Denny Hamlin holds off Cup Series teammate Kyle Busch to win his charity race for the second time in return to his home track.
After a two-year hiatus in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, the event returned this season in front of a nearly sold out Langley Speedway with Denny Hamlin able to hold off Kyle Busch to win his charity race for the second time.
This was also the first time the event was held at Langley Speedway, where Hamlin made his start in weekly stock car racing.
Hamlin held off Busch by just over a car length to score the win with Timothy Peters, winner of this event in 2015, third with C.E. Falk and Peyton Sellers rounding out the top five.
“I’m glad my name was on the race or it could have gotten dirty at the end,” said Hamlin with a smile. “I’ve got to thank the whole Nelson team and David Triplett did an amazing job working on this car getting it to where it was a race winner.
“Great to come out with a win and thanks to Fed Ex and Toyota for helping make this possible and thanks to the fans for such a great turnout. I’m really happy.”
Hamlin, who also won this event in 2011, led a total of three times in the race taking the lead on Lap 4 and then again capturing the top spot on Lap 12 from Busch dominating the first half of the race.
The Chesterfield, Va. native remained out front until Falk, who won this event in 2010, passed him on Lap 165.
Falk led the next 10 laps before Hamlin was able to retake the lead where he remained the rest of the way.
Busch, who won this event in 2008, 2009 and 2013, passed Falk for second on Lap 184 and quickly closed the lead Hamlin had built to almost .7 seconds over the final 15 laps of the race. However, Hamlin was able to hold on for the win.
Hamlin was happy with the event to raise money for the Denny Hamlin Foundation.
“I couldn’t be happier (with the event) and I want to thank all the competitors, their wives, girlfriends and husbands for their support to come out when I know they also have to get ready for (races) this week,” said Hamlin. “I look forward to seeing everyone back here (Langley) next year.”
Myatt Snider was sixth with Justin S. Carroll, Ruben Garcia, Conner Hall, Nick Smith and Grayson Cullather rounding out the top 10.