NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and Dennis Bickmeier, president of Richmond International Raceway, joined forces today to announce a star-studded lineup for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdownat RIR on Thursday, April 25, 2013.
The duo didn’t show their full hand, announcing only a partial list of the celebrities committed to participating in the event, which typically features a dozen NASCAR drivers and celebrities battling on the ¾-mile track with some of the best local Late Model Stock Car drivers.
Hamlin, who won the inaugural Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at RIR in 2011, will be joined by 2012 winner Tony Stewart, two-time Short Track Showdown winner Kyle Busch, Michael Waltrip, Darrell Wallace Jr., and Virginians Gray Gaulding and Curtis Markham, as they race against some of the best Late Model Stock Car drivers in the region.
“The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown has always been a fun race and I’m looking forward to racing in it again this year,” said Busch, who has won twice in the charity event. “It’s fun for us drivers to get back behind the wheel of the NASCAR-type late models where many of us grew up racing. We enjoy getting to go out there and race – which is what we love to do – but at the same time it’s a great way to raise funds for the Denny Hamlin Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis. It’s cool to see the support he gets from some of his fellow drivers from the Sprint Cup Series and some of the local short track guys. I hope the fans come out to Richmond and enjoy some great short track racing, while helping us raise some funds for charity.”
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at RIR has brought some of the best late model racing action to Hamlin’s hometown track for the past two years and is sure to provide another great show for fans who come out to support cystic fibrosis research.
The event, which serves as a fundraiser for the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, kicks off the Spring race weekend at RIR.
"I love racing at Richmond, whether it's in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or a Late Model Stock Car," said Tony Stewart, defending champion of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at RIR. "It's an added bonus to get to race against local Late Model drivers, put on a great show for the fans and to raise money for a deserving charity in the Richmond area."
In 2012, the Denny Hamlin Foundation committed to a 3-year grant totaling $150,000 for the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). Funds from the grant, which are raised through events like this year’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, will help accelerate the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab's ability to bring new therapies to cystic fibrosis patients. In addition, the newly established Denny Hamlin Foundation Summer Scholars program will help train the next generation of CF research scientists.