September 17, 2011. DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team came east to Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia for round number eleven of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series looking to repeat as winners at the 1/3 mile high banked oval and continue their push to repeat as series champion. At the end of the day Kennington would claim his seventh top five finish of the year.
During afternoon practice the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge didn’t show the speed the team expected. “It wasn’t a problem at all we just needed some adjustments to the set up we started the day with” explained Kennington.
The speed was evident during qualifying when Kennington posted the second fastest time and put the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge on the outside of row one to start the 300 lap event.
Competitors set a torrid pace in the first third of the race going over 100 laps without a caution period to slow the field. “When it’s getting late in the season everybody wants to go” said Kenning ton. “Everyone did a great job giving each other room and this track is good for racing side by side” he added.
During the first caution period Kennington brought the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge to pit lane for fuel and left side tires. “We set up our strategy that we’d stop late for right side tires and have them for the end of the race” stated Kennington.
All appeared to be working in the team’s favor as Kennington took over the race lead on lap 124. “The car was running great and I was able to pull out a bit of a lead” said Kennington.
Unfortunately the second half of the strategy would not play out. The race went green for almost the entire final 100 laps and there was no opportunity for Kennington to get those right side tires. “Everything was all set up for us we just didn’t get the caution everyone expected” said the driver.
With worn right side tires Kennington was unable to hold the point position, he did however hang on for a fourth place result. “I think everybody was surprised not to get a caution, a couple of other guys were working the same strategy and I think we really had a chance to win it otherwise” said Kenning ton.
With the fourth place finish Kennington is second in the overall standings, 94 points behind the leader heading into the final event. “We know the odds are against us but until we’re eliminated this whole Castrol Edge Dodge team is going to keep working hard” he stated.
Race fans are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest team news in several ways. Race fans should bookmark the team website www.djkracing.ca and follow them on twitter, www.twitter.com/djkracing and look for the new DJK Racing Fan Page on Facebook.
Photos: The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge qualifying at Riverside Speedway
Photo Credit: Todd Lewis