RICHMOND, Va. – Due to track operations and schedule uncertainty at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., the ninth running of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown scheduled for April 21 at Langley has been cancelled for 2016.
“The event is an around-the-clock, full year in the making,” said race coordinator Buck Reuss. “But due to the very unfortunate timing of the property negotiations ongoing at Langley, it left us no choice but to look toward 2017 and bypass this year’s running of the event.”
Langley was set to host the Short Track Showdown for the first time as part of the event’s tour of local Virginia-based speedways. Since its first year at Southside Speedway in 2008, the celebrity charity race, which pits NASCAR stars against local late model stars, has also been hosted at Richmond Int’l Raceway and South Boston Speedway.
The invite-only, non-points NASCAR-sanctioned race is always scheduled for the Thursday night before the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Richmond Int’l Raceway to accommodate the inclusion of NASCAR stars in the line-up. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters, a Virginia native like Hamlin who was once a regular short track racer, won the 2015 race at South Boston.
“It is really disappointing as I was really looking forward to returning to Langley to race again, as were so many other drivers that were planning to participate,” said Hamlin, who began his stock car racing career at Langley in 1997, winning both the track championship and track rookie of the year honors. “So we will turn our attention to 2017 and wish everyone the best of luck in their racing endeavors this year.”
All NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers that were slated for invitations to compete in the invitation-only race will be extended an invite for next running of the event. In addition, event officials will continue to monitor the 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model stock car competition to add potential competitors to invite.