Denton Shows Solid Pace During Nashville Spring Nationals


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Though Cole Denton’s extended winning streak to open the season came to an end over the weekend, he still left Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway filled with optimism.

Denton participated in the two-day INEX Spring Nationals for Legend cars and Bandoleros on the historic track’s infield quarter-mile oval, running three features in a span of 48 hours against more than 20 of the top Young Lions division competitors in the country.

He didn’t visit victory lane in the trio of events, but Denton still had strong performances across the board with his No. 46 City Chevrolet-themed machine.

Denton advanced from 11th starting spot to finish fifth in Friday’s opening 25-lap feature, which was dominated by polesitter Keelan Harvick, the son of 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick.

The 13-year-old from Pascagoula, Miss., then finished fourth and seventh in Saturday’s twin 25-lappers, again battling in top-notch grids that included the young Harvick, NASCAR Drive 4 Diversity young gun Nathon Lyons, and eventual winner Ryan Zima – who swept the Saturday slate of Young Lions racing.

Despite the challenges of racing in traffic throughout the weekend, Denton did accomplish his personal lap-time goal of a sub-15.7 second rotation, which he achieved at 15.660 on lap 20 of the final feature.

“We really did everything that we set out to do at Nashville,” said Denton. “Finishing fourth on Saturday in the first feature was a big deal, not just because it was our best finish at a national INEX event so far this year, but also because of how we got there. After qualifying fourth, I got hung out at the start of the race and clipped a big weeper [wet patch] that got me loose and sent me back to 12th.

“From there, it was all about passing cars in that race, and to go from 12th back up to finish fourth really showed the speed in our car and the perseverance of this team to keep fighting,” Denton continued. “The timing of the yellows in the last race worked against us because I had to start on the outside on a restart, which shuffled me back from battling to third to a seventh-place finish. We still set our fastest lap of the weekend in that last race, though, and hit the kind of time I was hoping to over the two days.

“We know we have speed at all of our regular tracks, so now it’s about continuing to race strong at the places we know best and building our notes for the other big races we have later in the year.”

Denton has 10 wins overall in 13 starts in Young Lions competition this year, and also circled the enjoyment of getting to see members of the racing family that he usually only gets to see at INEX national events as a high point of the Nashville weekend.

He finished fifth in Young Lions points at the INEX Spring Nationals for his combined three-race performance.

Denton would like to thank 77 Speed Shop, Matt Jones Motorsports, Race Face Brand Development, Race Face Digital, the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Myers Construction Co., and City Chevrolet for their continued partnership and support.

Denton will return to action Saturday, April 27 at Cordele (Ga.) Motor Speedway for race three of the three-eighths-mile oval’s regular season. He’s won both of his Cordele appearances already this year.


About Cole Denton Racing

Nicolas “Cole” Denton is a 13-year-old Gulf South racer with dreams of racing at the top level of stock car racing. From Pascagoula, Miss., Denton began racing go-karts at the age of four and advanced into Bandoleros by the time he was eight years old, where his racing brand and nickname were born.

It was in Bandoleros where Denton, a fan of the iconic racing movie Days of Thunder, adopted the No. 46 as his car number and stylized his Bandolero scheme in black and neon green – akin to the same Mello Yello colors that Tom Cruise’s character Cole Trickle campaigned in the 1990 film.

Denton quickly picked up the nickname “Cole Trickle” at his races, and the persona stuck as his racing stock climbed, leading him to continue racing under the name Cole as he advanced and found success.

His breakout season came in 2022, when Denton accrued 40 wins and 59 podium finishes in 62 starts en route to the INEX Bandolero national championship, leading him into his first year in Legend cars last season.

Away from the driver’s seat, Denton is an avid iRacer, cyclist, and push scooter racer. He also practices flying on a flight simulator and attends both local and NASCAR races as his schedule permits.