NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champ D.J. Kennington to tackle UNOH Battle of the BeachBy Ashley McCubbin
“Last season’s over, on to 2013. We had a great year last year.”
With his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Championship, D.J. Kennington guaranteed himself a starting position in one of the UNOH Battle of the Beach races – the race being his choice.
Kennington will make good on that guaranteed starting position this Tuesday, entering the K&N Pro Series event on Tuesday night.
“Pretty excited,” he said. “We have a really good car, good team, and hopefully if we can have any luck at all, we miss the carnage and have a good day.”
Kennington will drive the No. 28 Castrol Toyota at Daytona International Speedway for Bill McAnally Racing.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to compete in this exciting new event,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “We anticipate it will attract the best caliber teams in NASCAR regional touring and we are glad to be a part of it. We want to thank all of our sponsors who made this possible – NAPA Auto Parts, Toyota, NAPA Filters, NGK and Castrol.”
McAnnally and Kennington have worked together in the past, teaming up for the 2010 running of the NASCAR All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. The event paired Kennington against 38 of the top drivers from the K&N Pro East Series, K&N Pro West Series, along with the NASCAR Mexico Series Champion. In that event, he started 15th and worked his way to the front, finishing second.
The St. Thomas, Ontario native won the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Championship last year after winning seven races, including six in a row to become the sixth driver in NASCAR Touring Series history to do so. The season was so impressive that Kennington finished in the top five in every race, except one. He finished 21st at Barrie Speedway after fuel pump issues.
The two-time series champion got started in racing at the age of four in go-kart, and continued to move up the ranks from there.
“Loved the sport and it’s in my blood and unfortunately, I can’t get rid of it,” he said.
Kennington is set to return to the Canadian Tire Series in 2013, set to defend his title and possibly become the first driver to win three championships in the series. Kennington is currently one of three drivers that have won two championships; Scott Steckly and Andrew Ranger are the other two.
With the variety of tracks that the Canadian Tire Series goes to, it’s easy for a driver to have more than one favourite.
“Obviously, I like Delaware – it’s close to home,” he said of his favourite tracks. “It’s my home track. Saskatoon is really fun and beautiful facility, and so is Riverside. We got a lot of great places to race in Canada. As long as it’s a race track, I’m happy.
One neat addition to the 2013 schedule is the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be at Canadian Tire Motosports Park on Labour Day weekend with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. There is a chance that you may see Kennington running both races.
“We’re working on it trying to put together a program for that race,” Kennington said of the truck race. “If we can get a good ride secured, we will be there.”
When it comes to those looking to follow in the champ’s footsteps, he says get out and get involved in the sport.
“Get involved and try to get in with a team, even if you’re helping out just working on the cars,” he said. “Get to know people. I found that the more people you know, the easier it is to perform because it’s people that make this sport. If you don’t get out there and get involved, nobody will know who you are so if you get out and get involved, they’ll know who you are.”