DJ KenningtonDJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team traveled to Riverside International Speedway for round number twelve of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past weekend. While showing the big horsepower of their Dodge motor in qualifying by scoring the pole position, Kennington would suffer a mechanical breakdown ending his day early

Persistent rain showers forced postponement of the race from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon but the delay didn’t bother the Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team. Kennington wasn’t pleased with the times posted during the morning practiced and the team made significant changes to the car. “It’s not that we were too far off we knew that we had to make the car faster” said Kennington.

The Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team made the right changes to the car and Kennington was the only competitor to post a time under fifteen seconds, putting down a blazing lap of 14.917 seconds for an average speed of 80.365 MPH to secure his second pole position of the season. “It was a great job by the team, the car was great during those qualifying laps” said the driver.

As the green flag waved for the 300 lap main event Kennington would hold the lead for the first thirty one laps. “We wanted to lead some laps and take the bonus points and we were able to do that” said Kennington. While Kennington surrendered the lead he was never far from the front. “With a 300 lap race I wanted to save the car a little bit” said the driver.

During a caution period near the one third point of the race Kennington made a scheduled stop for fuel. “Our strategy was to get our fuel first and then leave ourselves some options for later in the race” said the driver. The Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge team would not have the opportunity to use any of those options.

Just before the halfway point of the race as Kennington was again moving the Castrol/Mahindra Tractors Dodge toward the front of the field he began to slow on the race track. “There was no warning but I knew it was serious right away” said the disappointed driver afterwards. Knowing the severity of the problem Kennington immediately brought the Castrol/Mahindra Tractors Dodge behind the pit wall, his day was over early. “It’s a shame” said Kennington. “We had a really fast race car today and we had some kind of mechanical failure under the hood. This Castrol/Mahindra Tractors Dodge was fast, it felt great and we really had a chance to get another victory. We’ll head back home and find out exactly what it was and we’re going for the win at the final race next week” he added.

After twelve races DJ Kennington is third in the overall championship standings.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will close out the 2009 season this coming Saturday September 26th at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, ON. This year’s race schedule of thirteen events from coast to coast is again broadcast on TSN.

Photo by Todd Lewis.