Race Fans Flock to South Boston Speedway for Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

South Boston,VA--South Boston Speedway hosted their biggest race since the 90's on Thursday. For the first time, the speedway is hosted the annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, bringing in around 8,000 race fans.The gates opened at 10 a.m. and fans all over the region flocked in all day.For some it was their first time at the speedway, others make it a tradition .People said they were excited about the big crowd and were ready to have a great time. "I'm ready for the race!" said race fan, Carol Ann Moorefield.And so were the hundreds of race fans that arrived at South Boston Speedway as soon as the gates swung open."We opened this morning at 10.a.m.. and people have been coming in and out and just having a good time today, tailgating and eating," said Cathy Rice, General Manager of South Boston Speedway."I'm down here partying. We came to watch the race with me and my fellas right here," said race fan Randy McGuire.The race benefits children with cystic fibrosis. For several years the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown has raised thousands of dollars for the cause. However, it was the first time, that they brought the showdown to South Boston. "We ran it at his original home track, Southside Speedway for a few years, ran it out of Richmond International Raceway for the past three years, and decided it was time to bring it back to a NASCAR home track and what better place than a track with the history and heritage that the South Boston Speedway has," said Buck Reuss, Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Race Coordinator. South Boston locals were excited to host the race. It was a chance to see the big name drivers."Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth," said Reuss. Attendees said a big a race fan crowd like this doesn't come too often. "We're excited about the crowd. It's supposed to be a nice turnout," said Ralph Bowes, a race fan. "Oh I love it. The more people, the more fun," added McGuire. When it came to who they were rooting for, the crowd was pretty divided. "Peyton Sellers," said Moorefield. "Denny or Kyle," said race fan Jenny Lewis."I'm pulling for Denny Hamlin. It's his show, so we're pulling for him," said race fan ,Kevin Deskins.The general manager of South Boston Speedway said she hopes they can host the race again next year.