June 12, 2011. The first two rounds of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series had been frustrating for DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team. A return to the St. Thomas, Ontario driver’s home track at Delaware Speedway proved to be the tonic for a hard charging third place podium finish.
Kennington won the two previous events at Delaware Speedway and coming to race at Delaware gave Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team just the boost they needed. From the start of practice Kennington was the class of the field and posted the quickest lap time. With other series running afterwards it changed the track characteristics however Kennington still placed the Castrol Edge Dodge on the outside of row one in qualifying. “I didn’t realize how good my first lap was” said Kennington. “So when I got to the second qualifying lap I pushed a bit too hard and it cost us or we’d have been on pole” he concluded.
When the 200 lap feature event began Kennington immediately began looking for the top spot. The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge would move into the lead on lap 17 and pull out a sizable lead on the field. “The team gave me a great car to drive and we started to work our race plan from there” he stated. “We made our first pit stop during the first caution period for fuel and came out in good position” he stated.
The race plan for the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge would change because of a fluke incident. The #97 car spun up the track and when he slid back down clipped the back of Kennington leaving the rear bumper panel dangling. “I just couldn’t get out of the way” stated Kennington simply. “The team did an awesome job fixing things up so we could continue” he stated.
Now back in the pack with an unplanned pit stop Kennington began pushing the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge trying to regain track position. Fighting his way forward with every lap he was soon back amongst the leaders and with another caution period just past the three quarter mark of the race he pitted for fresh right side tires. “Those new tires and the adjustment the team made helped me in the closing laps” said Kennington.
When the final caution period of the night set up an eight lap shoot out Kennington seized the opportunity. Pushing the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge as hard as he dared on the final lap he managed to make one last pass to claim a third place podium finish. “What a job the team did tonight” said Kennington. “They deserve a lot of credit for getting the body panels fixed up so I could make a charge at the end” he stated.
The podium finish gives Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team the boost they needed and moves them up to fourth in the overall championship standings. “We’ll take this one and build on it” said the driver. “This thing is far from over and we’re going to some tracks that I know we can win at and that’s what we intend to do” he added.
DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team get back in action the weekend of June 25 & 26 at the famed Mosport International Raceway near Bowmanville, Ontario. Once again this year fans will be able to watch all twelve races on TSN. Check local listings for times.
Race fans are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest team news in several ways. Race fans should bookmark the team website http://www.djkracing.ca www.djkracing.ca and follow them on twitter, http://www.twitter.com/djkracing www.twitter.com/djkracing Fans are also suggested to join the Facebook Group DJK Racing.
Photo: The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge at Delaware Speedway.