For one driver, Saturday was a night five years in the making, and for another it was the perfect culmination of a dream season.
Former NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion D.J. Kennington ended a five-year winless streak in the Pinty’s Fall Brawl at Jukasa Motor Speedway, and LP Dumoulin culminated the evening with his second championship.
Dumoulin finished 10th to win the title by seven points over Alex Tagliani. This is his second NASCAR Canadian Series championship.
“We work very hard to get good results and when we win, it’s an amazing feeling,” the 39-year-old said. “It was thrilling five years ago and it’s still special this year. I am proud for myself, but I am even happier and proud for the members of our team.”
The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec native had three victories, eight top fives and 12 top fives, claiming Canadian stock car racing’s highest honor for the first time since 2014.
Dumoulin came into the event with a four-point lead over Tagliani, but was forced to start from the rear after failing post-qualifying technical inspection. However, as Dumoulin piloted the No.47 Weathertech Canada/ Bellemare Dodge up through the field, Tagliani was slowed by a pair of penalties that knocked him back to a 13th-place finish.
“It was not the cleanest race, but the real deal is that we had all kinds of problems with the car,” Tagliani told CANrace. “All the same, I am very proud of the season we have had.”
In addition to Dumoulin’s championship, his car owner Marc-Andrew Bergeron claimed his second owner’s championship.
CBRT’s Brett Taylor wrapped up the Jostens Rookie of the Year honours, becoming the first Alberta-based driver to win the award.
For Kennington, it was a hectic night. After winning the E3 Spark Plug Pole Award earlier in the day, the 40-year-old from St.Thomas, Ontario had his hands full staying in front with his No.17 Castrol Edge Dodge. He fended off challenges from Kevin Lacroix, Cole Powell and Donald Theetge, and led 93 laps en route to his 20th series victory.
Kennington took the lead from Theetge on Lap 173 and held on through a late-race caution.
Theetge settled for second, while June Jukasa race winner Kevin Lacroix led 64 laps and finished third. Peter Shepherd III and Andrew Ranger completed the top five.
Cole Powell finished sixth and earned the inaugural Top Oval Driver Award. The award went to the driver who earned the most points in oval races in 2018. Dumoulin won the Top Road Course Driver Award.
Marc-Antoine Camirand, Anthony Simone and Adam Martin finished seventh through ninth.
- D.J. Kennington
- Donald Theetge
- Kevin Lacroix
- Peter Shepherd III
- Andrew Ranger
- Cole Powell
- Marc-Antoine Camirand
- Adam Martin
- Anthony Simone
- L.P. Dumoulin
- J.F. Dumoulin
- Brett Taylor *
- Alex Tagliani
- Mark Dilley
- Jason White
- Trevor Monaghan
- Luc Haukaas *
- Brad Graham
- Connor James *
- Joey McColm
- Larry Jackson