KENNINGTON SCORES HOMETOWN WIN AT DELAWARE IN CASTROL DODGE June 7, 2009. DJ Kennington and ...
KENNINGTON SCORES HOMETOWN WIN AT DELAWARE IN CASTROL DODGE
June 7, 2009. DJ Kennington and #17 the Castrol Dodge team were disappointed that they were unable to score a victory last season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. For 2009 their mission was to right that wrong. This past Saturday night Kennington claimed victory in the Castrol Dodge and won his first touring series event in sixteen years of trying at his home track of Delaware Speedway near London, Ontario. The race win however did not come without several challenges.
Kennington would line up third in the Castrol Dodge for the start of the 200 lap feature event and on lap twelve he would take the lead for the first time in the race. Several laps before that Kennington expressed grave concern to Crew Chief Dave Wight that they might have a problem under the hood. DJ felt the car was underpowered especially at low RPM's and wasn't sure they would even be able to continue. "I think it started about lap eight" said Kennington. "The good thing is it didn't get any worse and for a while it actually worked out okay because I wasn't spinning the tires coming off the corner like some of the other guys and I was able to run pretty well". Kennington would swap the lead with several drivers through the first third of the race.
Through the middle portion of the event the Castrol Crew would make several stops in addition to those scheduled for tires and fuel in hopes of remedying the problem but that wasn't possible. "We never did find the problem" said Kennington afterwards. "But we've got it narrowed down to a couple of things that we'll be able to diagnose this week. It's too bad because I think we definitely had the fastest car but it just wouldn't go on the restarts" he added.
Despite their difficulties with the quick an efficient work of the Castrol pit crew and the persistence of the driver the #17 Castrol Dodge stayed in contention through the middle section of the race and Kennington took the lead for good on lap 146.
Closing out the victory though proved to be another challenge. With one of the twelve caution periods coming late in the race NASCAR officials made several attempts to finish the event under green flag conditions. The first time the #4 car was ruled to have jumped the start. On the second try there was contact and Kennington got into the #4 machine. Finally on the third attempt Kennington held off the #60 for two laps and claimed the checkered flag to secure the victory. "We went all last year and didn't close on of these out but we did it early this year" said a satisfied Kennington about the victory. "It's just great for Mahindra Tractors who came on board with us this year and of course for Castrol, they are such great supporters of our program. This gives us a real boost going forward.
DJ Kennington also addressed other restarts. "I hate it for Donny Thomson and the #4 team. Donny and I are good friends and I certainly didn't try to hit him, but I did and I'm sorry for that. He was trying cut down in the first corner and I was trying to stay low because of the trouble I was having at low RPM's and we got into each other. Neither of us race that way and it worked out like it did for him" he concluded.
Round number three of the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire series will take place Sunday June 14th on the road course at the famed Mosport International Raceway.