|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums|
Born in St. Thomas, Ontario, the 35-year-old Kennington is a two time champion of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. In seven years on the tour, he has scored nineteen victories and never finished worse than third in series points, including a close runner-up finish to Scott Steckly this past September. He also has 48 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a career-best finish of 11th at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2010.
Kennington was making his first Truck Series start of 2013. His most recent start in the series came on March 27, 2010 when he finished 17th in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville. He drove for longtime car owner Rick Ware that day, and would again for his return to the series last Friday. Although Ware’s team has competed regularly in the Nationwide Series since 2011, Kennington’s race would be just the third Truck Series start for 2013. Ware’s #1 Chevrolets finished 20th with Dusty Davis at Daytona and a season-best 6th with Timmy Hill at Talladega.
At Phoenix, Kennington ran 25th in both practice sessions, then timed in 20th with an average speed of 131.584 mph. This ranked Kennington fifth among the eleven “go-or-go-homers” who attempted to qualify, though with 36 trucks once again running for as many spots, no one failed to qualify.
On Lap 2 of the race, Kennington was running the high lane in Turns 3 and 4 when he suddenly broke loose and slapped the outside wall, causing significant damage to the right-front of his truck. As the field checked-up, Brennan Newberry spun to the apron, but was undamaged in the incident. Kennington pulled behind the wall, his night finished. Newberry recovered to come home 18th. J.J. Yeley apparently also suffered damage in the Kennington wreck and exited the race after two laps, leaving him 35th.
Rounding out the Bottom Five were Mike Harmon, who left with an oil leak during the Kennington caution; Bryan Silas with his third 33rd-place finish in his last six starts; and the RSS Racing Chevrolet of 2013 LASTCAR Truck Series runner-up Chris Jones.
The 2013 LASTCAR champ, Chris Lafferty, was not in Friday’s field. However, if Lafferty starts and finishes last next week at Homestead, he can set a new single-season last-place record in the Truck Series. His current total of six is tied for most all-time with Phil Bonifield (1999) and Mike Garvey (2011).
*Although this was Kennington’s first last-place finish in the Truck Series, he also has two more in the Nationwide Series, both within two weeks of each other while driving the #72 MacDonald Motorsports entry in the fall of 2007. The first came at Memphis, when handling woes stopped his NPPL / Vector Dodge after 44 laps. The other came at Phoenix, when his Northern Provincial Pipe Lines Dodge was taken out in a two-car crash after seven laps.
*Kennington is the first Canadian to finish last in a Truck Series race since September 26, 2009, when NASCAR Cup Series veteran Trevor Boys fell out with a vibration after the opening lap of the Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas. Boys was driving the #89 Laffery Performance / Blue Ox Chevrolet owned by Chris Lafferty, this year’s LASTCAR Truck Series Champion.
*This was the first last-place finish by the #1 in a Truck Series race since September 16, 2006, when Robert Richardson, Jr.’s WinYourMortgage.com Chevrolet was involved in a multi-truck crash after he completed the opening lap of the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #1-D.J. Kennington / 1 lap / crash
35) #07-J.J. Yeley / 2 laps / crash
34) #84-Mike Harmon / 3 laps / oil leak
33) #99-Bryan Silas / 10 laps / engine
32) #93-Chris Jones / 14 laps / brakes
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chris Lafferty (6)
2nd) Chris Jones (3)
3rd) Johnny Chapman (2)
4th) Jeff Babcock, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Ehrgott, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, D.J. Kennington, Mason Mingus, Scott Riggs, Scott Saunders, Jimmy Weller (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb (7)
2nd) #93-RSS Racing (3)
3rd) #38-RSS Racing, #84-Chris Fontaine (2)
4th) #1-Rick Ware Racing, #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #29-Brad Keselowski, #35-Kevin Cywinski, #81-Bobby Dotter, #92-Ricky Benton, #07-Ken Smith (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (13)
2nd) Ford (4)
3rd) RAM, Toyota (2)