HAMPTON (WAVY) – It would be hard to script a better night at Langley Speedway. With a packed-to-capacity crowd watching, Denny Hamlin claimed a checkered flag where his Nascar racing career began.
“Coming here and winning after 20 years has just been amazing,” said Hamlin after winning the 200-lap Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, which pits cup, Xfinity and truck series drivers against top local talent all in the name of charity.
While Thursday night’s race was the ninth edition of the showdown, it was the first ever at Langley.
Hamlin’s first win at any level came at Langley, in ministocks, when he was just 15 years old. After 31 cup victories and a Daytona 500 win only a few years ago, Hamlin was able to perform a donut burnout after edging out Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and CE Faulk for the win.
“There’s a little more fan fare now, and a few more people know me, but these wins mean just as much to me as any cup win,” said Hamlin.
Racing fans from all over the commonwealth began packing the stands when practices started around 3:00 pm. Track owner Bill Mullis believes Thursday night will be remembered for a long while.
“I don’t think you could have scripted this show any better,” said Mullis.