GOOD BREAKS BAD BRAKES
RICHMOND, VA – There was plenty of anticipation heading into Friday nights race at Richmond International Raceway. One week ago at Talladega Superspeedway, Canada’s DJ Kennington was less than 30 laps away from scoring his first ever top 10 finish in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event. Then a right rear tire blew on the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Vector Security #81 Dodge. This led to a three car crash which ended Kennington’s day. “We couldn’t wait for the next race,” indicates the St. Thomas Ontario driver, “we were disappointed with the crash but we proved to ourselves that we could run at the front with NASCAR’s big guns.” The adrenaline, which carried over from the Alabama race, quickly evaporated as Kennington had his slowest qualifying effort of the season (39th) at Richmond. Kennington was the first driver on the track, which is often a disadvantage to any race team. “We just missed the set up that’s all. Yes we were first out and yes the track got a lot quicker during the qualifying session. It’s no excuse. We just missed it that’s all. We were slow.” With a slow qualifying effort the thought of finishing near the back of the pack at Richmond quickly faded as Kennington gained several positions early in the race. However, the flow of the race would hurt Kennington’s chances of finishing well in the end. “The long green flag runs killed us,’ sigh’s Kennington, “at these short track races, it’s all about the car, all about aerodynamics and it’s especially all about brakes.” Kennington would finish the race in 27th.
“We were running out of brakes during those long runs without a yellow. If there were a few more yellows near the end of the race I’m pretty confident we could have finished 23rd or maybe 22nd.” The difference between big NASCAR Stock Car teams and smaller race teams like Kennington’s was evident at Richmond International Raceway Friday night. “There are some cars here that are running $25,000 worth of brakes. I think the brake system on our car cost us around $2,000. It’s just the reality of racing when you’re up against the world’s best stock car teams. There are several other smaller teams like us that are in the same situation. You make do with what you have and run the best that you can.” Next race for DJ Kennington and team is Friday, May 9th. It’s another short track race at a facility nicknamed the ‘Lady in Black.’ “Darlinton Raceway is another new track that we’ve never raced at,” says Kennington, “apparently we have some extra practice time available to us so we are going to take advantage of that.” Kennington enters this weekend’s event in the State of Virginia 22nd in point’s, just 26 points back of a top 20 spot in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings.
NEXT NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
DIAMOND HILL PLYWOOD 200 (147laps)
Darlington Raceway – Darlington, South Carolina
>Friday, May 9th
Practice #1: Thursday, May 8th (1:00pm – Edmonton time)
Practice #2: Thursday, May 8th (3:40pm – Edmonton time)
Practice #3: Thursday, May 8th (6:10pm – Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Friday, May 9th (1:10pm – Edmonton time)
RACE: Friday, May 9th (5:30pm – Edmonton time)