Third annual event to kick-start spring race weekend
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, a race that features some of NASCAR’s top stars and the best Late Model Stock Car drivers in Virginia, will open the spring race weekend at Richmond International Raceway for the third consecutive year.
Hamlin uses the event as a fundraiser for the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab, which is located at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Hamlin’s foundation committed to a three-year grant totaling $150,000 in 2012.
"Every dollar we give to cystic fibrosis makes a difference,” said Hamlin, a Virginia native. “You never know. This could be the year that we find a cure."
This year’s race takes place on April 25, a Thursday, and serves a precursor to Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide SeriesToyotaCare 250 and Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400.
In addition to benefitting a worthy cause, the specialty race allows local drivers to compete against Sprint Cup Series stars. Tony Stewart won last year’s edition, passing Greg Edwards -- a short-track racer from Virginia -- in the final 10 laps last year to win the 75-lap race on the .75-mile track. Hamlin won the event in 2011.
"The Showdown has had some of the best late model racing in the past,” Hamlin said. “This year will be no different. We've invited the region’s finest drivers to compete against some of my Sprint Cup Series friends.”
Tickets cost $25 and are available for sale.