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Denny Hamlin unofficially announces Showdown’s return to Langley

Chris Owens | STS

Immediately after winning his own charity race, Denny Hamlin climbed out of his car and told the fans at Langley Speedway on Thursday night that he would see them here next year.

Wait what?

That was the first unofficial confirmation that he would have the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown come back to Hampton, Virginia next season. Prior to winning the race, the 37-year-old had been optimistic but never committal.

After all, before the race was canceled in 2016 due to the closure of Langley, Hamlin expected to rotate his race between Langley and fellow Virginia short track, South Boston Speedway. But with a crowd of 7,000 fans and the addition of temporary grandstands to accommodate them, Hamlin seems to have made up his mind.

“I don’t see why not,” Hamlin said in Victory Lane. “It’s not official, but I think we’ll come back and do it again. This has been a great success for the Foundation and we put on one heck of a race.”

It had been 20 years since Hamlin visited the track he won his first stock car race at, but was quickly made to feel at home.

“It’s cool being here in Victory Lane or walking through the pit area and seeing some of the same people working on the same cars they were working on before I made it in racing,” Hamlin said. “I saw people on the other side of the fence who helped me build my very first car. So it was great to see everyone and experience this.”

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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