RICHMOND, VA – With proceeds from the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown race held last April, Mary Lou Hamlin of the Denny Hamlin Foundation presented a $50,000 check today to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The donation represents the third and final installment of the $150,000 grant commitment made in 2012 to help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at CHoR and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU.
A sell-out crowd and great racing action once again made the seventh annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown a huge success this year. The celebrity-laden Late Model charity race, held April 24 at historic South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the first time, featured the Virginia-bred Hamlin and other stars of NASCAR against many of the area’s top Late Model racers.
“The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown was a big hit again,” said Hamlin, who last raced at South Boston in 2003. “The crew and fans at South Boston really responded and gave us former SoBo regulars a great welcome back. With such great fan and sponsor support of the event, the Denny Hamlin Foundation is able to advance the great work coming from the Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab, and help move vital Cystic Fibrosis therapies forward to help all individuals with CF.”
While Hamlin was joined by fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, and David Ragan, plus former South Boston track champion Timothy Peters, it was Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, Va. who sped past race leader Matt Waltz with five laps to go to take home the checkered flag and the $10,000 winner’s check.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. CF causes chronic infections in the lungs and inadequate digestion of nutrients. There is no cure for CF, but medical advances have doubled the life expectancy of children in the last 30 years and increased the overall median age of survival to 40.
CHoR has a large research staff focused on finding a cure for CF and in developing new therapies for CF. As the only CF Foundation-accredited center in the greater Richmond area, CF patients cared for at CHoR have access to the latest therapies and can participate in groundbreaking clinical studies.
“The Denny Hamlin Foundation grant has brought internationally-recognized CF physician scientists to Central Virginia to lecture and collaborate, it has allowed us to test highly innovative research ideas that we hope will lead to new understanding and new therapies for CF, and perhaps most important, it has supported young investigators as they learn to become CF scientists in our labs,” said Bruce Rubin, M.D., professor and chair of the VCU Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of CHoR.
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown began in 2008 at Southside Speedway, a local short track near Hamlin’s hometown of Chesterfield, Va., outside of Richmond, before moving to Richmond International Raceway in 2011 to pair up as a doubleheader with the NASCAR K&N Series. For its seventh year in 2014, the race moved just over 100 miles southeast to South Boston Speedway, another Virginia short track with a long history in stock car racing. For 2015, the event returns to South Boston Speedway on Thursday, April 23.
The success of this event was also made possible by the support of sponsors FedEx, Sun Trust, Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sprint, Danville Toyota, Sport Clips, Steel and Stock Car Aluminum, Inc., and the NASCAR Foundation.
The Short Track Showdown is one of two major fundraising events hosted by the Denny Hamlin Foundation this year. The other is Denny & Mark’s ProAm Jam concert and golf event, held Oct. 27-28 at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, SC to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) among other beneficiaries.
ABOUT DENNY HAMLIN FOUNDATION
The Denny Hamlin Foundation (DHF) is committed to raising awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). As such, DHF partners with organizations that focus on CF research, treatment advances, and overall quality of life care. The Foundation will also support children with other chronic diseases. To carry out its mission, DHF conducts fundraising events, accepts contributions, grants, and gifts of money and property; and will invest the same and/or distribute to other exempt organizations as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Visit dennyhamlinfoundation.org.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF RICHMOND AT VCU
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) is Central Virginia’s only comprehensive, full-service hospital dedicated to the care of children. CHoR is ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and is Virginia’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center. With more than 15 locations across Central Virginia, CHoR provides pediatric inpatient and outpatient services that cover nearly all children’s health-related needs. As part of the VCU Medical Center, CHoR is committed to ensuring access to care for all children, training future pediatric caregivers and making new discoveries that improve understanding and treatment of childhood diseases. For more, see chrichmond.org.
ABOUT CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world leader in Cystic Fibrosis research and care, is to cure CF and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
For additional information on any event at South Boston Speedway, please telephone the speedway at 434-572-4947 or 1-877-440-1540. Information can also be found by following South Boston Speedway on Facebook or Twitter.