D.J. Kennington drives during a qualifying run for the Daytona 500 . (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- D.J. Kennington will bring some Canadian flavor to the Daytona 500.
Kennington, a stock car regular in NASCAR's racing series in Canada, was the biggest surprise in the qualifying Duel to earn the final transfer spot for the Daytona 500. The 39-year-old Kennington is the first Canadian to make the Daytona 500 field since Trevor Boys in 1988.
"Coming off of (turn) four, I wasn't in the race," Kennington said. "When we crossed the line, I was, so just an unbelievable feeling for us."
— David Wight Jr. (@Wighty17) February 24, 2017
Kennington had made just one career Cup start, finishing 35th last season at Phoenix. Kennington wasn't sure another opportunity to race in Cup would come his way until he snagged a ride in the No. 96 Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing.
GRB, owned by Triad Racing Technologies president Marty Gaunt, will also run the two Cup races this season at Talladega and return to Daytona in July.
Just making the race was a major victory for Kennington and Gaunt.
"I don't even know how to explain it," Kennington said. "I feel like I won the Daytona 500."
— Gaunt Bros Racing (@GauntBrosRacing) February 24, 2017