2021 Season Recap: Last season was another brilliant campaign for Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team. The Chesterfield, Virginia native claimed two victories – both during the playoffs – and matched his career high for top-five finishes (19) while posting personal bests in top-10s (25), laps led (1,502) and average finish (8.4). He reached the Championship 4 for the third consecutive year and the fourth time since the winner-take-all finale’s inception in 2014.
Clash Preview: The NASCAR Cup Series season begins with the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum. While the non-points exhibition race has traditionally served as the first event of the season, this year’s battle is on a purpose-built quarter-mile oval inside the historic stadium. The move to “The Greatest Stadium in the World” is a welcome one for Hamlin who owns 10 career Cup Series wins on short tracks (Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway). Hamlin is also a three-time Clash winner at Daytona International Speedway, including a victory in 2006 that kickstarted his Rookie of the Year campaign.
Track: Los Angeles Memorial Stadium
Laps Led: 0
Avg. Start: 0
Avg. Finish: 0
Hamlin Conversation – LA Coliseum
What is your outlook on the Clash being in Los Angeles for the first time?
“I’m really looking forward to the Clash. While it is certainly a lot of work for the teams to get ready, I feel like it’s going to be a big hit for us as a sport. I believe it is something that can boost the sport going into the Daytona 500. The Clash hasn’t always been a huge event, but this year’s race has seen a lot more promotion building up to it that could give us a lot of momentum going into the season which is very important for our viewership and ultimately reaching new fans.”
Can you take anything you learn at the Clash and use it to help you in the regular season?
“The Clash will be a great exhibition. I don’t think it’s going to be much more than that from what we’re able to learn. Nothing will really relate to other racetracks. You’re not going to be able to gauge performance off that particular track because it’s so different than anything else we usually race on. I don’t know how we’ll make a pass there without clobbering into the person in front of us, which might be what we have to do, but there’s not much to learn from there to be honest. With that being said, I do think it is a great momentum builder to start our season. It’s a great venue. Certainly, there is a lot more hype around the Clash this year than any other year that I’ve been involved with the sport.”
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: For the Clash at the Coliseum, the No. 11 team will support the 10th Annual FedEx Small Business Grant contest with the TV panel featuring the contest URL (fedex.com/grantcontest) and the Small Business Grant Contest Badge. This year, the grant contest will award 10 small businesses with grants to help them grow their business, with the grand prize winners receiving a $50,000 grant. The contest entry period is open on February 10th through February 28th.