DJ KenningtonDJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team continue to perform and are enjoying a successful season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series.  At round number eight on Saturday night at Mosport Speedway the Castrol/Mahindra team again flourished and claimed their second consecutive podium finish.

The Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge performed reasonably well right from the beginning of practice but Kennington was determined to do even better.  “We always run pretty well, we’re a solid top-five car, we finish up on the podium but we always want to be a first place car and we have to keep trying things to always be improving” said the driver. Kennington would post the third quickest qualifying lap and start the 200 lap feature on the inside of row two.

From the drop of the green flag Kennington pushed the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge forward immediately grabbing second spot and setting his sights on first.  On lap eighteen Kennington would take over the race lead and then began to formulate his strategy for the competition and the rain that was threatening.  “All the things we did during practice helped and the Castrol/Mahindra car was really good initially” said the driver.

The race would stay green for the first seventy laps and with one eye on the weather the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor team decided not to pit.  As the race moved past halfway and became official the decisions became more difficult.  They could not go the entire distance without fuel and would need new tires as well.  As the race neared the three quarter mark the caution flag flew and Kennington came to pit road for scheduled service for the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge.

If the race continued as it did earlier with a long green flag run Kennington felt he had the car to win.  As is often the case, circumstances changed and the final quarter of the event had several caution periods and restarts.  The Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge was strong right to the end but without an extended run Kennington would be forced to settle for another third place finish at the checkers. “We were just a little too tight after the new tires, but if it had been a 250 lap race I think we had it” said the driver afterwards. “We did learn some things about the handling of the car and we’ll be even better prepared for the next oval race at Barrie” he added.

After eight races DJ Kennington sits third in the overall championship standings.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series heads back to Quebec for round number nine as the feature race of the Fortieth Anniversary edition of the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres on Sunday August 16th. This year’s race schedule consists of thirteen races, all of which will again be broadcast on TSN.

Photo by Rod Henderson