HAMPTON (WAVY) – Denny Hamlin considers Langley Speedway his “home track.”
On April 19, Hamlin will join Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and a number of drivers from the Nascar Truck Series at his home track for the ninth Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.
The charity event will pit Hamlin and Busch against some of the top drivers from the Late Model series.
This edition of the showdown will be the first one ever at Langley.
“It means a lot,” said Hamlin during his practice run on Tuesday. “This is one of the tracks I consider home for me. It was the one I chose to start my career at.”
Raised in Chesterfield, only 15 minutes from Richmond Raceway, Hamlin is now one of the top drivers at the Nascar cup level.
His first win at any level came at Langley.
As a matter of fact, he still has the mini-stock car, in mint condition, which he keeps in his garage. “That mini-stock was actually purchased by Joe Gibbs as a gift to me when I started my cup career,” said Hamlin at Langley on Tuesday.
“He (Gibbs) found the car, restored it, and gave it to me as a present.”
Hamlin has repaid the favor with 35 cup wins.
Busch will be making his Langley debut next Thursday, but has won this event three times. “It’s been pretty cool,” said Busch, who’s raced the event at South Boston Speedway and Richmond. “The tracks we’ve gone to and the different people we’ve been able to see, the different competition we’ve been able to race against, and it’s been a really good time and a great cause.”
The winner will win the trophy and $15,000, with a number of proceeds going towards Hamlin’s foundation, which raises money and awareness for children with cystic fibrosis.
The race is expecting so many patrons, the track will be installing additional grand stands in turns three and four. “I honestly believe this event will be the biggest event ever in Langley Speedway’s history,” said track owner Bill Mullis.