Kennington Wins Race; Steckly Takes Title

FRASERVILLE, Ontario, Canada – D.J. Kennington took the win in the Kawartha 250 on Saturday to become the first two-time winner at Kawartha Speedway, while Scott Steckly wrapped up his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship with a runner-up finish.

Kennington – last year’s series champion, who scored his previous win at the .375-mile track in 2009 – held off Steckly in a green-white-checkered finish as the series capped off its fifth season.

J.R. Fitzpatrick charged back after losing a lap in the pits to battle Steckly in the closing laps and finish third. Kerry Micks took fourth, with Mark Dilley in fifth. Sixth was Don Thomson Jr. Steve Mathews, who won his first career series pole in qualifying earlier in the day, recovered from a spin to finish seventh and was the top finishing rookie. Jason White, Jeff Lapcevich and last year’s race winner, Pete Shepherd III, completed the top 10.

The victory marked Kennington’s second win of the year and the 11th of his career, putting him in a tie with Steckly for second on the list of career series victories. The driver of the No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge, from St. Thomas, Ont., came into the final event trailing Steckly by 94 points. Although he was quickest in practice, a slip in qualifying put him 10th on the starting grid. He initially took the lead from Fitzpatrick on Lap 70 and was out front for 20 circuits. Kennington later chased down Shepherd and passed him to take the lead for good on Lap 167.

Although he built a lead of more than three seconds, that margin was erased by a late-race caution that brought about the green-white-checkered finish. 

Steckly was able to wrap up the 2011 championship early in the race, needing only to finish 25th or better for the title. The Milverton, Ont., driver started the race in fourth and kept his No. 22 Canadian Tire/MotoMaster Dodge in the lead pack throughout the race. He was on Fitzpatrick’s back bumper with 20 laps to go and managed to get by for second at the finish.

Meanwhile, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin clinched the Rookie of the Year title with a 16th-place finish at Kawartha. He came into the place with a 1-point lead in the rookie standings over Isabelle Tremblay, who finished 20th.

The Kawartha 250 will premiere on TSN at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sat. Oct. 15 with a special 90-minute show