DJ KenningtonDJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team returned to Barrie Speedway in Ontario for round number eleven of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. The 1/3 mile bullring is a track where Kennington has tasted victory before and the team hoped to make up some ground in the championship standings. Though they scored their ninth top-ten finish of the season, this night however would leave them feeling irritated.

During afternoon practice the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge showed it’s usual strength posting quick times with each turn around the track. Kennington would qualify on the outside of row two in the fourth position. “It was a solid afternoon for us” said Kennington. “Everything looked good, the car felt great and we had a good starting spot near the front which is very important at Barrie” he added.

The promise of a successful night would quickly evaporate quickly. Right from the drop of the green flag Kennington knew there was a problem with the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge and was on the radio his crew alerting them to the situation. “The car seemed to bobble right of the start” said the driver. “We had a caution right at the start of the race and I hoped it wasn’t too serious. On the restart however the car felt underpowered and I knew we had to deal with this right away” he added.

Kennington would bring the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge to pit road and the crew checked to make sure it wasn’t a dislodged plug wire or other quick fix and sent him back on track. It was immediately apparent that the problem was more serious and Kennington would be forced to return to the pits again to rectify the problem.

With remarkable speed the Castrol Crew changed the carburetor on the car and returned Kennington to the fight. “It was really frustrating to have that kind of a problem” said the disappointed driver afterwards. “We didn’t have any indication at all during practice or qualifying, for some this issue popped up at the start of the race” he added.

While still early in the race the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor team was a dozen laps down to the leaders and Kennington set out to make the best of the bad situation. With the repairs solving the power problem Kennington would use all of his skills and the Dodge horsepower to run laps as quick as the leaders for the rest of the night.

While it certainly wasn’t the kind of race the driver and the rest of the team expected, they continued to work hard and finished the 300 lap event with a tenth place finish. “I just hate it for Castrol and Mahindra Tractors and everybody that helps us out with our program that we had this kind of fluky problem” said the driver. “Somehow we managed to get a top-ten finish out of it but we clearly showed that we had a car that was capable of much more tonight, we’ll jut have to show it next week at Riverside Speedway” he concluded.

After eleven races DJ Kennington continues to sit second in the overall championship standings.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be back in action this coming Saturday September 19th at Riverside Speedway near Antigonish, Nova Scotia. This year’s race schedule consists of thirteen races, all of which will again be broadcast on TSN.

Photo by Todd Lewis.