D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas is taking a second run at the Great American Race.
A year after qualifying for the 2017 Daytona 500, Gaunt Brother Racing and Kennington are returning for the 60th edition of the Daytona 500. The two-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion was the first Canadian to compete in the Daytona 500 in 29 years.
Running in the Daytona 500 has been a dream of the St. Thomas racer since he was five years old.
In total, he has made 62 career starts in NASCAR’s three national divisions.
Last year’s Daytona qualification came less than three months after another dream came to fruition on the oval at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona – his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.
He’s raced at Daytona previously in the Infinity Series and has a vivid recollection.
“It’s a huge track, but when you’re out there it doesn’t seem so huge. When you’re running three wide at 190 miles an hour, things happen in a hurry. You run flat-footed all the time, all the way around. You never come off the gas.”
He will attempt to qualify for the Feb. 18th race in the No. 96 Toyota Camry.
British Columbia-based Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol (Wakefield Canada), a longtime Kennington partner, will co-sponsor the Daytona effort.
Prior to qualifying last year Kennington enthused, “Daytona is the grand-daddy, it’s the biggest stock car race in the world, I guess. And to have an opportunity at it is absolutely huge for me and my family. My dad has worked so hard with all my races and trying to make things happen for me. For this to come together is really, really cool.”
No doubt he will be just anxious to see the difference a year can make.
First Phoenix and now the grand-daddy of them all
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