Jesse Dennis holds on for $10,000 win at Aftermarket Nationals

Corning driver, sick to his stomach all day, dominates rubbered down Farley Speedway for big payday

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FARLEY — Jesse Dennis spent all day Friday sick to his stomach.

The Corning native was set to start the Aftermarket Nationals main event on the outside front row in his No. 70 Modified, and given who was starting around him — and more importantly behind him — it made for a nerve-wracking day.

But all those nerves were for naught. Dennis traded the lead with pole sitter David Brown early in the 50-lap main event, but from midway in the opening 25-lap segment on, it was all Dennis. He led the final 40 laps en route to the $10,000 payday.

“That’s pretty darn cool,” Dennis said. “Brown got underneath me in that first segment, and I knew I had to get back around him if I was going to win it.

“It’s tough being out front like that. I was sick all day, it seems like. I knew I was going to start up there, and it was miserable all day. Right now it feels pretty good.

Dennis got the win ahead of New Liberty driver Chris Zogg, who races West Liberty Raceway weekly, Brookfield, Mo., native Hunter Marriott, Beatrice, Neb., driver Jordan Grabouski and Brown.

At the halfway break, track announcer Jerry Mackey interviewed the top five drivers while crew members refueled the cars, and Zogg joked he felt out of place racing around some of the guys up front. After all, guys like Marriott, Grabouski, sixth-place finisher Kelly Shryock and others are national champions.

 

But after charging to second on a pair of late restarts after slipping to fifth, Zogg felt different about his result — to a point. Knowing the way the track was developing and what it was doing to the handling, Zogg was proud of himself for what he was able to do on those restarts.

“I’ll feel better about it if we do it again at another big show,” Zogg said. “But this is a step in the right direction because I don’t run here a lot. This feels great.

“I should’ve made my move sooner in the first 25 laps. I was easy on the tires, because I know this place is hard on tires. I used and abused them in the last 25. It kind of showed. I got Hunter back; I got Brown on that restart. That felt like a muscle move, because (Marriott) didn’t give an inch — and I don’t blame him. That was good, clean racing.”

Dennis had a similar feeling in Victory Lane. He was grinning ear to ear talking about beating the aforementioned heavy hitters, and said it certainly added a sweet layer to the top of that $10,000 check.

Farley Speedway has a reputation for getting rubbered up toward the end of long races, and Friday was no exception. Dennis used that to his advantage when he got back in front, and never looked back.

“When Brown got up underneath me, I didn’t know exactly where the rubber was,” Dennis said. “When I got back by it got super rubbered up and I ran there knowing no one could blow by me on the outside.

“I was not happy about those yellows at the end, that’s for sure. It’s really satisfying. All these guys out here are top notch. They win so many big races and it’s nice to be able to put my name up there.”

In other racing action, Dubuque driver Troy Bauer took home $2,000 for his win in the Sport Mod main event. Bauer started in the top five and drove his way forward, battling for the lead with Sherrill’s Tyler Soppe, who ended up fourth at the finish.

The Modified division also had two Engine Builder Challenge feature races for racers who didn’t qualify for the $10,000-to-win main event. Dunkerton driver Troy Cordes won $1,000 in the first one, and Seymour, Wis. driver Brian Mullen won the other.

AFTERMARKET NATIONALS

FARLEY SPEEDWAY RESULTS

MODIFIED

1.70 Jesse Dennis; 2. 9z Chris Zogg; 3. 62 Hunter Marriott; 4. 30 Jordan Grabouski; 5. 21d David Brown; 6. 3 Kelly Shryock; 7. 96rc RC Whitwell; 8. 5 Todd Shute; 9. 32 Brandon Rothzen; 10. 26b Brian Irvine; 11. 69x Jon Snyder; 12. 4 Ryan Maitland; 13. 77 Kurt Kile; 14. 72m Brian Mullen; 15. 21m Tyler Madigan; 16. 27m Mark Schulte; 17. 33k Kenny Kostenbader; 18. 6 Konner Willinski; 19. 19g Richie Gustin; 20. 39g R.J. Gonzales; 21. 90k Shawn Kilgore; 22. 33z Zack VanderBeek; 23. 8k Kyle Strickler; 24. 24g Greg Gretz; 25. 54 Benji LaCrosse; 26. 41 Jeremiah Hurst.

SPORT MOD TOP 5

1.9k Troy Bauer; 2. 2w Todd Weise; 3. 92 Josh Most; 4. 3t Tyler Soppe; 5. 71b Scott Busch

l Comments: (319) 368-8884; jeremiah.davis@thegazette.com

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