2016 Denny Hamlin Showdown At Langley Speedway Cancelled
Hampton, VA – The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series version of the All-Star race held every spring has been cancelled. The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, which puts some of NASCAR’s best up against some of the greatest short track drivers in the region, was cancelled earlier this afternoon due to the uncertainty that Langley Speedway will be open in 2016.
Race coordinator, Buck Reuss, said in an article posted by the local paper here in Hampton that, Denny Hamlin Foundation management informed him Tuesday that the charity race will not be held at Langley or any track this season. “This is due to the situation at Langley Speedway,” Reuss told the Daily Press. “I don’t blame anyone operating the track, because I think Victory Lane Motorsports owner Bill Mullis and Chuck Hall have done more for the track than anyone since Joe Carver. But the drivers needed to set their schedules by Jan. 5 at the latest.”
With negotiations still on going between all of the powers to be on the future of Langley Speedway, Reuss said the Denny Hamlin Foundation management feels it is difficult to organize the race now with the uncertainty that Langley will even open its doors. In addition to the driver commitments, most of the money to put the show on comes from other people associated with drivers, not just Denny Hamlin. Those sponsors needed to know the race specifics by early January to commit their funds. Not to mention the logistics of organizing so late with rules, procedures and even NASCAR licensing.
“The only ray of sun in this is that we’ve got better than a year to schedule this and work on sponsorships,” Reuss says. “We’re going to come out of the gate swinging hard, and I’m going to fight to keep it at Langley.”
The announcement of the Denny Hamlin Showdown is of course not an announcement that the track will not be up and running in 2016. Track owner, Bill Mullis and General Manager, Chuck Hall could not be reached for commit on the matter and have not made an official announcement about the matter but we will make sure to have that for you if and when it happens.
With the threat of Langley not opening for its 66th consecutive season this marks the fourth big race to be either cancelled or not scheduled for the 2016 race season. What potential impact will this have on the City of Hampton? What could have been two Whelen Southern Modifified races, as well as a potential for a NASCAR K&N Series event this will eliminate those race teams and their friends, family and crew from traveling to the city. Negations, as mentioned above, still continue and we will still continue to reach out to track management for a statement and we will post when they are ready.