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Newly-formed Gaunt Brothers Racing, DJ Kennington to attempt Daytona 500
- Updated: January 18, 2017
By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor
There’s a new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) team in the paddock, and they’ve got their eyes on a spot in the sport’s biggest race.
Triad Racing Technologies owner Marty Gaunt announced Wednesday that Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR), a team last seen in the Pinty’s Series in 2011, will attempt to qualify for the upcoming Daytona 500 with driver DJ Kennington behind the wheel.
The team, which will field the No. 96 Toyota, will also attempt starts at the season’s other three restrictor-plate races at Talladega Superspeedway (May 7, Oct. 15) and Daytona International Speedway (July 1).
“With the recent unveiling of the 2018 Toyota Camry, we feel that now is the right time to return to the racetrack,” Gaunt said. “We’re going to provide a concentrated effort this season at tracks on which we can immediately adapt and compete.”
GBR’s entry will be fielded in partnership with Robby Benton’s RAB Racing, a longtime client of Triad.
“There are a lot of great things happening with the sport right now and we feel fortunate to continue our relationship with Marty, Triad and Toyota, starting with this attempt at the Daytona 500,” Benton said. “Our aspirations will be no small task, but we know what we need to do to position ourselves to make this a successful effort. We’ll transition over to the Daytona 500 after competing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with our sports car program later this month.”
Kennington, a two-time Pinty’s Series champion who made his MENCS (then Sprint Cup Series) debut in Phoenix last fall, will look to make his first start in ‘The Great American Race’. The St. Thomas, Ontario, native will compete with sponsor backing from longtime partner Castrol and Lordco Auto Parts.
“As the Daytona 500 is called ‘The Great American Race,’ our team will be considered the ‘Great Canadian Invasion,'” joked Kennington. “I’m definitely ready to take this on. I’m excited to be running the first race with Monster Energy as the series sponsor, and I love how the program came together with Castrol, Lordco and the Gaunts.”
The season-opening Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 26, with the Can-Am Duels used as qualifying races held three days earlier on Feb. 23.