Homestead-Miami Quotes and Notes
Denny Hamlin Quotes
How was your experience in New Jersey volunteering at the Community FoodBank with your team?
“It was a great opportunity to come up to the area affected by the storm and play a small role in helping the community get back on its feet. The people have really rallied together to help the ongoing relief efforts, volunteering their team even though they might not have power or hot water themselves. FedEx has the planes and trucks to get supplies into areas following disasters, and to come up here and see it firsthand, it really puts things in perspective. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m glad we were able to pitch in.”
FedEx Express Notes
FedEx Team Volunteers in New Jersey: Denny Hamlin and some crew members from the #11 team spent Wednesday morning as volunteers alongside FedEx employees at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to help the ongoing relief efforts following Superstorm Sandy. Hamlin helped unload trucks full of food and other supplies donated by FedEx, and helped make a $20,000 contribution to the organization from FedEx. After unloading the trucks, Hamlin and the group organized goods already in the food bank’s warehouse, preparing them to be delivered. They then loaded a truck full of Thanksgiving turkeys, and delivered them to a local food shelter in the area. In total, FedEx has pledged more than $1.5 million in donations in affected areas following the storm, and has helped deliver more than three million pounds of supplies to date. Additionally, FedEx will donate $1 for every “Pack & Ship” transaction at FedEx Office from Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, up to another $50,000, for meals and groceries to food banks in New York and New Jersey.
Phoenix Recap: Denny Hamlin finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, climbing two spots to fifth in the Chase standings with one race remaining in the 2012 season. Hamlin survived a flurry of late-race restarts, climbing from fourth to second in the ‘green-white-checkered’ finish to take the checkered flag 0.580 seconds behind winner Kevin Harvick. Hamlin started third in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota and stayed in the top-seven throughout the 319-lap event on the one-mile desert oval. Hamlin — who won the race at Phoenix in February — led twice for 46 laps on Sunday, and recorded his 17th top-10 finish of the season. Hamlin climbed two spots to fifth in the Chase standings following Phoenix, 62 points behind leader Brad Keselowski after nine of 10 playoff races.
Homestead Preview: The Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final event of the 2012 season. Hamlin is making his eighth-career start at the 1.5-mile South Florida oval, and owns four top-10 finishes in seven career events. The 31-year-old Virginia native was victorious from the 38th starting position in the November 2009 race at the track, leading 71 of 267 laps en route to victory lane. He scored back to back third-place results at Homestead in his 2006 rookie season and again in 2007. Hamlin finished ninth at Homestead one year ago.
Kyle Busch Quotes
What are your expectations for Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway?
“That track hasn’t been great to me. I’ve run well there in the Truck Series. I won the Nationwide race there in 2010 and 2011, as well. Homestead is a fun racetrack. It’s real challenging because of the way the race changes from the beginning to the end, and the way things change from the beginning to the end of your runs. You run the bottom, then you go to the top. You’re always moving around. You’re always thinking. It’s a cool racetrack. The sun is going to play havoc on our eyes getting down into turn one during the race.”
Like you said, Homestead has not been a great track for you, statistically, with your best finish being eighth in 2009. Is Homestead a place you might be starting to figure out in the Sprint Cup car?
“We ran a lot better there in 2009 than where we finished and we were running top-10 in 2011 before we got wrecked, so, we’ve had a few races where our runs have been much better than the results have shown. In 2009, Denny (Hamlin) and I battled on that last restart and I just couldn’t quite stay ahead of him. Track position is big there and, once he got out in clear air, he was gone. I was trying hard to get back ahead of him and ended up scraping the fence. I’ve never run that well there before, but Dave (Rogers, crew chief) really gave me the best car I’ve ever had there. I’m hoping we can have another strong car and finish off the season strong, and it can give us some momentum for the offseason and for next year.”
What would it mean to get another win before season’s end as far as gaining momentum for 2013?
“I wish we could have won Phoenix. But Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and all of the M&M’s guys have done an awesome job the last nine weeks. We’ve had great pit stops and our cars have had a lot of speed in them, too. Homestead hasn’t been a great place for me, but I feel like running all three races at Homestead is an advantage for me this weekend. In the other two races, you get your courage up running around the top, where it’s usually the fastest, so by Sunday you are just more comfortable running up there. Our cars have been really good there lately, so I think we have another shot of running well again and we can finally get that win. The way our season has gone, it would mean a lot. I think we already have a lot of momentum going into next season, but another win wouldn’t hurt.”
You have your fewest Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. How do you expect to do this weekend?
“It seems in a lot of ways like I’ve never been able to finish a race at Homestead. I always seem to run into bad luck there, and 2009 was my best finish, and we were alright there the year before but ran out of gas and still finished 19th. We were like 20th the year before that. But, there have been several tracks that I’ve not run well at before this year and ended up winning the race, like we did at Atlanta, or running well in the road-course races. The more starts I can get there, I think the results will turn around, eventually.”
Kyle Busch: Hoping for a Bright End to the 2012 Season
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 13, 2012) – With a bright yellow racecar covered with images of red, blue, green and brown M&M’s chocolate candies, and with a firesuit and helmet to match, it’s certainly not a stretch to call Kyle Busch one of the most colorful drivers in NASCAR.
But as the curtain falls on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season this weekend, Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes it all simply comes down to a matter of black and white – checkers, that is.
With his and the No. 18 team’s sights already set on a more-determined-than-ever run for the championship in 2013, Busch would love nothing more than to circle the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway after Sunday’s season-ending Ford 400 by celebrating another victory with checkered flag in-hand.
As the Sprint Cup Series plans to introduce a new car for 2013, Busch and his M&M’s team have shown over the last nine races that they don’t plan on putting the 2012 season behind them until it’s officially over. To that point, despite not being a Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship competitor, Busch and his M&M’s team have been quite impressive in the nine Chase races thus far as he has accrued 317 points – fourth-most among all series drivers. In the last nine races, Busch has scored six top-five finishes and seven top-10s, and he’ll hope to add to the hot streak during Sunday’s final race of 2012.
To earn the right to carry the checkered flag come Sunday night, Busch looks to improve by leaps and bounds over his career-best Homestead finish of eighth in 2009. It was his only top-10 at the 1.5-mile South Florida oval, bettering by far his other six finishes of 41st, 28th, 20th, 19th, 32nd, and 23rd.
So, before the curtain falls on the 2012 Sprint Cup season at Homestead, Busch will reach for a Homestead win in order to top off his strong finish to 2012 with an exclamation point, then carry it over to a new season full of promise in 2013.
Joey Logano Quotes
“Man, this is the end of an era this weekend at Homestead. It will be crazy to climb in that No. 20 one last time on Sunday morning and know that it’s the last time I will be behind the wheel of that car. It’s been a long time and in the Cup world, it’s all I’ve ever known. So it will be pretty crazy to think that this is the last time I will be with the car and these guys. We’ve had a lot of good memories in my four years in the No. 20. From winning that first race to getting voted into the All-Star race my rookie season to winning again this year at Pocono and beating my childhood idol Mark Martin in the process. The guys on the team have been great to me over the years. They’ve stuck by me and they’ve always supported me and my driving. So it will be sad to leave them, but I will have lasting friendships with a lot of them and I’m sure I will see them in the garage area and stop by and see how things are going. But that is how this sport works. We move on and move onto other opportunities. I’m sure Matt (Kenseth) will do a good job with the guys.
“It’s also been a great run with Home Depot. They really took a chance on me when I was growing up in this sport. They had some big shoes to fill when Tony (Stewart) left and I hope I’ve done them proud. I will never forget getting to shoot my first commercial with them and doing a few more after that. I’ve got to meet so many great fans at some of the store appearances over the years and got to do a lot of fun things along the way. It will be weird to be out there on the track next year and think that I will be racing against the Home Depot No. 20 and not driving it. But I will forever be grateful for what they have done for me and my career. The best thing we can do this weekend is to go out there and try to go out with a bang and give them a win in my last race in the Home Depot Toyota.”
No. 20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota News & Notes:
- ONE FINAL RIDE IN THE NO. 20 THIS WEEKEND: This weekend, Joey Logano will climb aboard the No. 20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota for the final time. When the green flag falls on Sunday, Logano will begin his final race in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after four years full-time behind the wheel of the famed car. At season’s end, Logano will be moving on to Penske Racing while former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will take of the seat of the No. 20 for 2013. Logano made his debut in the No. 20 as a rookie in the Daytona 500 in 2009, becoming the youngest driver to ever start the “Great American Race.” Later that same year, Logano became the youngest Sprint Cup Series winner at just 19-years of age when he took the victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway en route to winning the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year award. Since that first season, Logano has worked with the likes of Greg Zipadelli and Jason Ratcliff as crew chiefs, picked up another win at Pocono Raceway earlier this season and collected 41 top-10 finishes along the way. In addition to his accolades in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Logano has also earned a remarkable 18 wins in Nationwide Series competition for Joe Gibbs Racing, where he also is the series youngest winner. Logano won his first Nationwide Series event just three weeks after turning 18 years old in just his third series start.
- RED BEACON BACK ON THE HOME DEPOT TOYOTA: Once again this weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red No. 20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Logano at Homeastead. Redbeacon, a fully owned subsidiary of The Home Depot, is a free online and mobile resource for consumers seeking reliable home-service professionals. By simply requesting a service such as a maid, plumber, electrician, painter and more at redbeacon.com or through Redbeacon’s iPhone and Android apps, consumers receive competitive price quotes from qualified local pros in their area. Redbeacon service providers compete for the business, which saves consumers both time and money. Customers complete an online or mobile form that includes what home service they need, key details about the size and scope of the job, and when and where they need the job done. Redbeacon’s home-service matching system taps into its network of qualified local pros and checks their availability. Customers choose from up to four competitive quotes for the project and book the chosen professional on redbeacon.com or through the mobile apps. To ensure that each customer is satisfied, Redbeacon backs every job up to $1,000 with its Home Service Guarantee. Readbeacon made its debut as a sponsor for Logano a few weeks ago at Martinsville.
- SOLID FINISH AT PHOENIX TAKEN AWAY: Logano was looking for his third top-five finish of the season last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway just as the leaders were getting ready to take the white flag. Unfortunately, Logano ran into a little trouble – that of the No. 24 and No. 15 machines wrecking right in front of him. With the two cars crashing, Logano had nowhere to go and slammed into the two, effectively ending his day just shy of the finish. Logano, who was running sixth at the time and was getting ready to pass the No. 15 for fifth, had run in the top-10 for much of the second half of the race, but fell out of the event due to the damage and had to settle for a 27th-place finish.
- A NEW GOOD MORNING AMERICA CO-HOST? NO, JUST DRIVER COACH: This past week, Logano took on a new role – that of a television morning show host. Well, not really, but Logano did participate in an event, along with drivers Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Darrell Wallace Jr., in teaching the weekend hosts of the popular Good Morning America show how to drive racecars around Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each driver paired up with a host – Logano teaming with Ron Claiborne – and took them for several laps around the 1.5-mile track in Concord, NC behind the wheel of a NASCAR Racing Experience racecar. The drivers also gave the hosts plenty of pointers, from how to get in and out of the car to the proper line around the track. With the morning’s activities slowed by overnight rain, Logano took his host around the track in his personal Lexus LSF at speeds toping 120 mph.
- ON THE OTHER SIDE… ANOTHER WIN: Last weekend, Logano continued his strong run in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, grabbing his ninth victory in just 21 series events this season. In the process, he set up the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series team to hopefully claim the 2012 Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team needs to finish 28th or better to lock up the Championship, which will be their fourth in the last five years. Logano has won seven of his nine races this season driving the No. 18 JGR Toyota.
- RACE INFO: The EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Homestead, FL; 1.5-mile oval) is set for Sunday afternoon, November 18, 2012. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 2:00 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on MRN.