Frank Denning, known to fellow competitors and friends as Junior Denning, is the patriarch of a racing family. Frank’s racing career began in 1955 when he entered a “34” Ford Coupe in Lakeside Speedway’s “Hooligan Class”.  Frank’s cars became fan favorites with their distinctive purple paint, number 90D, and a Donald Duck character painted somewhere on the car’s body.

Frank’s early driving career lasted from 1959 to 1962, when shifted his focus to becoming a successful race car owner.  He teamed with Bart Manley, who drove Frank’s car in Lakeside’s modified division, and built a “Powder Puff” car for his wife Audrey to drive for the 1963 season.  Frank then built one of his most memorable cars, a purple 1932 Ford Victoria with Bart’s number 98 on the side.  He said that “every part on the car that could be chrome plated, was”, and an article from the Denver Post stated “it was the most beautiful car to ever hit a racetrack.”

Frank’s bought the Better-Bilt Transmissions company in 1967.  He then became a major Colorado racing sponsor, building and rebuilding transmissions for racers, free of charge.  The Better-Bilt Transmission logo adorned most of the cars at Lakeside Speedway, and many more at tracks throughout Colorado in the succeeding years.  Frank’s primary focus was running the transmission shop until he and his son Frank Denning, Jr. built a trio of cars that included “a ride” for Frank’s return to competition, a car for Frank Jr. to drive, and a third car to be driven by Mike Kitterman. On-track success was immediate, as Frank Denning, Junior won the CARC Championship that year and raced to a second title five years later.  Tradition has continued, as Frank’s grandson, Frank Denning the third, started his racing career in 2006 in a car equipped with a chassis that has direct lineage to his grandfather.

Perhaps Frank’s greatest achievement is the way his passion for racing has passed on to his descendants, as the Denning family has become an integral part of Colorado racing culture.  Frank Denning’s legacy is found in the memories of some of the best appearing and constructed cars in the Denver area.  He is also remembered for his generosity and kindness, as he provided sponsorship for nearly anyone in the racing world who asked about it over the years.

Frank Denning’s legacy will now also include induction into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2023!