Opening the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season at Delaware Speedway is just fine with DJ Kennington after collecting the win in the series’ inaugural visit to the Southern Ontario half-mile track last season.
Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge), racing out of nearby St. Thomas, will debut a new car with a gold and black paint scheme breaking away from his familiar green look.
“The car looks great. It’s a little weird, though. I’ve had a green car for as long as I can remember,” said Kennington. “I’ve never bought into that superstition about green race cars. Maybe we’ll see if there is anything to that.”
The car has performed well in pre-season testing, including a May 18 session at Delaware, leaving Kennington optimistic about the upcoming season.
“We were really fast in the Delaware test. We showed more than I would have liked, but everything felt really good.”
Winning last season at Delaware, his home track, was special for a couple of reasons. First, it was in front of his fans, friends and family, but, more importantly, it was his first touring series victory at the track dating back to his CASCAR days. Kennington first raced here two days after getting his driver’s license at the age of 16.
“That win was awesome,” he said. “It’s always great to win at home, but it was even better to finally do it. I had finished second there something like seven times.”
But his attention now is firmly focused on this season and his quest for that elusive series title.
“If Andrew (Ranger) actually is not going to be able to defend, then it’s going to be a free for all,” Kennington said.
And it all starts in Delaware.
“That’s a great place to start the year off for us. It’s close to home and we did well there last year,” he said. “It’s really important to get off to a good start. With 13 races, you get one mulligan, maybe. Two bad showings and you are done.”
Kennington holds the series record for career top-five finishes with 26 (out of 38 events in series history), five more than second-place Scott Steckly. DNFs have been his undoing. In 2010, Kennington will have to limit those and add to his series career total of four victories to end up where he wants to be at the end of September.
“We want to bring a solid car every time out and win races when the opportunity comes,” he said. “If we do that, then everything else will take care of itself. It has been a long off season, though. Everyone is ready for Delaware.”