Hennessy piloted his Cobourg Development Services/Bay Marine No.87 to one win along with second, third and fourth place finishes through the month. The highlight of July, besides his third win of the season, was his retro paint scheme to honour his crew chief and former Brighton racer Bill Monro on the track’s 50th anniversary night on July 15.
“I had a lot of fun showing off that car,” Hennessy said. “There were a lot of people, more than I expected, that have been going to Brighton Speedway for a long time or have known Bill from other racetracks who came up and said they remembered the car. It was fun meeting some of those people and listening to some of the stories they had about him.”
On that same night, one week after winning the opening race of the month, Hennessy battled to earn a fourth-place finish. At that point, it was his eighth top-five of the season and a well-deserved one.
“We didn’t qualify well, but we won the heat race by a long shot,” Hennessy said. “In the Feature, I didn’t have a shot because on lap four the upper control arm mount broke. The car was darting all over the place and I was doing everything I could just to hang on to it. I ended up fourth. It was still a good points night.”
“The car was actually still pretty drivable even with the left-front hanging off of it,” continued Hennessy. “I was only a tenth of a second off the fastest time of the night. I’m sure if all four wheels were on it, it would have been a little faster.”
The key to Hennessy’s success so far this season has been his ability to adapt and remain nimble. A stagnant driver who is quick at the beginning of the year can quickly be caught midway through the season. That certainly hasn’t been the case for the No.87.
“We’ve made more changes to the car with some shock stuff and I feel like it’s really helped my corner entry a lot,” Hennessy said. “That’s one place I felt like I was maybe losing a bit of ground. I’ve been trying to use the outside lane a little bit more and pay attention to other guys who are good up there. I think I can roll the bottom pretty well, especially when it slicks off, but the top is something I need to be a little better at and I think I’ve done that.”
Hennessy’s third-place finish on July 22 clinched the Canadian Modified Triple Crown Series for him as the top point getter in the three-race mini series. Following a runner-up finish last weekend, he now holds a 35-point advantage over Curtis King in the overall championship standings in what is essentially a two-horse race for the division title.
The points are not Hennessy’s focus, though. Finishing at the front each week and ahead of King will ensure the standings take care of themselves and Hennessy can defend his title.
“If I’m ahead of Curtis and I see him stick his nose down there, I know that’s the car I’m battling,” Hennessy explained. “I instantly think ‘I can’t let that car get by me. I have to do something to keep that car behind me.’ I don’t think of the points by positions. If I see him, I just want to beat him.”
With such a strong year in tact already, Hennessy won’t change anything for the stretch drive towards the championship. Six races remain on the schedule to decide the title, but the No.87 is taking them one by one.
“Bill and I are just going to do the same things we’ve always done because it’s always worked,” Hennessy said. “There’s too many things that you can’t control, so there’s no reason for me to try and prepare any differently. I’m just going to bring the best car that we can every week, like we always have, and hope for the best. My mindset’s not going to change.”
Hennessy hopes to continue his hot streak when he rolls into Brighton Speedway to begin a new month on August 5 for Rapid Rad night. Race time is 7:00pm. For additional event information, visit www.brightonspeedway.com.
Andrew Hennessy – 10 Starts: 3 Wins, 10 Top-5s, 10 Top-10s
ANDREW HENNESSY MEDIA
Andrew Hennessy is proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2017 race season, including Cobourg Development Services, Bay Marine, RJ Equipment Rentals, Drew Harrison Haulage, Ontario Trucking News, Custom Automotive, Needle In A Haystack, KD Transmission, Mohawk Wholesale, Benson Auto Parts, Vanzuylen Tire Picton, Main Stop Gas Bar, Rapid Rad, and Bill and Jim Broad.