NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Wins Charity Race in Virginia

Denny Hamlin won his Short Track Showdown charity race at Langley Speedway on Thursday night.

2017 NASCAR Playoffs Production & Media Day
Streeter Lecka—Getty Images for NASCAR

NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin won his Short Track Showdown charity race at Langley Speedway in his home state of Virginia on Thursday night, holding off Joe Gibbs teammate and 2015 NASCAR premier series champion, Kyle Busch, a three-time winner of the event. Thursday’s win was Hamlin’s second win in the event. He led 181 of 200 laps in front of an estimated crowd of 7,500.

“Me and Kyle were playing a little cat-and-mouse in the second stage,” Hamlin told the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. "I knew we were going to have to race eventually—it wasn’t going to be that easy.”

The late model race benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports youth-related charities, including cystic fibrosis research.

NASCAR stars took the top-three positions in the finishing order, with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Timothy Peters finishing third. Another Truck Series competitor, Myatt Snider, finished sixth behind C.E. Falk and Peyton Sellers, who has previously raced in NASCAR’s Truck and Xfinity series.

The 2018 edition of the Short Track Showdown was the ninth installment of the charity event, the first since a two-year hiatus. Previously, the race was held at Virginia tracks including Richmond Raceway, Southside Speedway and South Boston Speedway. This year’s race was the first time for the event at Langley Speedway, the track at which Hamlin’s racing career started.

"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,” Hamlin said in a press release that announced the return of the yearly event.

In a post-race victory interview, Hamlin hinted that the race would be at Langley, again, next year.

“It’s great to come out with a victory,” Hamlin said. “I couldn’t be prouder and I look forward to seeing everyone back here next year.”