KENNINGTON PUTS THE CANADIAN IN ACT AT LEE  by Mike Twist
Takes Route Through Jennertown to Win Late Model Nationals
When the ACT Late Model Series visited Lee USA Speedway (NH) for the annual Late Model Nationals on Sunday, it was a highly anticipated event.  The $10,000-to-win purse was expected to draw 60 cars and most observers expected the ACT regulars to face off against the weekly Lee drivers with a
few visitors from other area tracks thrown into the mix for good measure.  The last-minute entries of three NASCAR Busch North Series regulars also provided another possible source for a winner.
The Lee regulars had a tough go of it.  Track champion Ricky Wolfe got taken out in the heat race and again in the feature by a car speeding out of the pits before the green flag even waved, Mark Durgin lasted four laps before he was the innocent victim of two cars banging off each other ahead
of him.  He ended up going over Brent Dragon’s car and into the third turn wall.  Scott Watts, Dean Weber and several others familiar with the track didn’t even make it into the
big show after wrecking in the heat races.
With 76 Late Models in attendence, the Lee pit area was a crowded place to be. (51 photo)
The Busch North guys didn’t have a good night either.  Mike
Olsen and Eddie MacDonald got caught up in the same wreck just before halfway.  Ryan Moore had possibly the fastest car on the track heading into the closing stages of the race, but was done in by a flat tire.  He was coming around to a restart when the right rear went soft on his Fowler Racing #88.  Moore fought hard to stay on the lead lap with only three good tires, but felt backwards and dropped from contention before he could benefit from a caution.

Meanwhile, Kennington started on the pole and led early.  He dropped back in the field after pitting for tires while a
When all was said and done, there were 76 cars on hand for the 36 starting spots and the winner came from an unexpected place.

That place... Canada.

Ontario’s D.J. Kennington, who invaded Lee by way of
CASCAR and the USAR ProCup Series, wasn’t even on the published entry list before Sunday, but ended up as the race winner and put the Canadian back into the American-Canadian Tour.

To win, one has to first survive and plenty of the pre-race
favorites ended up having trouble just doing that.
D.J. Kennington serves up some Canadian style doughnuts after 150 laps of racing. (Norm Marx Photo)
Chad Wheeler, Moore and Roger Brown all led laps.  And as
the laps clicked down, Kennington kept creeping closer to
the front.  With only 15 laps to go, Kennington got around
Brown and the outside and sailed uncontested to the victory.

“My car was unbelievable, Mike McCall builds an awesome
piece,” said Kennington.  “It definitely wasn’t all driver
that‘s for sure.  That car was pretty awesome to drive and I
was just lucky to be in such good equipment like that.  I’ve
driven for Mike before four times and I think that we’ve won
all four times.”

Ryan Moore also had an awesome piece, but his shot at a
victory was over after his tire went flat.
Ryan Moore had a fast car all race long, but a tire did him in.  (51 photo)
new cast of characters spent their time out front.  It might not have been an easy pit stop for Kennington to make at the time, but it was a necessary one.

“It’s always hard to pit like that,” he said.  “I knew that we weren’t going to win the race if we didn’t pit and that’s what we came here to do.  So, we stopped and changed some stagger and changed some wedge.  It was way to loose at the beginning of the race and we needed to make it better.  It was awesome after that.”
“We came here to win the race and we had them beat,”  said Moore.  “We had them smoked bad.  Our guys did an awesome job in practice and the car was just perfect.  We were just
killing them, but you can’t control flat tires.”

Instead of rejoining the race, Moore parked his car after it went a few laps down.
Chad Wheeler, Moore and Roger Brown all led laps.  And as
the laps clicked down, Kennington kept creeping closer to
the front.  With only 15 laps to go, Kennington got around
Brown and the outside and sailed uncontested to the victory.

“My car was unbelievable, Mike McCall builds an awesome
piece,” said Kennington.  “It definitely wasn’t all driver
that‘s for sure.  That car was pretty awesome to drive and I
was just lucky to be in such good equipment like that.  I’ve
driven for Mike before four times and I think that we’ve won
all four times.”

Ryan Moore also had an awesome piece, but his shot at a
victory was over after his tire went flat.
Maybe we could have pitted and came back through for a
decent finish,” said Moore.  “But we came here to win.  It
wasn’t worth getting all stove up by going back out there.
This was just an awesome car and I want to thank the Fowler family (who normally campaign the car on Saturday nights at Maine’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway) for letting me run it.  I had a lot of fun.”

One thing in particular made the race very enjoyable while
it lasted for Moore.

“I got on the radio when Patrick (Leperle) was leading and I
said, ’This is awesome, I’m racing with my best friend in a
series that I love racing with.”  said Moore.  “I just had
an awesome time.”
Kennington (C) is joined on the podium by Roger Brown (L) and Chad Wheeler (R) after the race.  (Norm Marx photo)
Meanwhile, back in victory lane.  Kennington got a little bit of a breather for a few minutes to cap off a very busy weekend.  He finished 14th in Saturday night’s USAR ProCup Championship division event at Jennerstown Speedway (PA) and then high tailed it the New Hampshire.  At 8pm on Sunday,
Kennington’s car was just finishing its tech inspection and another race was set to begin.

“We ran there last night and had both cars on the trailer, so we came straight here from Jennerstown,” said Kennington.  “We left at 11 o’clock and got here at 9 this morning - all of us in the truck.  Now we’ve got to get home for work by 7 in the morning!”

Although he might be dragging a little bit to start off his workweek, there is no doubt that Kennington feels that his crazy weekend was all worth it after winning at Lee on Sunday evening.

There is one race remaining in the 2004 ACT season and it is the marque event for the series.  Next weekend is the annual Milk Bowl event at Thunder Road Speed bowl (VT).  Qualifying is set for Saturday, with the main event being run on Sunday afternoon.  Speed 51 will be on hand at the historic Vermont track to bring you the full story of the race.