here a few years ago and to see all of the race-winning cars and the people who made racing here what it is today was really cool. This track has seen it all. Indy is a lot like Daytona because winning means so much at those places that it almost lives outside of the schedule and points, and thinking about the Chase. I know I how I felt winning at Richmond, and I know from talking to Tony (Stewart) and Mike (Ford) what Indy means to them. This is definitely one I want to win for this team."
You've been close at Indy before - can this year be the year for the #11 team at this famous track?: "I think we've shown at Indy that we have what it takes to win there and the team really builds great cars for this track. It's a track where JGR cars have won before and a track that I really like from the driver's seat so we go there feeling like we can unload fast, get better in practice and compete on Sunday. To win here you need the car, the driver and the crew all at their best, and then have a lot of things go your way. If we take the issues that have hurt us here -- we had motor trouble, a speeding penalty and then more mechanical problems last season -- if you take those issues away there is no reason we can't run up front."
History aside, what it is like running around Indy?: "Indy is a flat track and that usually brings out the best in this #11 team, so we see this weekend as a huge opportunity. I think I am at my best on flat tracks like Pocono and Indy because it's where I have the most experience and I can really feel what the car is doing and then share that with Mike (Ford) and the crew. At Indy, you are wide open down the stretches so you need horsepower but where you really pick up time and momentum is coming off of two and four and on to the long straights. You are on the gas in the short chute so if you can roll through those turns, keep your momentum and pick up the throttle quickly on the straight you'll be in good shape. It's a combination of lifting and using just the right amount of brake. Indy keeps everyone, driver and crew the same, on our toes."