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‘Pocket Rocket’ Parlays One-Time Ride into Big-Time Opportunity

Danny O'Brien
Danny O'Brien

Belleville, ONTFebruary 6, 2009 – By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications

What started out as a one-shot deal with a group of guys he’d never met, in a car he’d never seen, has turned into a full-time sponsorship program for Kingston, Ontario DIRTcar 358-Modified driver Danny O’Brien. When the 2009 racing season opens, the multi-time Brockville Ontario Speedway track champion, runner-up on the Mr. DIRTcar championship trail in 2007 and ‘08, will fly the Global Warranty banner in a program put together by Kendrick Racing.

“Everything started with a run in April at Merrittville,” O’Brien recalled. “I had a guaranteed starting spot but my engine wasn’t back from being freshened. I put in a call to Randy Williamson from Bicknell Racing Products to see if he could hook me up with a ride. He said he’d spoken to the Kendrick guys and they’d put me in their third car, so I hopped in the truck and headed for the speedway. I didn’t have any idea what the car looked like or even what number it was. I just figured I’d drive around the pits until someone called me over. The last minute plan turned-out to be a great 2nd-place run. There were issues after the race, but all-in-all it was a solid show. We stayed in touch throughout the year, talked a lot and became good friends. Now we’ve put together a deal.”

O’Brien is hoping to defend a trio of consecutive track titles at Brockville with the help of this new program. The team will supply a 2009 Bicknell and the ‘Pocket Rocket’ has replaced the tried and true ’06 piece that had been the dominant car at The BOS with a new car as well. Both cars will be identically detailed with Global Warranty’s logos, as well as O’Brien’s long-time backers 1000 Islands RV, Pat’s Radiator and Stover Bus Lines, while being maintained by O’Brien’s crew and housed at their shop in Kingston, Ontario. Other than the sponsorship package, the car will also carry a different number. After beginning his career running #21, O’Brien ran the #17G during his tenure in the Gallo Brothers car at Fonda (NY) Speedway. When that deal ended, he replaced the ‘G’ with a ‘D’ as part of his own program.

“The Kendrick cars will be numbered ‘7 Star’ to coincide with one of Global Warranty’s programs. It could be quite an interesting year for the family. Timmy (O’Brien, younger brother) has taken over for Mark Hitchcock in Jim Primrose’s ride. So if they keep his (Tim’s) car number, the three of us will be in cars numbered 6, 7 and 8,” said the 2nd-generation driver, whose older brother Pat O’Brien currently steers the #6 Gypsum Logistics/Bicknell entry.

Danny O’Brien has garnered eight Brockville Ontario Speedway DIRTcar 358-Modified point championships, including the 2006, 2007 and 2008 titles. In 2008, he ‘pocketed’ a huge $15,000 payday during a thrilling late race battle with brother Pat at Autodrome Drummond in Quebec. It was also the second consecutive year he finished second in the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship standings. Rainouts at his familiar stomping grounds of Brockville and Can-Am Motorsports Park may have prevented his first-ever Mr. DIRTcar title. O’Brien’s supporters recently added a ‘fan page’ to the social networking site, www.facebook.com.

Global Warranty is based in London, Ontario and has been offering a variety of automotive and recreational vehicle warranty packages for more than 20 years, with these warranties meeting and exceeding the needs of today’s drivers. They offer their warranty packages through your local automotive and RV dealer. Ask for details when making your purchase. Their seven plans offer the ultimate in driving protection. For details, call 800/265-1519 or visit www.globalwarranty.com. Danny O’Brien will represent Global Warranty at London Auto Expo on Friday March 27 – Sunday March 29 at the Western Fair Entertainment Complex in London, Ontario. Both Global Warranty cars will be on display with Tim Jones joining Danny and the rest of the race team showing off their new rides to the fans.

Kendrick Racing is a family run racing team, operating for more than 45 years and calling Merrittville Speedway its home-base. The team has campaigned cars for a number of drivers over the years, recently including Tim Jones, Scott George and Boyd McTavish. Jones will run the Global Warranty car for Kendrick Racing at Merrittville (Ont.) Speedway and selected special events. Danny O’Brien will campaign the team’s cars at Brockville Ontario Speedway and selected tour stops. Todd Kendrick will run the team’s #55 car at Merrittville and Humberstone (Ont.) Speedway, with both drivers joining O’Brien when Brockville Ontario Speedway hosts a Global Warranty night Saturday, August 1. Learn more about Kendrick Racing by visiting www.kendrickracing.ca, contacting Todd Kendrick (519/871-7000) or Danny O’Brien (613/542-1361).

Media contact: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
clarkemotorsports@hotmail.com, 613/968-6410 or 613/922-0654