South Boston Speedway Prepares for Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

Halifax Co., VA - More than 8,000 racing fans will flock to Halifax County tomorrow for one of their biggest racing events in years.The South Boston Speedway will host the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. "It's really one of the largest events that we have hosted here since back in the 90's," said Cathy Rice, General Manager of South Boston Speedway. Rice expects thousands of fans to turn out for their very first charity event, benefiting cystic fibrosis research. Big names like Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Timothy Peters will race. For Jeb Burton, coming home to South Boston is a special experience. "It's no pressure, you just get to go race and have fun, and that's what it is all about," Burton said. To prepare for the sudden increase of traffic, local law enforcement agencies have worked together to develop a safety plan for during and after the race. "My responsibility as chief of police here is to ensure that anybody, not just residents of the community, but visitors also... have a safe and pleasant experience while they are here," said Jim Binner, Chief of the South Boston Police Department. Local businesses say nothing could have prepared them for just how slammed they have been, however. "We've been sold out forever. People are still begging for rooms," said Dianna Tiller, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express. Tiller's hotel is just one of many that is booked. She says most of the local businesses would agree that these events are great for the local economy. "You couldn't ask for a better crowd. It's great. I wish they would do it more often anyway," Tiller said. Tickets are $25 dollars at the gate. The race starts Thursday at 8 p.m. but the doors open at 10 a.m. for tailgating and activities.