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DATE News (chronologically)
03/19/08
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Fuel Cell Problems at JGR?  Denny Hamlin says a potential flaw in the design of the fuel cells at Joe Gibbs Racing may have contributed to Sunday's loss at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin was leading on the green-white-checkered restart, but his car stalled because not enough fuel reached the engine. That allowed Jeff Burton to blow past Hamlin for his first win at the half-mile track and set up a 1-2-3 finish for Richard Childress Racing. Hamlin, who got his car going after gas swashed into the engine in the corners of the track, finished sixth.

It wasn't the first time this has happened. "Anytime we get low on fuel, especially with a banked race track like Bristol, all of our fuel drains in the cell to where we don't get any in the engine," Hamlin said Tuesday. "Once we do take off all we're using is fuel in the lines. There's a bubble in there and the car stalls."

Hamlin said team owner Joe Gibbs met with engineers all day Monday looking for answers. He said officials are also looking into why the gearbox in his car failed the previous week at Atlanta and the one in teammate Kyle Busch's car failed with him in the lead at Bristol. "He blew the top seal out of his," Hamlin said. "Mine blew the bottom seal. As far as knowing exactly what's causing it, I don't know yet. Between steering boxes and fuel, it's aging me pretty bad."

Hamlin said there are several ways to design a fuel cell. One is so that it always works well with low fuel; another is where under green-flag conditions a car can "suck out the gas to where there's only one drop left." ESPN.com

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