VIOLENT STORM BLASTS OILMENS EVENT
EDMONTON, AB (August 1) - Night #1 of the 2009 Oilmens Invitational race was cancelled before it even began. A vicious summer storm struck Edmonton's Castrol Raceway just before 5:30 Saturday afternoon. Winds gusting to 90 kilometers signaled the arrival of the massive storm system.


SIGN DAMAGE AT CASTROL RACEWAY

"Couldn't see a thing in the pits," indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "visibility was near zero for probably around five minutes due to blowing dust."


PARKING LOT PYLONS POINT THE DIRECTION OF THE STORM

Race teams scrambled for cover as rocks and sand pummelled the sides of trailers. "Things got even more uncomfortable when hail and rain began to fall." Intense lightning also accompanied the hail, rain and wind. "One bolt of lightning struck just outside the pit area," says Craig, "it was an amazing flash and an incredible loud crack of thunder. That was way too close."


THE RAIN FELL NON - STOP FOR SEVERAL HOURS

No injuries were reported at Castrol Raceway due to the storm system. However this was not the case about an hour east of Castrol Raceway. This same storm system is being blamed for the death of one person at the Big Valley Jamboree music festival near Camrose. Stong winds collapsed the main stage which came crashing down on spectators who were seeking shelter from the storm. Four people were critically injured. Fifteen others were transported to hospital.

NOTE: Castrol Raceway officials are optimistic that despite the torrential rains that fell Saturday evening, Night #2 of the Oilmens Invitational event scheduled for Sunday August 2nd will proceed as planned. Gates at 4PM and racing at 6PM. Castrol Raceway officials will be at the track site on Sunday morning to evaluate the condition of the facililty. If there is any change, the information will immediately be posted on the NPP Series website.

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2009 OILMENS UPDATE (as of 1:00pm Sunday, August 2nd)
No additional rain has fallen at Castrol Raceway since last nights storm. Night #2 of the Oilmens Invitational will take place as scheduled with spectator gates opening at 4PM. Track officials are confident that racing will start on time at 6PM.

 

 

 

EMOND TOPS AT OILMENS RACE
EDMONTON, AB
(August 5)Leduc Alberta’s Trevor Emond grabbed his first feature win of the season Sunday night and moved from tenth to sixth in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Championship point’s chase.  Emond, who got by pole sitter Darrell Midgley with ten laps to go, held off a late race charge by Whitecourt’s Paul Grundberg to claim the podium at the 2009 Oilmen’s Invitational at Castrol Raceway.  “Definitely got the monkey off my back tonight,” says the driver of the Glentel Wireless #17 Chevrolet.  This is Emond’s first win on his home track in an NPP Series Late Model since August 2nd, 2008.  Emond now has a win, a second and a third in his last three starts.  “We’ve got the momentum on our side right now,” adds Emond, “we have to keep it going with just seven races left.”  Current NPP Series point leader Darrell Midgley led the first 25 laps of the 35 lap Feature in his Lucas Oil #14 Dodge.  “When Trevor got by me I knew I could get him back, unfortunately that opportunity never came.”  Midgley broke a rear axle with three laps remaining.  “We kept the car going but just barely,” exclaims Midgley, “I think we were fortunate to finish where we did (sixth).”  Midgley has a 138 point cushion heading into the stretch drive of the 2009 season.  Paul Grundberg overcame losing a tire (broken spindle) in the ‘A’ Dash and finished second in the Feature.  “I’ve got a really good crew this year,’ says the driver of the Carlan Services #12 Pontiac, “there was no panic and we had the car ready in time for the feature.”  Grundberg finished a season high second in the Feature.  “We got the car where we want it now,” adds Grundberg who sits 11th in the NPP Championship points chase, “a few more podium finishes and maybe a win or two and we could be back to fifth.”  Defending Oilmen’s Invitational Champion Dwight Kennedy finished third Sunday night.  It was his best finish of the season.  “Still having some handling problems with the new car,” exclaims the Edson, Alberta driver, “the podium finish was nice (Sunday) but we desperately need a win.  The sooner the better.”  Kennedy and his Lucas Oil #14 Dodge sit fifth in the NPP Series points chase just ten points out of fourth and forty points back of third.  Stony Plain, Alberta’s Mike Tom remains third in the points chase after suffering transmission failure on lap two of the Oilmens Feature.

RACE NOTES
- Night #1 (Saturday) of the 2009 Oilmen’s Invitational was cancelled due to a vicious rain, hail and lightning storm.  Wind gusts reached over 90kph. 
- Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg had his best finish (2nd) this season since his August 30th, 2008 victory in Elma, Washington.    
- three cars were knocked out of the Oilmen’s Feature on lap three.  Ken Clark slowed after a tire went down then was turned sideways by a faster Chris Skelton.  Clark was then drilled by Shawn Kennedy.
- despite three drivers in the top 5 in points (#46, #55, #5) failng to finish Sunday nights Feature. They still held their position in the NPP Series point standings.

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NPP COMPUTER ISSUES
EDMONTON, AB (August 5) - The main computer used for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series website has been ‘down’ since last Wednesday.  Repairs have finally been made. There could be some glaring website gliches as the entire website had to be re-loaded onto the main computer system. Hopefully this will not be the case. Also, the video editing program used to produce all NPP Series hi-light videos is still not functioning properly. Videos will be uploaded once this latest problem has been corrected.    

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OKOTOKS ANSWERS THE CALL
EDMONTON, AB (August 5)The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is announcing a major schedule adjustment and venue change to the last half of the 2009 race season.  The Sunday August 16th event, originally scheduled at Drumheller Alberta’s Dinosaur Downs Speedway, will now be competed at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park near Okotok’s Alberta. 


NPP REPLACES DRUMHELLER EVENT WITH AN ENCORE RACE AT RMRP

“NPP Series race teams would like to thank Brian and Sharon McCaughan for adding this extra race date to their schedule,” says NPP Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig, “Rocky Mountain Raceway Park already has a full calendar of events and to be able fit us in and to get staff together on such short notice is an incredible feat.”  Track officials in Drumheller and NPP Series officials agreed today (Wednesday) that the racing surface at Dinosaur Downs Speedway still needs some improvement in order to safely hold a major motorsport event.  At the grand opening event of Dinosaur Downs Speedway on June 28th, the racing surface disintegrated into a fine dusty powder during NPP Series heat races. 


Concerns remain regarding the condition of racing surface in Drumheller

In the interest of safety, all remaining NPP Dash and Feature events were cancelled.  “Nobody wants a repeat of what happened at the end of June.”  The Saturday August 15th event at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge and the Sunday August 16th event, now being held a Rocky Mountain Raceway Park, wraps up the final Southern Alberta road trip of the season for Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model teams. Only five races remains in the 2009 NPP season after these two Southern Alberta events.

BRIDGE COUNTY RACEWAY – Lethbridge, AB
>Saturday, August 15th
Spectator gates at 5PM
Racing at 7PM

ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACEWAY PARK – Okotoks/High River, AB
>Sunday, August 16th
Spectator gates at 4PM
Racing at 5PM

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BEAULIEU AND EMOND READY FOR NPP STRETCH DRIVE
EDMONTON, AB (August 12)The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series enters the stretch drive of the 2009 season this weekend. “This is a crucial part of the season,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “the point’s race is extremely tight right now. With just seven races to go, having a bad night or an off night is not an option.” Lethbridge, Alberta’s Bridge County Raceway and Rocky Mountain Raceway Park, south of Calgary, host the NPP Late Model Series this Saturday and Sunday. “This is our third and final Southern Alberta road trip of the season.” Jason Beaulieu, who sits second in the NPP Series Championship Points chase, has reason to smile entering race action. The Campbell River BC has won five of the last six NPP Features at Bridge County Raceway dating back to July of 2007. Beaulieu also won the NPP Feature at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park on June 20th. 


BEAULIEU HAS WON THREE OF FOUR SOUTHERN ALBERTA FEATURES IN 2009

“I’m not going to change the way I drive at all,” exclaims the driver of the #46 Lucas Oil Dodge, “its two different tracks and two race nights. The number one goal right now is finishing near the front Saturday and Sunday.”  One driver hoping to stop Beaulieu’s Southern Alberta domination is Leduc, Alberta’s Trevor Emond.  “Our best finish in Lethbridge so far this year is fifth.  At our last race there (June 27th), we hurt the motor.”  Emond however did drive his Glentel Wireless #17 Chevrolet to a second place finish at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park in June.  Last year Emond drove to RMRP’s victory lane twice.  “We know we have a good car.  We’ve got the setup.  It’s just a matter of getting out their and getting the job done.”  Emond, who sits sixth in the NPP Series Championship Points Chase, is coming off a win in Edmonton on the August long weekend. 


EMOND WANTS TO LEAD AND NOT FOLLOW THIS WEEKEND

“I sure hope we can keep the momentum going.”  The three-time NPP Series Champion (2003, 04, 05) has a win, a second and a third in his last three NPP Feature events. Emond is 50 points back of two-time NPP Series Champion (2001, 06) Dwight Kennedy who sits fifth in the NPP Series Championship Points Chase.  Altario, Alberta’s Kevin Clark is fourth in the standings just 10 points ahead of Kennedy.   Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom sits third in points just 22 points behind Jason Beaulieu.  Sidney, British Columbia’s Darrell Midgley remains number one in points with a 138 point cushion over Beaulieu.

BRIDGE COUNTY
RACEWAY – Lethbridge, AB
>Saturday, August 15th
Spectator gates at 5PM
Racing at 7PM

BCR FEATURE WINS
Jason Beaulieu            5
Dwight Kennedy        2
Darrell Midgley          1
Kevin Wheeler           1

 

 
>Sunday, August 16th
Spectator gates at 4PM
Racing at 5PM

RMRP FEATURE WINS
Trevor Emond            3
Dwight Kennedy        2
Jason Beaulieu           1
Kevin Clark               1
Gerry Emond             1
Paul Grundberg          1

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SOUTHERN ALBERTA RACE WEEKEND CANCELLED
LETHBRIDGE, AB (August 15) - The final southern Alberta road trip of the 2009 season has been cancelled by bad weather. Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta received 3 hours of heavy rain late Friday afternoon forcing officials to make the difficult call. "There is no way we can get the facility dried out in time for a Saturday night event," says BCR promotor James Hadnagy, "the pits are a mess. The track has standing water everywhere. We could bring in the pumps but where would we put the excess water?" More rain is in the forcast for Saturday morning for the Lethbridge region. The NPP Late Model Series race event scheduled at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park south of Calgary for Sunday August 16th has also been cancelled. "There is rain in the forecast for Saturday in the Okotoks and High River region," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "how much rain they are going to get is anyone’s guess."

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START YOUR ENGINES….…….. EVENTUALLY!
EDMONTON, AB (August 17) – The 2009 race season has turned into an exercise in extreme patience and frustration for race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  “We have only been on the race track once this month,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “since the beginning of July we have completed only three events.  It’s been one of those seasons where rain and bad weather have been major factors before the green flag even drops.”  On Friday afternoon (August 14) a major weather system took aim at Lethbridge, Alberta’s Bridge County Raceway.  This same system marched northwards and lashed out at Rocky Mountain Raceway near Okotoks.  “It’s almost ironic that after weeks of drought like conditions in Southern Alberta it would rain at two tracks where we were scheduled to race.”  Track management in Lethbridge immediately cancelled their event (flooded track) for Saturday night which in turn led to the NPP Series making a difficult decision to cancel its Sunday race event in Okotoks due to an uncertain weather forecast. 

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CURTIS MOORE IS GETTING GREAT FUEL MILEAGE IN 2009

“Every race we lose is a lost opportunity to gain ground in the standings,” says Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Curtis Moore, “it’s been a tough year to build any type of momentum.”  The NPP Late Model Series has completed just seven race events this season.  “I haven’t even gone through a single barrel of fuel,” says the driver of the Air Power Systems #80 Dodge, “the weather has thrown a wrench into the season that’s for sure.”  Moore sits 9th in the NPP Series Championship points chase just 119 points back of a top five position.  Only five races remain in the 2009 schedule. After completing a record 17 scheduled race events in 2008, Craig says the NPP Series is close to tying a race record on the other end of the spectrum.  “If we don’t lose any more races this season we will have 12 completed events.”  NPP Late Model Series race teams completed just 11 (record) events back in 2004.  “That was the year Trevor Emond won his second consecutive NPP Championship,” adds Craig, “it’s also interesting to note that Darrell Midgley, Jason Beaulieu and Mike Tom were rookie drivers that season.”  Midgley, Beaulieu and Tom currently sit first, second and third in the NPP Series Championship points chase this season. 


TOM IS STILL IN THE HUNT FOR FIRST NPP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

“I think we have a good chance at catching Jason,” says Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom, who’s just 21 points behind the 2007 NPP Champion, “Midgley on the other hand has been running awfully strong this season.  We’ve had some pretty good battles with the #14 car.”  Tom has four top five finishes this season including one win in his Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet. “With the amount of rainouts and lost races this season we cannot afford to have any bad finishes the rest of the way.”  Darrell Midgley agrees.  “It’s not about winning right now it’s about consistency.”  The Sidney, British Columbia driver has a 138 point lead in his Lucas Oil #14 Dodge.  “if we continue at our current pace we should be ok. However we cannot get complacent.  That’s the worst thing to do.” 


POINT LEADER MIDGLEY AIMING FOR CONSISTENT FINISHES

Three of the five remaining race events in 2009 will be competed at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway, the home track of the NPP Late Model Series.  Two of the events will be held south of the border at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington.  Although the 2009 season has been dogged by bad weather conditions, the wrap up to the season could be one of the most memorable in the nine year history of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.

NEXT NPP SERIES RACE EVENT
-at CASTROL RACEWAY-     

>FRIDAY, August 28th
Gates at 4pm
Racing at 6:30pm

>SATURDAY, August 29th
Gates at 2pm
Pit Party at 3pm
Racing at 6:30pm

CASTROL RACEWAY ADMISSION
-General $40 (Saturday or Sunday)
-Weekend Pass $65

-Reserved $50 (Saturday or Sunday)
-Weekend Reserved $85

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NPP DRIVER RACES SPRINT CAR
OKOTOK’S, AB (August 20) – Edson, Alberta’s Crystal Kennedy made her open wheel sprint car debut at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park south of Calgary on Saturday night August 15th.  “It was a last minute decision,” says the driver of the Edson Top Choice Autobody #88 Dodge, “moments after finding out our NPP race was rained out in Lethbridge, a phone call was made to Gee and Gee racing in Leduc to find out if their rental race car was booked.  It wasn’t, so we booked the car to race in Okotoks.”  Kennedy has always had the need for speed.  “I’ve basically grown up at the race track,” exclaims Kennedy, “when I was old enough, I started helping my dad in the pits then got on the track when I was 16.”  Last October, the daughter of two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy, travelled to Northern California to attend the Jimmy Sills Open Wheel Sprint Car Racing School. 


October 2008 - California race school // August 2009 - First ever Sprint Car race

“I wanted to take this course to improve my overall racing skills.  I learned so much and it really boosted my confidence.”  Seven months after taking the course, Kennedy had her best ever finish in an NPP Late Model.  Night #2 of 2009 NPP Season opening weekend at Lethbridge Alberta’s Bridge County Raceway,  Kennedy raced her #88 Dodge to a fifth place finish.  “I think I surprised a lot of people that night.”  Kennedy currently sits 8th in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series point standings.  With the NPP Championship points chase on hold due to bad weather in Lethbridge, Kennedy would make the trek to Rocky Mountain Raceway Park and strap herself into a 600 horsepower sprint car. 


Kennedy goes Sprint Car racing at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park

“I’ve always wanted to try and race a sprint car,” exclaims Kennedy, “Wade Fleming (8-time Edmonton Sprint Car Champion) knows I’ve wanted to race an open wheel car and has been giving me the ins and outs of racing a sprint car over the years.” There would be no podium finish this night for Kennedy at the high banked, ¼ mile Okotoks race track.  “Yes, I got lapped,” smiles Kennedy, “but I didn’t crash.  I sure can’t wait till I’m behind the wheel of a sprint car again.  I just like racing!” Kennedy will be back inside a race car thats a little more familiar to her the end of August. Next race action for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is Friday and Saturday night August 28th and 29th. The NPP Late Model Series join forces with the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series for the 2009 Oil City Cup at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.  

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NPP HOME STRETCH
EDMONTON, AB (August 25th) – It’s the most difficult part of any race season but for many drivers it can be the most rewarding part of the season too.  The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series begins the final few weeks of the 2009 season this Friday and Saturday night at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.  “It’s the home stretch,” indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “just five races remain.  Right now there are twelve teams that still have a shot at becoming the 2009 season champion.  That number could be reduced to less than ten depending on what happens this weekend.”  Darrell Midgley has a 138 point lead in the standings and is optimistic about his chances at becoming only the second driver from British Columbia to win a NPP Series championship.  “If we continue at our current pace we should be ok,” says the Sidney, BC resident, “it’s not about winning right now, it’s about consistency.”  Midgley has two wins this season.  The #14 Lucas Oil Dodge has finished out of the top three only once in 2009.  


CURRENT NPP SERIES POINT LEADER DARRELL MIDGLEY

“We finished sixth at our last race (Oilmen’s - August 2nd).  We easilty had a top three car that race.  Snapping an axle at the end while running second was pretty frustrating.  However its a good thing it didn’t break at the beginning of the race.”  Campbell River, British Columbia’s Jason Beaulieu sits second in the NPP Championship Points chase.  In 2007, Beaulieu became the first BC driver to win the NPP Championship.


JASON BEAULIEU SITS SECOND IN NPP SERIES POINTS

“This weekend is pretty crucial,” says Beaulieu, “Mike (Tom) is just 22 points behind me.  He’s got someone right behind him.  With the points chase as tight as it is nobody can afford to make any mistakes.” Beaulieu leads all NPP Series drivers with three feature wins this season.  “It’s going to make for some hard, fast, racing right to the end.” 

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MIKE TOM AND DARRELL MIDGLEY BATTLE AT LAST YEARS OIL CITY CUP

Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom sits third in the NPP Points chase.  Rounding out the top five, Altario Alberta’s Kevin Clark is fourth and two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy sits fifth in the standings just ten points back of Clark.


Featuring: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
NPP Late Model Series

>Friday, August 28th
Gates at 4pm
Racing at 6:30pm

>Saturday, August 29th
Gates at 2pm
Pit Party at 3pm
Racing at 6:30pm

CASTROL RACEWAY ADMISSION
-General $40 (Saturday or Sunday)
-Weekend Pass $65

-Reserved $50 (Saturday or Sunday)
-Weekend Reserved $85              

NPP/WoO FLASH BACKS
- Kevin Clark and Dwight Kennedy were last years Oil City Cup Feature winners. (Kennedy finished second on night number one/Clark crashed out on night #2)
- Dwight Kennedy swept the Features at the 2007 Oil City Cup.
- the NPP Late Model Series has been the support class for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series a total of five times (not including this weekend)  The NPP Late Model Series was the support class at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington last year.  Pau Grundberg and Kevin Wheeler won the NPP Feature events.

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BEAULIEU, MIDGLEY, EMOND RISE TO THE TOP IN EDMONTON
EDMONTON, AB (August 30)
Three drivers dominated Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race action at Castrol Raceway Friday and Saturday night.  Leduc Alberta’s Trevor Emond, Campbell River BC’s Jason Beaulieu and Sidney BC’s Darrell Midgley finished on the podium both nights. Emond moved from sixth to third in the NPP Championship points chase with a win Friday night and a third Saturday night.  “This was my kind of track (both nights),” says the driver of the #17 Glentel Wireless Chevrolet, “I like the dry tracks.”  Emond, the three-time NPP Series champion, sits 112 points behind Beaulieu and 242 points behind Midgley.  “Three races to go in the season.  This is going to be fun!” 


Emond (#17) won Friday nights Heat, Dash and Feature
Beaulieu (#46) won the Dash and Feature on Saturday night

Beaulieu meanwhile placed second Friday night and won the Feature less than 24 hours later.  Like Emond’s victory Friday night, Beaulieu won Saturday night’s race from the pole position.  “Most days I would say that I don’t like winning from the pole,” indicates the driver of the #46 Lucas Oil Dodge, “I will make an exception for this one because I need all the points I can grab this late in the season.” 


Point leader Darrell Midgley aiming for his first ever Championship on the dirt.

Beaulieu remains second in the NPP Series Championship points chase and was the only driver to gain ground on point leader Darrell Midgley.  Beaulieu is now 130 points back of Midgley who continues to inch closer to his first ever NPP Series Championship. “Racing smart will be the key in the remaining events,” indicates Midgley who finished third on Friday night and second Saturday night. “Consistent finishes and not doing anything stupid is huge right now.  We’ve managed to bring it home in one piece every race this season.”  The #14 Lucas Oil Dodge has only finished out of the top 3 once in 2009.  “I am feeling a little pressure right now (with three races to go).  There are some pretty good driver’s behind me waiting for me to stumble.”  Midgley hopes to become the second British Columbia driver to win the NPP Late Model Series Championship.   Just three races remain in the 2009 season for Midgley to accomplish this feat. Two of these races will be held in the United States.  For the second year in a row the stars of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series travel to Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma Washington.  The final race of the year is the Lucas Slick Mist Season Championship Race back at Edmontons Castrol Raceway on September 19th.   

WEEKEND RACE NOTES
-2008 NPP Series Champion Brian McCaughan got behind the wheel of the Pat Fines #8 Dodge Friday night.  McCaughan finished 4th in the Feature.   
- Jason Beaulieu lost his brakes halfway through Friday nights Feature race.
- Saturday nights Feature saw only one yellow flag in the 25 lap event.
- Trevor Emond is back in the top-three in points for the first time since the middle of June.
- Emond and Beaulieu are the only two drivers with back to back Feature event wins this season.  Beaulieu is the only NPP driver to register three wins in a row this season.
- Dwight Kennedy and Dan Stewart finished in the same position on Friday and Saturday night.  Kennedy finished 6th and Stewart placed 9th in Feature race action.
- Black Diamond Alberta’s Mike Brown finished 13th in his NPP Series debut race Friday night.
- Just 25 points separates third through sixth place in the NPP Late Model Series standings.  

NEXT NPP SERIES EVENT

>Saturday, September 5th
Northwest Wingless Sprint Tour
NPP Late Model Series
Sportsman Sprint Cars
Gates @ 4:30pm
Racing @ 7:00pm

>Sunday, September 6th
ASCS Northwest Region Sprint Tour
NPP Late Model Series
Gates @ 4:30pm
Racing @ 7:00pm

>Monday, September 7th
World of Outlaws
Midgets
Gates @ 3:30pm
Racing @ 6:30pm

GRAYS HARBOR RACEWAY SPECTATOR ADMISSION
Saturday: $13.00(Adults)  $8.00 (age 6 – 14)  Free (0 – 5)
Sunday:   $23.00(Adults)  $8.00 (age 6 – 14)  Free (0- 5)
Monday: $38.00(Adults)  $19.00 (age 2 – 14)

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