GRAND: All-Star Showdown: DJ Kennington race report


January 30, 2011. Reigning NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion DJ Kennington of St. Thomas, ON capped off a busy January of activity with an amazing run at the NASCAR All Star Showdown this past Saturday night In Irwindale, California. In a car provided by Bill McAnally Racing, Kennington piloted his #17 Castrol Edge machine to a second place finish in the race referred to as the Daytona 500 of short track racing.

As the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion Kennington was guaranteed a starting spot in the 225 lap feature race but he and his Canadian Crew were anything but complacent. "We didn't just come here to run around we wanted to show how good this team is" said Kennington.

The team worked to get Kennington comfortable in the car he hadn't even seen until Thursday last week and their efforts were rewarded. Kennington would qualify the Castrol Edge car 15th for the Saturday night race.

The format for the NASCAR All Star Challenge is unique and makes for a challenging race on the half-mile oval at Irwindale. The first 200 laps are raced in 100 lap segments and then it's a 25 lap shoot out to the finish. "With 40 cars in the race the first goal was surviving until the end" explained Kennington.

As the green flag waved to begin the race Kennington was cautious in the Castrol Edge car and looked to avoid the potential hazards. "There were a lot of aggressive moves right from the beginning and just wanted to look after the car" he stated. "Right from the first practice I could tell we had a good race car and I wanted to have something left for the end of the race" he added.

Kennington would move the Castrol Edge entry forward several positions avoiding incident after incident. During a long green flag run in the second 100 lap segment Kennington solidified his position in the top-ten with his sight set on the top-five. "I don't think we had a mark on the car until almost lap 200" said the driver. "There was a yellow for contact at that point and I got a little tap but avoided the big incident and actually gained a couple of spots" he stated.

In the final 25 laps the aggressiveness of all remaining competitors heated up but Kennington maintained his composure in the #17 Castrol Edge car. "In that last segment guys were really trying to make something happen and we benefited" said the driver. "For the last re-start after a yellow we lined up third and then quickly moved to second with a few laps to go" he said excitedly.

Despite his best efforts Kennington was unable to pass the #75 car in the remaining few laps but did take the checkered flag for a sensational second place finish. "I really tried to get up there for the win but the car was just a little bit tight at the end" said Kennington "I have to congratulate Jason Bowles on the win".

Putting this program together for the NASCAR All Star Showdown was a complicated endeavor that required a lot of cooperation and support for which DJ Kennington is extremely thankful. "I'm so proud of this whole effort" said the appreciative driver. "I have to thank so many people for making this possible. Castrol Edge, they'll be back with me for an 18th year this season. Dwight Kennedy and Northern Provincial Pipeline have been great supporters for such a long time. Bill McAnally Racing gave me a great car to drive for this race I knew we'd be good right away. And I really have to thank all my guys who came down from Canada with me, they do such a great job and I can't thank them enough" he said.

-source: dj kennington PR

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Drivers Jason Bowles