By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
In the 2017 Daytona 500, D.J. Kennington and Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) made an impressive run before getting wiped out in ‘The Big One’ just passed the end of Stage 2. Now, both Kennington and GBR will team up once again for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The Daytona 500 marked the first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race for GBR. For Kennington, a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, his start also marked the first start in the Daytona 500 for a Canadian since Trevor Boys in the 1988 running of the “Great American Race.”
Kennington will also have a new crew chief on top of the pit box for the No. 96 Toyota Camry as verteran crew chief Mike Ford has joined the operation. Ford has 25 victories as a crew chief, previously working with Bill Elliott Racing, Robert Yates Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kennington has 57 starts across all three of NASCAR’s top series, two in the Monster Energy Cup Series, 50 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and five in the Camping World Truck Series.
Kennington is also a veteran of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series where he has two championships that came in 2010 and 2012. In 121 Pinty’s Series starts, he has 19 victories, 77 top fives, 101 Top 10s, and 11 pole positions.
Team owner Marty Gaunt looked forward to building on the success the team had at Daytona.
“We’re thrilled to bring D.J. back into the fold for Talladega,” Gaunt said. “He did everything asked of him in February. With the addition of Mike Ford, we hope to build on what we accomplished in Daytona.”
Kennington also expressed his excitement for the upcoming race, saying: “Talladega weekend can’t get here fast enough. I learned a lot during our Duel race and in the 500. I felt like I was finally getting the hang of drafting before the accident took us out. The car was great in the draft and I know we can apply a lot of what we learned at Daytona to Talladega.”
GBR currently plans to run the remaining restrictor plate races with drivers still to be announced for the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, and the Alabama 500 at Talladega on October 15.
For now, Kennington, Ford, and GBR look ahead to the unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway where they hope to spoil the party for the Series regulars.