Gaunt Brothers Racing, D.J. Kennington Secure Daytona 500 Starting Spot

Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and D.J. Kennington secured the 30th-place starting spot in Sunday’s Daytona 500, marking the second consecutive season in which the Canadian owner, driver and sponsors, Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol (Wakefield Canada), will participate in The Great American Race.

Kennington piloted his Toyota Camry to a 15th-place result in the second of two Can-Am Duel qualifying races Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway in what proved to be a battle of attrition as most competitors encountered loose handling conditions that ultimately led to accidents.

“The car is in one piece,” said GBR owner Marty Gaunt. “After what we saw in the first Duel, where cars got loose and free, we’re glad we’re going back in the garage in one piece. Now we can work on it and get ready for the 500.”

GBR approached the qualifying race with a conservative game plan; Kennington was instructed to avoid the big packs that often trigger accidents on the 2.5-mile oval. That trepidation was shared field-wide in the second qualifier, where 17 percent less laps were completed under caution, compared to its counterpart.

Kennington, who will become the sixth Canadian to make multiple Daytona 500 starts, is ready for more action.

“I’m looking forward to our next practice,” said Kennington. “We were really, really tight tonight. We learned what we had to learn, though, and still have a good car to go racing on Sunday.”