Alex, your first guess was correct. It is a pity that no one support the race.
The coin is here:
Vespasian AE denarius. Struck 73 AD.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG CENS, laureate head right (counterclockwisi)
Reverse: PONTIF MAXIM
, Vespasian seated right, holding sceptre and branch.
RIC 65, RSC 387.
I think that the reverse image has some feature of the obverse portrait.