Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to Reach National Audience on NBCSN
April 23rd celebrity Late Model race expected to broadcast in May
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott joins celebrity lineup as Grand Marshal
SOUTH BOSTON, VA (April 20, 2015) – The Denny Hamlin Foundation announced today that the eighth-annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, presented by FedEx, has partnered with NBCSN to present the April 23rd celebrity Late Model charity race held at South Boston Speedway (Va.). Thursday’s race is expected to air as a one-hour special in May amid the network’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I’ve gotten to know the NBC Sports team over the years and they are very passionate about motorsports,” said Hamlin, a former native Virginia Late Model racer who now drives the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “This is a great opportunity to showcase awesome, local short track racing on a national media platform.”
The Showdown, which features top NASCAR drivers competing against the best regional Late Model drivers, again serves as a weekday prelude to the weekend NASCAR races at Richmond International Raceway. Proceeds from the 200-lap Showdown go to support the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which has donated $150,000 in grants to help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU.
In addition, newly-enshrined NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott will serve as Grand Marshal of the Showdown, joining Hamlin and celebrity NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott and David Ragan, plus Virginia natives Timothy Peters, Jeb Burton, Gray Gaulding and Hermie Sadler. Previous Showdown winners representing the Late Model lineup are 2014 winner Matt Bowling, a Whelen All-American Series driver, and 2010 winner C.E. Falk. Both are the only non-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to win the event.
Last month, South Boston Speedway announced two new fan-friendly features for the Showdown, including a post-event fireworks show sponsored by Danville Toyota and Scion and a very limited special suite ticket package available to the first 25 people. The $200 package includes a suite ticket, invitation to the driver’s meeting and the opportunity to attend a celebrity driver meet-and-greet and autograph session.
General admission tickets are still available for $25 and children, ages six and under, will be admitted free with a paid adult. South Boston Speedway’s 2015 season passes will not be honored. To purchase tickets to the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, please visit the Speedway’s box office, call 1-877-440-1540 or visit the South Boston Welcome Center.
Grandstand gates will open at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. The first of three practice sessions are scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m., followed by qualifying at 5:20 p.m. and heat races at 6:00 p.m. The green flag for the 200-lap feature charity race is set for 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the South Boston Speedway website at southbostonspeedway.com and dennyhamlinfoundation.org.
ABOUT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
Open since 1957, South Boston Speedway has earned a reputation as the home of the best NASCAR-sanctioned short track racing in the country. The 4/10-mile, quad-oval has been the stomping ground for many of NASCAR’s top racers, as well as the breeding ground for some of the most talented NASCAR racing stars. South Boston last hosted a national touring NASCAR race in 2003 when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visited for a final time. The NASCAR Busch Series regularly ran there until 2000, while the last NASCAR premier series race, now known as the Sprint Cup Series, was held in 1971. Today, the track affectionately known as SoBo, hosts weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Weekly Series events plus several touring and special events, including the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Spectator capacity is 10,000.
ABOUT DENNY HAMLIN FOUNDATION
The Denny Hamlin Foundation (“DHF”) is committed to raising awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with Cystic Fibrosis (“CF”). As such, DHF partners with organizations that focus on CF research, treatment advances, and overall quality of life care. The Foundation will also support children with other chronic diseases. To carry out its mission, DHF conducts fundraising events, accepts contributions, grants, and gifts of money and property; and will invest the same and/or distribute to other exempt organizations as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ABOUT DENNY HAMLIN SHORT TRACK SHOWDOWN
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown began in 2008 at Southside Speedway, a local short track near Hamlin’s hometown of Chesterfield, Va., outside of Richmond, before moving to Richmond International Raceway in 2011 to pair up with the NASCAR K&N Series. In 2014, the race moved just over 100 miles to the southeast of Richmond to South Boston Speedway, another short track with a long history in stock car racing. The annual race features top NASCAR drivers competing against the best regional Late Model drivers and serves as a foretaste for fans attending the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race two nights later at Richmond International Raceway. Proceeds from the Showdown go to support the Denny Hamlin Foundation and its fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis.