Durham News: Sports

Chris Denny notches first OCS win in Late Models

Jerry Hinesley (46) chases after Brandon Baker (87) towards the end of Saturday’s Limited Late Model race in Rougemont, but Baker fends him off for a second straight win.
Jerry Hinesley (46) chases after Brandon Baker (87) towards the end of Saturday’s Limited Late Model race in Rougemont, but Baker fends him off for a second straight win. THOMAS LEE

Chris Denny has arrived.

Denny, who finished fourth three times in 2013 and again in this season’s first Late Model Stock Car event, finally got his first win in the Orange County Speedway’s premier division on Saturday.

Denny was a regular winner in the Limited Sportsman class in 2008 before opting move up to LMSC. He cracked the top 10 two years ago, and in 2013 he finished in the top 10 in nine out of 10 starts at OCS.

Saturday, he started on the front row and went on to out-duel Late Model veterans Chuck Lawson and Mike Chambers to win the 75-lap LMSC race.

Denny clocked in a lap at 14.379 seconds around the track’s three-eighths mile asphalt oval to win the pole. He got in front early by about 2 seconds ahead of Lawson and seemed well on his way to victory. But Lawson trimmed the lead to less than 1 second shortly before a caution period for debris near the race’s halfway mark.

On the subsequent restart, Lawson jumped out into the lead and held Denny at bay until a late yellow flag caused by the spinning car of Libby Privette.

On the next and final restart, Denny turned the tables and got the jump on Lawson to retake the point. He held on to take the victory, while Lawson barely edged Chambers for the runner-up spot.

“I want to thank Chuck for running me clean,” Denny stated in victory lane. “I ran him up the track on that last restart, and I want to apologize to him for that”.

In a 35-lapper for the track’s Limited Sportsman class, pole-sitter Brandon Baker earned his second straight win, this time after a terrific battle with Lawson for most of the race. Lawson spun in a late-race attempt to pass Baker for the lead and dropped back to fifth place. Baker held off Jerry Hinesley to win, with Lawson charging back to finish third.

Baker and Hinesley have finished 1-2 in both of the season’s first two Limited events.

In other races: Corey Purnell took the street Stock Division race, Greg Autrey was the best of a 14 car field for the Pure Stocks, Jordan Pickerall notched the Bandolero trophy, and Wesley Martin edged Ray Chriscoe to garner the Super Mini Truck win.

Racing will return to Orange County Speedway on May 10 with the second Annual Paul Ring Memorial a 100-lap event for Late Models preceded by races for Limiteds, Pure Stock, Street Stock and Super Mini Trucks.

Orange County Speedway

Unofficial results of April 26

(top five in each class)

Late Model Stock: 1, Chris Denny. 2, Chuck Lawson. 3, Mike Chambers. 4, Donald Brace. 5, Tracey Chambers.

Limited Sportsman: 1, Brandon Baker. 2, Jerry Hinesley. 3, Chuck Lawson. 4, Daniel Schadt. 5, Chris Gray.

Street Stock: 1, Corey Purnell. 2, Michael Smith. 3, Richard Hayden. 4, Austin Purnell. 5, Scott Cross:

Pure Stock. 1, Greg Autry. 2, Layne Riggs. 3, Brandon Watson. 4, Mike Milam. 5, Jared Gillis.

Super Mini Trucks: 1, Wesley Martin. 2, Ray Chriscoe. 3, Scott Martin. 4, Jeffrey Martin. 5, Kiser Martin.