August 8, 2011. DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team had to battle the competition and the elements during round number eight of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres. Rain fell during almost the entire event yet Kennington was still able to see his way through the showers to a ninth place finish.
Through practice and qualifying the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team was on their game as Kennington posted very fast lap times. He would back that up with a third best qualifying time. Ã¢â‚¬Å“What a job the team did preparing the carÃ¢â‚¬Â said Kennington. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was such a pleasure to drive, we got absolutely everything out of it during qualifyingÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
Just before the feature race of the weekend Sunday at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres showers dampened the track and teams would begin the event on rain tires. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was pretty worried about what might happenÃ¢â‚¬Â said the driver. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just wanted to go easy and just make sure we finished the race wellÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
Not only would the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge driver battle the rain showers, but also visibility issues. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We prepared for a wet race but the windshield was so foggy I could barely see at timesÃ¢â‚¬Â explained the driver.
Forced to fight for position with limited visibility Kennington would at times give up a position rather than put the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge at risk. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It just didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make senseÃ¢â‚¬Â said the driver. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When the fog on the windshield lifted I could race harder and battle backÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
With the final caution period setting up a green, white checkered finish Kennington dug in to secure a solid finish. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When we were all bunched up for the last restart I just wanted to make sure we brought the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge home with a good finishÃ¢â‚¬Â said Kennington who would do just that with a ninth place run.
With such difficult conditions it was as good a result as the driver could have hoped for. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Any time you run top ten itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a pretty good day, but when you finish top ten on this kind of a day itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great. We fell a couple points behind in the championship but our car hardly has a mark on it. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just dry it out and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge will be ready to run in MontrealÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
It was an extra special weekend for the team being in Trois Rivieres, Quebec where sponsorship partner Mahindra Tractors has such a large presence. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great we had a good run here for Mahindra TractorsÃ¢â‚¬Â said Kennington. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We also had a really good run going for the #00 Mahindra Tractors Dodge with Pierre Bourque going until he was taken out by some contactÃ¢â‚¬Â added Kennington.
DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team will race again in Quebec during the Nationwide weekend event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal August 19-20. 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 the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres by Joe Hamilton