July 28, 2011. DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team closed out the western swing for the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series with their second consecutive second place finish of and closed up the gap in the overall point standings during round number seven at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Posting the quickest qualifying time with a new track record to secure the pole position as he did a year ago the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge driver was focused on securing another victory at the 1/3 mile banked oval track. Ã¢â‚¬Å“No doubt about it we were on a missionÃ¢â‚¬Â said Kennington. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had a victory earlier in the year at Delaware and this whole team wanted another oneÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
When the 250 lap feature race began Kennington took off and lead the first 87 laps of the race. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The whole #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team did an unbelievable job and gave me a great carÃ¢â‚¬Â said the driver. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We hardly made any changes during practice it was so goodÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
Pit stops would cycle through and Kennington found himself hunting down the leader into the late stages of the race. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was racing hard with J.R. Fitzpatrick in the #84 carÃ¢â‚¬Â said Kennington. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We went door to door as hard as we could and neither of us put a mark on the other. It was a lot of funÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
Kennington regained the top spot on lap 227 and appeared head toward the win. A late caution set up a five lap dash to the finish. On the final lap the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge was muscled aside by the eventual race winner and Kennington had to settle for second. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had some contact from the #7 car earlier in the year and we talked about itÃ¢â‚¬Â explained Kennington. Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not running for the points championship so I guess whatever it takes to win is okayÃ¢â‚¬Â he concluded.
Despite losing the one position Kennington made substantial progress in tightening up the pointÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s championship and now sits only twenty points from top spot overall. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a good points day, losing out on the win is frustrating but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take this result and keep the momentum going in the next race. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to thank the whole team that worked so hard on this western trip, everyone did such a great jobÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team will return to action during round eight of the series at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres August 5-7 in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Once again this year fans will be able to watch all twelve races on TSN.
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.
Photo: The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge practicing at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway by Todd Lewis