HAMPTON, Va. - Tuesday, Langley Speedway produced 'Denny' happy returns.
2016 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, who began his stock car racing career at Langley Speedway in 1997, was back at the Hampton track Tuesday to test his late model race car in advance of next week's Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown presented by Toyota.
The Virginia native and driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota was joined by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch - who will also take part in the 200-lap pro-am late model charity race. All proceeds from the Short Track Showdown will benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports Cystic Fibrosis research and therapy.
The ninth edition of the Short Track Showdown will mark the fourth different venue as Langley Speedway becomes the new host of the event, following Southside Speedway (2008-10), Richmond Raceway (2011-13), and South Boston Speedway (2014-15). The Short Track Showdown pits NASCAR stars against local late model racers competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Previous winners include Hamlin, Busch, Peters, Tony Stewart, and local late model stars C.E. Falk and Matt Bowling. Peters was the last to visit victory lane in this event at South Boston in 2015.
“This is truly one of my favorite events to host because of what it means for the local racers,” said Hamlin. “It’s great they get to race against NASCAR veterans like Kyle, Timothy and myself. Plus, I love the attention it gives to these historic Virginia tracks where many drivers, myself included, got our start racing stock cars. Langley has always been special to me, so I’m excited to bring this event there, and look forward to raising money for the Foundation as well.”
Langley Speedway is a 4/10-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. The support series for the April 19 show will be the Super Street Division.