Monday , September 22 2014
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Keepin it Short – Just looking for exposure

Denny Hamlin came from the Late Model Stock Car ranks in North Carolina. He was running races at Southside Speedway and within one year was driving a car in the Sprint Cup series. While Hamlin left the short tracks for the Cup series, he did not forget his roots. Hamlin has put on the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown for the last five years, giving local racers a chance to showcase their talent on a national stage while competing with the likes of Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and other drivers from the Sprint Cup ranks. The race raises money for Hamlin’s foundation while giving exposure to the local drivers on a national stage. Unfortunately for the local drivers, the national stage will only be radio in 2013 as it was just announced that the 2013 version of the Shootout will not be televised on SPEED, unlike the last three years since it moved from Southside to Richmond International Raceway.

Hamlin started the race at Southside Speedway in Virginia because it is his home track. It is where he cut his racing teeth and won 25 races during the amazing 2003 season when he was discovered by Joe Gibbs. After running the event at Southside for two years, he decided to move it to Richmond for a couple of reasons. With the drivers already at the track for the Cup race, it was easier to get more to commit to running the race. Second, with the SPEED equipment already at the track to televise all of the NASCAR activities, they agreed to broadcast the race live. The live broadcast attracted advertisers who were willing to pony up some money, which ended up going to the foundation and also gave drivers who never had another chance to be on national television an opportunity to race in front of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

Over the winter, rumors began to start circulating that the Showdown was going to move from Richmond and be held at Langley Speedway. Langley threw everything but the kitchen sink at Hamlin to get him to move the race to the local short track and, before Daytona, it looked like they’d succeeded. However, during media availability at Daytona before the Sprint Unlimited, Hamlin made the announcement that the race would once again be held at Richmond. When questioned by Frontstretch about the decision to come back to Richmond vs. going to Langley, Hamlin noted that the TV exposure was the number one reason. Getting the race on national TV increased the benefit to his foundation which is the number one reason for the race.

While local short track fans would have loved to see the race move to Langley, they had to admit there was logic to the decision. At least until this week, Race22.com is now reporting that the Showdown will not be shown on SPEED and will only be carried live on MRN radio and Race22.com live race coverage. While the folks at MRN do a fantastic job of broadcasting races and Race22 is the best in the business at live race coverage, it isn’t the same as seeing it live on television or, better yet, in person. For the fans who can’t make it to Richmond on Thursday night before the Cup race, the television was the best option. Now it looks like radio is going to have to suffice.

While it is too late in the game to make a change for 2013, the 2014 venue will hopefully be up for bids and the fine folks at Langley will get a chance to show their Virginia hospitality to the Shootout. As for the folks at SPEED, the lack of television coverage is a very disappointing development that just points to the future direction of the network once the SPEED name goes away. The channel that once was all about racing is going to be nearly unrecognizable for most of the week to racing enthusiasts. It will be great to see the Hamlin Foundation strike a deal with MAVTV or one of the other emerging sports networks to once again put this show on live national TV so that drivers who almost never have a chance to play on a national stage can get the exposure that could make their careers for them.

This Weekend’s Racing Schedule

Friday 04/12/13 Kings Speedway Hanford CA World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Friday 04/12/13 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville IL Big 10 Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville IL Modifieds
Friday 04/12/13 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville IL MOWA Sprint Cars
Friday 04/12/13 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville IL Stock Cars
Friday 04/12/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Hornets
Friday 04/12/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Limited Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Modifieds
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach IL UMP Factory Stocks
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach IL UMP Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach IL UMP Modifieds
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach IL UMP Pro-Crate Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach IL UMP Sport Compacts
Friday 04/12/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets
Friday 04/12/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN POWRi Speedway Motors 600 Outlaw Micro Sprints
Friday 04/12/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN USAC Midwest Dirt Ignite Midgets
Friday 04/12/13 Monett Speedway Monett MO MARS DIRTCar Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Greenville Speedway Greenville MS Nesmith Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Tri-County Race Track Brasstown NC Southern Spring Nationals – Dirt Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 Wayne County Speedway Orrville OH World of Outlaw Late Models
Friday 04/12/13 RPM Speedway Crandall TX Factory Stocks
Friday 04/12/13 RPM Speedway Crandall TX Limited Modifieds
Friday 04/12/13 RPM Speedway Crandall TX Sprint Cars
Friday 04/12/13 RPM Speedway Crandall TX Street Stocks
Friday 04/12/13 RPM Speedway Crandall TX USRA Modifieds
Friday 04/12/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Saluda VA Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL 4-Cylinders
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL Bombers
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL Limited Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL Stockers
Saturday 04/13/13 Dixieland Dirt Track Cottonwood AL Vintage
Saturday 04/13/13 South Alabama Speedway Opp AL Viper Super Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 South Alabama Speedway Ozark AL Viper Super Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Riverside International Speedway West Memphis AR 600 Mini Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Riverside International Speedway West Memphis AR Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Riverside International Speedway West Memphis AR Stock Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Riverside International Speedway West Memphis AR Super Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Arizona Speedway Queen Creek AZ USAC Southwest Sprint Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Central Arizona Raceway Casa Grande AZ Dwarf Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Central Arizona Raceway Casa Grande AZ IMCA Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Central Arizona Raceway Casa Grande AZ Southwest Dirt Racing Association Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Central Arizona Raceway Casa Grande AZ X-Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Havasu 95 Speedway Lake Havasu City AZ ASA Trucks
Saturday 04/13/13 Bakersfield Speedway Bakersfield CA Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Bakersfield Speedway Bakersfield CA Lmods
Saturday 04/13/13 Bakersfield Speedway Bakersfield CA Mini Dwarfs
Saturday 04/13/13 Bakersfield Speedway Bakersfield CA Mini Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Bakersfield Speedway Bakersfield CA Sport Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA 4-Cylinders
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA Hobby Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA Limited Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA MST
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA Sport Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Madera Speedway Madera CA Toyota Sedans
Saturday 04/13/13 Orange Show San Bernadino CA USAC National Quarter Midgets
Saturday 04/13/13 Perris Auto Speedway Perris CA World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Placerville Speedway Placerville CA 360 Winged Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Placerville Speedway Placerville CA Limited Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Placerville Speedway Placerville CA Pure Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Thunderbowl Raceway Tulare CA USAC West Coast Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Five Flags Speedway Pensacola FL K&N Pro Series East
Saturday 04/13/13 34 Raceway Burlington IA 4-Cylinders
Saturday 04/13/13 34 Raceway Burlington IA IMCA Stock Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 34 Raceway Burlington IA Mod Lites
Saturday 04/13/13 34 Raceway Burlington IA MOWA Sprint Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Jr. Stingers
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Mini Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Pro-4s
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Meridian Speedway Meridian ID Super Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Highland Speedway Highland IL UMP Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Highland Speedway Highland IL UMP Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Highland Speedway Highland IL UMP Pro Crate Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Highland Speedway Highland IL UMP Sport Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Highland Speedway Highland IL UMP Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Hornets
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Lightning Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Limited Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Peoria Speedway Peoria IL Sunoco American Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets
Saturday 04/13/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN POWRi Speedway Motors 600 Outlaw Micro Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Kokomo Speedway Kokomo IN USAC Midwest Dirt Ignite Midgets
Saturday 04/13/13 Plymouth Speedway Plymouth IN USAC 600 Mini Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 LA Raceway LaMonte MO ASCS Winged Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Lucas Oil Speedway Wheatland MO A-Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Lucas Oil Speedway Wheatland MO Factory Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Lucas Oil Speedway Wheatland MO MLRA Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Hornets
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Late Model Super Trucks
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Legends
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Mini Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Southern Modified Lights
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Caraway Speedway Asheboro NC U-Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 County Line Raceway Elm City NC Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 County Line Raceway Elm City NC Pure Stock 4 Cylinder
Saturday 04/13/13 County Line Raceway Elm City NC Pure Stock V-8
Saturday 04/13/13 County Line Raceway Elm City NC Super Stock 4 Cylinders
Saturday 04/13/13 County Line Raceway Elm City NC Thunder & Lightning
Saturday 04/13/13 East Lincoln Speedway Stanley NC Limited Sportsman
Saturday 04/13/13 East Lincoln Speedway Stanley NC Micro Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 East Lincoln Speedway Stanley NC Renegades
Saturday 04/13/13 East Lincoln Speedway Stanley NC Stock 4
Saturday 04/13/13 East Lincoln Speedway Stanley NC Super Stock 4 Cylinders
Saturday 04/13/13 Friendship Motor Speedway Elkin NC FASTRAK Pro Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton NC Limited Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton NC Renegades
Saturday 04/13/13 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton NC Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton NC Super Trucks
Saturday 04/13/13 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton NC Whelen All-American Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Rockingham Speedway Rockingham NC UARA-Stars Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Southern National Motorsports Park Kenly NC PASS Pro Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Southern National Motorsports Park Kenly NC PASS South Super Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Eldora Speedway Rossburg OH Stock Cars
Saturday 04/13/13 Eldora Speedway Rossburg OH Sunoco American Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Eldora Speedway Rossburg OH UMP Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Wayne County Speedway Orrville OH World of Outlaw Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Modified Street Bomber
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Openwheel
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Outlaw Pony
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Pure Pony
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Rookie Pony
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Street Stock Bomber
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Super Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Duck River Raceway Park Wheel TN Two Barrel Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Smoky Mountain Speedway Maryville TN American Modified Series
Saturday 04/13/13 Smoky Mountain Speedway Maryville TN Southern Spring Nationals – Dirt Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Music City Quarter Midget Racing Association Hermitage TN Jr. Honda Quarter Midget
Saturday 04/13/13 Music City Quarter Midget Racing Association Hermitage TN Light 160 Quarter Midget
Saturday 04/13/13 Music City Quarter Midget Racing Association Hermitage TN Sr. Honda Quarter Midget
Saturday 04/13/13 Houston Motorsports Park Houston TX Ecostocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Houston Motorsports Park Houston TX NASCAR BWFS Coke Trucks 2X
Saturday 04/13/13 Houston Motorsports Park Houston TX NASCAR Fiesta Modifieds 2X
Saturday 04/13/13 Houston Motorsports Park Houston TX NASCAR Stock Cars 2X
Saturday 04/13/13 Kennedale Speedway Park Kennedale TX ASCS Winged Sprints
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Dwarf/Mod Lites
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Hot Stock Trucks
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Mini Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Pure Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Sport Mods
Saturday 04/13/13 Texana Raceway Park Edna TX Street Stocks
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Iron Warrior
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Mod 4
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Pure 4
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Pure Streets
Saturday 04/13/13 Lonesome Pine Raceway Coeburn VA Super Streets
Saturday 04/13/13 South Boston Speedway South Boston VA Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 South Boston Speedway South Boston VA Whelen Southern Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica VA Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica VA Limited Stock Car
Saturday 04/13/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Saluda VA Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica VA Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica VA Sportsman
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Mini-Wedges
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Mod Lites
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Modifieds
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Semi-Late Models
Saturday 04/13/13 I-77 Raceway Park Ripley WV Semi-Mods
Sunday 04/14/13 Orange Show San Bernadino CA USAC National Quarter Midgets
Sunday 04/14/13 Thompson International Speedway Thompson CT Whelen Modifieds
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Cruzer Bruzers
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Econos
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Mini Mods
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Mini Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Mini Trucks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Modifieds
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Super Street Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kalaeloa Raceway Park Kapolei HI Winged Sprints
Sunday 04/14/13 Quincy Raceways Quincy IL IMCA Northern Sport Mods
Sunday 04/14/13 Quincy Raceways Quincy IL IMCA Sport Compacts
Sunday 04/14/13 Quincy Raceways Quincy IL IMCA Stock Cars
Sunday 04/14/13 Quincy Raceways Quincy IL UMP Late Models
Sunday 04/14/13 Quincy Raceways Quincy IL UMP Modifieds
Sunday 04/14/13 Plymouth Speedway Plymouth IN USAC 600 Mini Sprints
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Figure 8
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Mini Modifieds
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Mini Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Pure Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Sportsman
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Street Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Kentucky Motor Speedway Whitesville KY Thunder Stocks
Sunday 04/14/13 Albany Saratoga Speedway Malta NY POWRi Lucas Oil Outlaw Midgets
Tuesday 04/16/13 El Paso Speedway Park El Paso TX World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Thursday 04/18/13 201 Speedway Sitka KY Southern Spring Nationals – Dirt Late Models

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