FedEx Racing Express Facts – Daytona International Speedway
#11 FedEx Express Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing
Race: Sprint Unlimited
Date/Time: Feb. 13/8:15 p.m. ET
Distance: 75 laps/187.5 miles
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Track Shape: Tri-oval
Banking: 31 degrees
2015 Winner: Matt Kenseth
Press Kit: Download the 2016 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Mike Wheeler and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights, statistics and the 2016 crew roster.
‘Wheels’ Up: Hamlin starts the unofficial 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway with a familiar face atop the pit box. Longtime #11 FedEx team engineer Mike Wheeler begins his first season as the crew chief of the team this year after guiding the #20 Xfinity Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. ‘Wheels’ has played an integral role in the success of the #11 team through the years, including 24 victories with Hamlin behind the wheel. The duo combined for three Xfinity Series victories one year ago.
Daytona Success: Hamlin heads into Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition race as a two-time winner of the 75-lap season-opener, winning as a rookie in 2006 and dominating the field in 2014. In 10 Sprint Unlimited starts, Hamlin has recorded four top-five finishes and has led 47 laps. He finished 19th one year ago after an accident on Lap 45. This year’s event will consist of two segments; a 50-lap opener followed by a 25-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Track: Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited only)
Wins: 2 (2006, 2014)
Laps Led: 47
How can you use the Sprint Unlimited to prepare for the Daytona 500?
“It’s obviously a great opportunity to get back in the car and make some laps before the (Daytona) 500, especially having recovered from knee surgery in the offseason. It’s a chance to get used to Wheels (Mike Wheeler) calling practices and a race as the crew chief, and getting the team guys up to speed and working together. Daytona is obviously a different track than most and plate-racing is unique, but a lot of the same principles, in terms of race weekend preparation, is the same. I’m excited to get to Daytona and kick off the season.
FedEx Office – Closest to Daytona International Speedway: 2274 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114, (386) 323-7840
#11 FedEx Racing – 2016 Crew Roster
Crew Chief – Mike “Wheels” Wheeler
Car Chief – Leo Thorsen
Engineers – Matt Beckman, Sam McAuley
Shock Specialist – Drew Bible
Tire Specialist – Kerry Ferris
Mechanics – Troy Welty, John Furino, Sean Kerlin
Spotter – Chris Lambert
Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise
Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks
Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry
Jack Man: Nate Bolling
Gas Man: Caleb Hurd
Pit Crew Coordinator: Paul Alepa
Athletic Director: Mike Lepp
Transportation – Frank Hodel, David Ott