The return of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown was ultimately short-lived … at least for the time being.
The charity race promoted by the Denny Hamlin Foundation was scheduled for April 11 at Langley Speedway in Virginia but has been canceled for 2019 due to the costs associated with promoting the event.
The Foundation provided the following statement regarding the cancellation.
“At this time, there are no plans to host the Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown in 2019. A lot of factors need to properly align in order to produce an event like this. The Denny Hamlin Foundation has been fortunate to host the charity race nine times over the last 11 years, benefiting Cystic Fibrosis research and therapy. We anticipate the Short Track Showdown will return to the racing calendar in future years.”
The 2018 event was the first time it was held at Langley, with Hamlin himself winning the race and promising fans that the race would return in 2019 while in victory lane. That race also included NASCAR notables Kyle Busch and Brett Moffitt.
Previous winners of the all-star event include Busch, Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Timothy Peters and C.E.Falk.
The race was first held in 2008 at Southside Speedway. It has been held sporadically over the years at Richmond Raceway and South Boston Raceway.
A Langley Speedway competitor said the news was shared with racers earlier this month and was supposed to be revealed the week after the Daytona 500, but was held-off after the Cup Series star won the Great American Race for the second time.
Factors in the cancellation were said to include an inability to get star drivers to commit to the race, and the large purse that made the event otherwise unprofitable, factors confirmed in a Daily Press report. Additionally, Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car tour is running a show that same night at Virginia Motor Speedway.