Dry weather prevailed long enough on Sunday afternoon at Kawartha Speedway for Andrew Ranger to close out the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season by winning the points championship while DJ Kennington won the Z-Line Designs 250 presented by the Dodge Dealers of Ontario and Coca-Cola.
Ranger, who was one point shy of the title coming into the race, clinched the championship when the 27-car field took the green flag. It is the Roxton Pond, Que., native’s second series crown in three seasons having won it in the series’ inaugural season of 2007.
The race, postponed from Saturday evening, was halted after 204 laps due to a heavy rain shower.
Kennington was able to wrestle the lead away from Kerry Micks on Lap 183 before the final caution flag of the day waved at Lap 193 when Joey Hanssen and John Gaunt got tangled up in Turn 1. The rain began to fall at the 200-lap mark at which point NASCAR officials decided to end the race as more showers were on the way.
Micks posted his second runner-up finish of the season and was followed by Hamilton’s Don Thomson Jr. in third. Scott Steckly, the 2008 series champion, finished fourth with Ron Beauchamp Jr. coming home in fifth.
Jason Hathaway, Anthony Simone, Dave Whitlock, Ranger and Kent Nuhn rounded out the top-10 finishers. Grimsby’s Jeff Lapcevich finished 13th, Milton’s Howie Scannell jr., finished right behind him in 14th, and Ancaster’s Brennan Didero was 27th.
The race lead exchanged 14 times among six drivers and was slowed due to caution nine times for a total of 68 laps.
Joey Hanssen was able to beat out Dexter Stacey in their year-long battle for top rookie honors in the series.
In the final point standings, Ranger finished 167 points ahead of both Kennington and Beauchamp, who both ended with the same point total, but Kennington gets the nod for second place due to his two wins on the season. Steckly wrapped up the season in fourth while Micks finished fifth. Thomson had 1841 points for sixth place.
As a touring series champion, Ranger earned a protected starting position in the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown to be held on Jan. 29-30 at California’s Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The seventh running of the event brings together the top racers from across North America for the “Daytona 500 of short-track racing.”
Next up for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series team is the NASCAR Touring Series Gala in Concord, N.C. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at which Ranger and the rest of the touring series champions will be honored.