Ranger Closes The Deal At Kawartha Kennington Snags Win In Rain-Shortened Event FRASERVILLE, Ont. -- Dry weather prevailed long enough on Sunday afternoon at Kawartha Speedway for Andrew Ranger to close out the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series...
Ranger Closes The Deal At Kawartha
Kennington Snags Win In Rain-Shortened Event
FRASERVILLE, Ont. -- Dry weather prevailed long enough on Sunday afternoon at Kawartha Speedway for Andrew Ranger to close out the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season by winning the points championship and DJ Kennington to win the Z-Line Designs 250 presented by the Dodge Dealers of Ontario and Coca-Cola.
Ranger, who was one point shy of the title coming into the race, clinched the championship when the 27-car field took the green flag. It is the Roxton Pond, Que., native's second series crown in three seasons having won it in the series' inaugural season of 2007.
On the year, Ranger won a single season series-record six races--three ovals and three road courses. He also closed out the season with eight top fives, as well as, finishing inside the top 10 in each of the 13 races on the 2009 schedule.
"We had a fantastic season with the Walmart/Tide Ford," said the 22-year-old Ranger. "I can't thank (car owner) Dave Jacombs and (crew chief) Billy Burns enough. They put so much time and effort into preparing the car. It just makes my job easier. Today, the car was great again. We just changed tires before the rain came, so the timing of that was not the best for us."
The race, already postponed from Saturday evening, was halted after 204 laps due to a heavy rain shower.
Kennington was able to wrestle the lead away from Kerry Micks on Lap 183 before the final caution flag of the day waved at Lap 193 when Joey Hanssen and John Gaunt got tangled up in Turn 1. The rain began to fall at the 200-lap mark at which point NASCAR officials decided to end the race as more showers were on the way.
"The Castrol/Mahindra Tractors Dodge was really good and easy to drive," said Kennington. "My crew this year was the best I've ever had. They all worked hard on this one. The rain coming didn't bother me at all. A win is a win, but I think we would have been in pretty good shape regardless."
It was Kennington's second victory of the season having won at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway on June 6.
Micks posted his second runner-up finish of the season and was followed by Don Thomson Jr. in third. Scott Steckly, the 2008 series champion, finished fourth with Ron Beauchamp Jr. coming home in fifth.
"We started and ended the season with second-place finishes," said Micks. "All in all, it was a good year. We're still struggling with the soft setup, but we already have some thoughts on how to make that better for next year."
Jason Hathaway, Anthony Simone, Dave Whitlock, Ranger and Kent Nuhn rounded out the top-10 finishers.
The race lead exchanged 14 times among six drivers and was slowed due to caution nine times for a total of 68 laps.
Joey Hanssen was able to beat out Dexter Stacey in their year-long battle for top rookie honors in the series.
In the final point standings, Ranger finished 167 points ahead of both Kennington and Beauchamp, who both ended with the same point total, but Kennington gets the nod for second place due to his two wins on the season. Steckly wrapped up the season in fourth while Micks finished fifth.
As a touring series champion, Ranger earned a protected starting position in the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown to be held on Jan. 29-30 at California's Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The seventh running of the event brings together the top racers from across North America for the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing."
Next up for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series team is the NASCAR Touring Series Gala in Concord, N.C. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at which Ranger and the rest of the touring series champions will be honored.