June 16, 2018. DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team hit the track for the first oval race of the 2018 NASCAR Pinty’s Series this past Saturday at Jukasa Motor Speedway near Hamilton, ON. These were also the first laps in a brand new racecar and while Kennington’s performance was strong a wonky tire hampered it.
During the afternoon practice session the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge posted the fastest time and was the only driver to post a sub 19-second lap on the 5/8-mile oval. Kennington was positive but cautious after the session. “It’s really nice to have such a good car, but we know that the 200 laps tonight will be different” he stated.
Kennington posted the seventh quickest time in qualifying but was quickly on the move in the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge and made his way into the top-five. A competition caution called by NASCAR officials allowed the team to make a pit stop for fuel and fresh left side tires. “Everything felt good up until that point” said the driver. “The car was really strong and we were focused on being in a good position at the end”.
Another competition caution allowed for the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge to change right side tires and Kennington looked to put himself in the best possible position for the end of the race. That proved to be a challenge as one of the tires was causing a handling issue. “I think it was egg shaped,” joked Kennington after the race. “It was such a handful though for so long that I just couldn’t get up and fight with the front couple of cars”.
While dealing with the ill handling car Kennington pushed the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge as hard as he could and crossed the finish line with a sixth place finish. “All things considered, we’ll take it,” he said afterwards. “First laps on a new car, it was really strong and we came home clean. Now we’ll work on it and fine-tune a little bit. A tough break with the tire, but it happens. Really great job by the whole Castrol bunch this weekend” he added.
The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team returns to action in two weeks, Saturday June 30that the Autodrome Chaudière in Vallee Jonction, Quebec. Watch this past weekend’s race from Jukasa Speedway on TSN Saturday June 23rdat 2PM ET.
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