(workingonmyredneck file photo)
The NASCAR nationwide and Sprint Cup drivers are at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. As a precursor to those races, Denny Hamlin scheduled his charity race event Thursday evening at RIR. His charity race, “The Denny Hamlin Late Model Showdown”, was housed at Southside Raceway in the past, but due to weather and other issues that racing facility is not scheduled to open until mid May.
“The way the wrecks happened and the restarts, we were just in the right line at the right time and we were able to pull it out,” Hamlin said Thursday night, calling the win a confidence boost.
He will enter the Sprint Cup race Saturday night 17th in points with just one top-10 finish after eight races, and that’s 15 spots behind where he finished last season.
Busch had dominated all night, but when the race went back to green after a caution with three laps to go, Hamlin surged from fourth to second right away, stalked his teammate with Joe Gibbs Racing and passed him on the backstretch when Busch ran out of fuel.
“I’m glad he ran out of fuel because it might have got ugly,” Hamlin said. “Trust me, if Kyle wouldn’t have run out of gas, I would have done everything possible to get around him.”
Hamlin, who said last week that the race raised over $100,000 last year, said he will wait to see how much money was raised this year, then give 10 percent to help tornado victims. Where that money will go specifically will be determined by where there is the most need, he said.
His usual charities — the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital in Richmond — will receive the other 90 percent of money raised.
The victory was the first for Hamlin in his fourth Short Track Showdown, and came after he qualified on the pole, then opted to start at the back of the 36-car field.
Is this a precursor to what may unfold this weekend in Richmond?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!