DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The second round of 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 action is set for this Saturday with the inaugural Budweiser 300 at Autodrome Chaudière in Vallée-Jonction, Quebec.
The Budweiser 300 will mark the series’ first visit to the fast quarter-mile oval, located approximately 40 miles southeast of Quebec City. In the first seven seasons of Canadian Tire Series competition, no driver has posted more oval track wins than D.J. Kennington.
Kennington will have to lean on a career of oval experience and success this week in Quebec. He’s never even seen Autodrome Chaudière before, let alone raced there. The scope of his preparation to this point has been browsing online videos.
“I’ve just watched a couple of in-car cameras from when Kyle Busch was there running a late model,” Kennington said. “Other than that I have not done a thing.”
Fortunately for Kennington, he has two decades of oval expertise to lean on heading into the weekend.
“I was brought up at Delaware Speedway – I started racing there when I was 16 – so my background is oval,” Kennington said. “I used to race a lot of short tracks in Quebec. I ran the Quebec Sportsman Series and traveled all over Quebec racing short tracks, along with Delaware on Friday nights.
“I think there was one year we ran 39 races and they were all ovals. I just basically have an oval background from when I started. I enjoy ovals. l like the road courses as well, but I consider myself an oval guy for sure.”
A two-time series champion, Kennington has earned 16 of his 19 career Canadian Tire Series victories on ovals. The St. Thomas, Ontario veteran will look to make Autodrome Chaudière the ninth different oval track on his list of triumphs.
A Budweiser 300 victory would also give Kennington a third inaugural race victory. He won the series’ first event at Ontario ovals Barrie Speedway in 2007 and Delaware in 2009.
“I think we’re all going there to try and get a win, anytime you can get a win in this series it is big,” Kennington said. “Hopefully we can go there and have a good, solid run and set us up for the rest of the season.”
Kennington and the No. 17 Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors Dodge team, along with the rest of his Canadian Tire Series competition, will get a first look at the track with optional open practice on Friday.
“It looks like it’s going to be one of those tight short tracks, but it also looks like they can run two-wide from the racing I’ve seen online,” Kennington said. “Hopefully we can run two-wide there as well and put on a good show.”