McHenry, Ill. (September 13, 2010) Denny Hamlin earned the top seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with an impressive victory Saturday night in the Air Guard 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
The victory by Hamlin continued an impressive performance this season by Raybestos® brand Brakes, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, on short tracks.  Raybestos® scored their NINTH NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 2010 and have now won FOUR OF FIVE short-track events this season.  Cars using Raybestos® brand Brakes have led the most laps in each of those races and have scored victories in eight of 11 events on tracks less than a mile in length over the past two seasons.
Hamlin qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the FIFTH consecutive year and leads second-place Jimmie Johnson by 10 points and third-place Kevin Harvick by 30.
“I’ve made a lot of these Chases and made a lot of mistakes through these Chases,” Hamlin said.  “Every year I feel like we learn something.  I feel like this year I’m as clear as I’ve ever been and we’re winning at race tracks we don’t usually win at.  It means a lot for this whole race team.  A lot of people bash this race team about can’t finish this or can’t finish that, but we got the most wins and hopefully that’s going to carry us through 10 weeks of the Chase.”
Hamlin claimed his series leading sixth victory of the 2010 season at Richmond, beating Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by .537 seconds (about two car lengths).  He led six times for a race-high 251 of the event’s 400-laps, taking the lead for the final time on lap 332.
Hamlin said the key to holding off Busch down the stretch was patience.
“I just knew I had to keep the rear tires on the car,” Hamlin said.  “I knew how many laps we had to go to the finish and that the 18 (Kyle Busch) was going to get around us.  I knew I was going to have something left for the end.  I just drove patient and kept the rear tires on it as best I could. 
“It was just so tough to be patient and realize that you can’t race anyone in the mirror, you have to just race your own race.  Kyle put the pressure on us and he made a heck of a charge.  Luckily for me it was a teammate because if it had been anyone else, he probably would have moved us.  Just can’t say enough about this whole FedEx team.  It’s been an up and down year, but there’s been a lot of ups and I’m just thankful we’re going to enter this Chase number one.”
Hamlin claimed the second victory in 10 races at Richmond and the 14th victory in 177 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.  He averaged 104.096 mph in a race that took 2 hours, 52 minutes and 55 seconds to complete.  The race was slowed by just three cautions for 28 laps.  There were 14 lead changes among six drivers.To gain a competitive advantage at Richmond, the Joe Gibbs cars used the Raybestos® Sprint Cup braking system.  The ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy six-piston calipers are the stiffest and lightest calipers available in all of NASCAR.  The innovative calipers were developed using Raybestos® technology partner Alcon’s state of the art “optimized design” process, and include an asymmetric body design and advanced between-piston and crossover cooling features.   The brake package also provides for the largest brake pad volume (surface area) and largest rotor (13.15” outside diameter, and 1.65” thick) available in NASCAR. 
Raybestos® brand brake and chassis parts are produced by affiliated companies in Affinia’s Global Brake and Chassis Group, the leading manufacturer of braking systems and chassis parts in the transportation industry.  The brake line includes everything from brake drums to rotors, pads, shoes and hydraulic parts, while the chassis line features tie rods, ball points, idler arms and sway bar links.  Raybestos brand braking and chassis systems are also the only systems used by NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing in competition.  For more information about Raybestos brakes, visit Raybestos.com.  For more information on Raybestos Chassis visit RaybestosChassis.com
Affinia Group Inc. is an innovative global leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and marketing of industrial grade products and services, including extensive offerings of aftermarket parts for automotive and heavy-duty vehicles. With more than $1.8 billion in annual revenue, Affinia has operations in North and South America, Europe, Asia and India. For more information, visit www.affiniagroup.com.
Alcon Components USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcon Components Limited, the UK based manufacturer of premium brake and clutch products. Alcon systems are engineered and designed for the most rigorous demands and are widely used throughout the world of motorsport, from Formula One to IndyCar to NASCAR, as well as in various high performance road vehicles including Jaguar, Land Rover and Bentley.  For more information, visit www.alconusa.com.
*Affinia Group Inc.’s affiliated companies include Brake Parts Inc. WIX Filtration Corp LLC, Affinia Products  Corp LLC and other high quality manufacturers of the Affinia family of brands.


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