After an eventful day and race at Jukasa Motor Speedway, DJ Kennington ends a long winless streak, L.P. Dumoulin celebrates his second NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship and young drivers Cole Powell and Brett Taylor wrapped up awards.
Dumoulin finished 10th, which was good enough to outdistance Alex Tagliani to win his second series crown. Tagliani suffered through a rough night that featured issues with the car and a pair of penalties that relegated him to a 13th-place finish – one lap down.
Dumoulin also had to overcome starting at the rear of the field after qualifying when his car did not pass post-qualifying technical inspection.
The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec driver quickly made his way through the field and into the top 10, and remained there and kept Tagliani either behind him or within a spot or two ahead the rest of the way to secure his championship.
The second title was a perfect way to end a multi-year process of bringing his entire racing operation in house.
“Thanks to my team, to WeatherTech Canada and to Groupe Bellemare and all our other partners who believed in us and in our endeavour in building up our own team and facility,” said Dumoulin. “This second title is very special for all of us as we won it with through the hard work and dedication of every team members. It has been a long time since we took the lead in the championship at the Edmonton round and lived with the intense pressure since then.”
Kennington Celebrates Victory … Finally
D.J. Kennington has already accomplished just about everything there is to do in the Pinty’s Series as he remains the only driver to compete in every NASCAR-sanctioned event held in the series.
However, he celebrated almost like a rookie at Jukasa Motor Speedway after he won the Pinty’s Fall Brawl. The win also moved him up to second place all by himself in career wins with 20, breaking a tie he held with Scott Steckly for the past three seasons.
The St. Thomas, Ontario, native last visited Victory Lane in a Pinty’s Series race in 2013 – a span of 64 races. He had five runner-up finishes and seven third-place finishes in during that span.
“This car felt great and all we did during the afternoon was make some minor adjustments to prepare for the cooler temperatures we expected during the race,” said Kennington. “Great job by the team.
The two-time champion was admittedly tired of talking about the win-less streak and now he doesn’t have to worry about that anytime soon.
“I kept telling these guys on this team, I’m going to get you back to Victory Lane,” said Kennington. “There’s been a few times I wondered when it would happen again but we did it. I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work every weekend.
“This win has been a long time coming. I can’t thank Castrol and everyone that’s been with us and given us so much support, this is for you too. It’s so nice to have my family and my kids here, what a way to wrap up our season.”
Series Ties Record For Most Wins
With the win by Kennington the Pinty’s Series finished the 2018 campaign with eight different race winners, which ties the record for most different winners in a season set in 2007 and 2008.
This season featured three first time winners in Cole Powell, Donald Theetge and Marc-Antoine Camirand which is a record for the most first-time winners in a season since the inaugural campaign sanctioned by NASCAR in 2007.
The most recent season with multiple first-time winners was 2015 when Kevin Lacroix and Gary Klutt scored their first wins in the series.
- For the fourth time in series history the championship was decided by 10 points or less. Dumoulin’s 2018 championship was the fourth-closest finish in series history. The seven-point margin was only topped by a three-year span between 2013-2015 when they were decided by two, three and four points, respectively. Ironically, Dumoulin has now involved in two of those close finishes winning the 2014 crown by three points over J.R. Fitzpatrick.
- Brett Taylor commuted the most of any driver this season with each flight from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario averaging 1,909 km (1,186 miles) each way let alone his trips to Quebec and Nova Scotia. Those trips were worthwhile as his captured the Josten’s Rookie of the Year crown.
- Cole Powell finishes an impressive first season in the Pinty’s Series finishing fourth in the final standings. Powell also finished the season scoring sixth-place or better finishes on oval tracks. The success secured him the inaugural trophy as the winner of the Top Oval Driver Award. He was also one of six drivers to score 10 or more top-10 finishes in 2018.