Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tony Stewart wins the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

Denny Hamlin after Showdown practice on April 18th.
Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
The fifth annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown was held on Thursday night at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA. 12 NASCAR celebrities participated in the charitable race for the Denny Hamlin Foundation. Proceeds from the event are used to raise awareness and funding for individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. Hamlin’s cousin, Kevin Jones was the grand marshal for the event. Jones has cystic fibrosis, a genetic, life-threatening disease that coats the lungs, digestive tract and other areas of the body with thick, sticky mucus. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, and Hamlin has been passionate about raising funds to go towards research for finding a cure, which was the motivation behind starting his foundation.

Among the NASCAR stars were event host Denny Hamlin along with Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola. The field consisted of 36 cars, included were drivers from the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, and a few drivers from the Nationwide and Truck Series. Up and comers Chase Elliott, Darrell Wallace and Segio Pena competed in the K&N race and then jumped right into their cars for the Showdown. 

Within the first lap of the race a crash occurred on the backstretch and collected a dozen cars. Hamlin was one of the many damaged cars.

The crash ended Hamlin’s night early as he had to pull out of the race on lap 29 for damage to his car. Leaving the race, Hamlin headed to the booth to commentate on the race with the SPEED broadcasters. Hamlin will be back on track tomorrow, racing in the Nationwide race Friday night, and again on Saturday for the Sprint Cup race to be aired at 7 PM on FOX.

Unlike a points race, there was a Lap 50 break for pit stops where they were able to get fuel, adjustments as needed, and two tires.

"Smoke" took the lead after a late caution, and Logano was in second, and Greg Edwards was in third.

Much like his Cup teammate, Kyle Busch had to end his night early after having damage to the car from the second lap crash. 

Jason White, a Camping World Truck Series driver, started in 35th with little practice (and a crash with Hamlin earlier in the day), White finished the race in ninth. 

Battling hard for second, Joey Logano fell short as he fought a transmission problem. Stewart won the race followed by Edwards, Brandon Butler, Jeff Burton and Joey Logano. 

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