Denning leads the entire way, grabs first
|By GREG PHIPPS, C-T Sports Editor|
ROUGEMONT - Jon Denning of Springfield, N.J. quickly grabbed the lead on the opening lap, never once relinquished it, and ended up running away with the 150-lap Late Model Stock Car Division race at the Coca-Cola 355 Saturday night at Orange County Speedway.
It was Denning’s second race and first victory at OCS this season. He finished second here back on March 10.
Roxboro’s Matt Lofton was the runner-up, bypassing points-leader Terry Dease of Oxford for second with 16 laps to go. Dease crossed the finish line in third.Denning was pretty much in cruise control after he pulled out to a comfortable lead in the second portion of Saturday’s race. But he had to battle hard to maintain his edge during the first 80 laps.During that span, Stacy Puryear of South Boston, Va. was almost glued to Denning’s bumper and appeared ready to pass the eventual winner on several occasions. However, after Puryear would close the gap on the turns, Denning was able to fend him off by creating some breathing room on the straightaways.
“Stacy’s a real good friend of mine,” said Denning after the race. “I was able to hold him off on the long runs. It was a lot of fun racing him.”As Denning began to build a sizable lead by lap 85, Puryear eventually lost his second-place position when he spun out on lap 124.Denning, who was never seriously threatened over the final 60 laps, credited his crew for the dominating performance.
“They gave me a great car with such good balance,” he said. “Anyone driving this car would have won this race.”