D.J. Kennington won his seventh race of the 12-race 2012 season and his second championship in three years as he took the Pinty's 250 presented by Dodge in grand style Saturday night at Kawartha Speedway.
Scott Steckly was pushed wide in the fourth turn and finished sixth. Andrew Ranger was second, J.R. Fitzpatrick third, Pete Shepherd III was fourth and Martin Roy was fifth.
On the cooldown lap, Steckly and Fitzpatrick tangled on the backstretch and fisticuffs followed.
Nobody was hurt, but egos were bruised.
It was a wonderful end to a wonderful season for Kennington. An incredible performance.
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There will be a green-white-checkers finish as a caution was thrown on the last of the 250 laps because of a spin in turn four.
At the restart, Fitzpatrick appeared to bog down, allowing Steckly and Ranger to pass him. Shepherd also got by, so Fitzpatrick is now in fifth behind Kennington, Steckly, Ranger and Shepherd.
Jason Hathaway spins in turn one and the yellow is out, setting up a frantic restart with just a handful of laps to go.
Kennington is still first, Fitzpatrick is second, Steckly is third, Ranger is fourth and Shepherd is fifth.
Kennington takes the lead!
With 30 laps to go, Kennington makes a move into second. Fitzpatrick, Kennington, Steckly, Ranger, Shepherd.
Will Kennington win his seventh race of 2012?
Strategy might have saved Pete Shepherd. In NASCAR Canada racing, a driver has to pit multiple times to change all four tires and top up with fuel.
For instance, one stop for left-side tires, one stop for right side and one stop for fuel. Fitzpatrick, who still leads, and Steckly, in second, stopped three times. Although Shepherd was lapped because of the schmozzle in turn one, he got that lap back by only pitting twice, for fuel and left-side tires.
So the running after 175 of the 250 laps is Fitzpatrick, Steckly, Shepherd, Roy and Kennington.
Poor Pete Shepherd, who won this race two years ago and was looking good in the early going, moving up from fifth to third in some pretty tough company, was just caught up in a first turn scramble as the leading pack was lapping backmarkers.
All the others got through but Shepherd is now so far back it is unlikely he will be a factor later in the race.
The leaders went to the pits for tires.
After 100 laps, Fitpatrick is first, Steckly is second, Shepherd is third, Kennington is fourth and 50-year-old Quebec driver, Martin Roy, who started 12th is running fifth.
Roy is the 2012 Rookie of the Year as a result of his steady performances this year.
Fitzpatrick still leads after 50 laps, with Ranger second, Steckly third, Kennington fourth and Pete Shepherd III fifth. Watch Shepherd. There have been several yellows but nothing of great consequence.
Fitzpatrick leads the first laps. Andrew Ranger is up to second. Clean racing so far.
With one lap to go before the start, Papis is in the pits. Perhaps it's a loose wheel, the track announcer says.
They just gave the command to start engines at 5:30, 30 minutes after the scheduled 5 p.m. start time with the words, "Drivers and chicken wing lovers everywhere, start your engines!"
Pinty's is a pub frozen food company, hence the chicken wings reference.
The show is a half hour late because it rained here at Kawartha Speedway, near Peterborough, earlier today and the track had to be dried.
J.R. Fitzpatrick is on the pole and defending champion Scott Steckly is beside him on the front row as the field of 28 awaits the command to start engines.
D.J. Kennington will go off fourth. The winner of six races so far this season, he will likely win his second championship in three years today.