HAMPTON, Va. – The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will start a new chapter as the celebrity late model race will move across the Commonwealth of Virginia to Langley Speedway for the ninth edition of the event in April 2016.
Proceeds from the Showdown charity event benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports Cystic Fibrosis research and therapy.
Previously, the star-studded race, which pits NASCAR stars against local late model racers, has been hosted at three other historic Virginia racing facilities: Southside Speedway (2008-10), Richmond Int’l Raceway (2011-13) and South Boston Speedway (2014-15). Race winners have included Hamlin, fellow NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, and local late model stars C.E. Falk and Matt Bowling. Virginia-native Timothy Peters, a regular on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, won the 2015 event last April at South Boston Speedway.
“The Showdown is a great way to bring attention to these historic Virginia tracks where many NASCAR drivers cut their teeth in stock car racing, including myself,” said event host Denny Hamlin, a native of Chesterton, Va. near Richmond. “Tracks like South Boston and Langley are the heart of the sport and draw a great crowd to our Showdown events.”
Hamlin began his stock car racing career at Langley Speedway in 1997 and would go on to win not only his first stock car race in the tracks mini-stock series, but also capture the track’s rookie-of-the-year honors and the track championship in his debut season.
Langley Speedway is a four-tenths-mile asphalt oval that hosts NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model stock cars, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Tour. In addition, Langley has hosted the NASCAR Drive 4 Diversity program for the past four years. These items, coupled with the facility celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2015, make this racing mecca a perfect host for the NASCAR Hometracks’ one-of-a-kind event.
The date for the invite-only, non-points NASCAR-sanctioned event will be the Thursday night before the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Richmond International Raceway, which typically is mid-to-late April. The 2016 NASCAR schedule has not been released yet. The Showdown returns to South Boston Speedway in 2018, starting a planned, two-year rotation between South Boston and Langley as Showdown host tracks.