DECISION TIME
EDMONTON, AB. (August 8) - Race officials with the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will decide Thursday whether to attempt to run this Saturday's scheduled race event at Castrol Raceway.  The state of the Alberta economy has wreaked havoc on race teams in 2016.  Only five NPP Late Model Series teams were present for the season opener at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey, Alberta.  Due to an even lower anticipated car count, Series officials were forced to cancel a Canada Day long weekend scheduled appearance at Dinosaur Downs Speedway in Drumheller, Alberta.  "It's not just us (NPP Series) suffering from decreased numbers," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "car counts are down right across the board in all other racing divisions." Craig says cancelling a race event is always a last resort.  "We've always been known for incredible racing and great car counts.  The close racing is still there but right now a lack of cars on the track is glaring." 


WILL THE GOOD 'OL DAYS RETURN?

Craig says Series officials will be contacting all current drivers regarding their status for the August 13th race in Edmonton.  "I'm being optimistic when I say that we will see ten teams at our next event.  Whether that next NPP Series event is this Saturday, August 13th or the end of the month (August 26th/27th) remains to be seen."  The current point standings sees Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley, the defending NPP Series champion with a seven point lead over 2014 NPP Series Champion Mark Miller of Calgary, Alberta.  Miller leads 2010 NPP Series Champion Bruce Broughton from Stony Plain, Alberta by just two points.

REMAINING 2016 NPP SERIES RACE DATES
Saturday, August 13th - Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
Friday, August 26th - Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday, August 27th - Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday, September 24th - Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta
Sunday, September 25th - Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta

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DECISION MADE
EDMONTON, AB.
(August 11) - Race officials with the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series have made the difficult decision to cancel its scheduled August 13th appearance at Castrol Raceway. "It's disappointing that we have to do this," sighs NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "you want to put on a good show for the fans but it's pretty hard with a reduced car count."  The state of the Alberta economy has hit the motorsport scene hard.  "Its not just the NPP Series that is seeing a reduced competitor count," says Craig, "car counts are down everywhere. It just seems to be more noticeable in our class." Two seasons ago 18 NPP Series teams were in the pits for a race in Edmonton. "When you suddenly have less than eight teams showing up for an event, its hard not to notice."


NPP SERIES CHAMPIONS MIDGLEY AND MILLER
..................................................... (photo: Stpracing Memories)

This is only the third-time in the 16 season history of the NPP Late Model Series that it has cancelled a scheduled appearance at Castrol Raceway.  NPP Late Model Series officials were optimistic that 10 teams were going to race in Edmonton.  "Unfortunately the number of teams that was going to show up this weekend was far, far less than ten."  Craig says he had only four teams confirmed for Saturday night.  "I'm still confident we can get ten drivers for the Gold Cup race the end of the month. (August 26/27)."  The Gold Cup race is a significant event for the NPP Late Model Series.  "The NPP Late Model made its official Edmonton debut at the 1999 Gold Cup race and has been the support class to Canada's longest running open wheel sprint car event ever since."  The Gold Cup was first run in Edmonton back in 1954. The first official season of the NPP Late Model Series was 2001. Heading into the next scheduled race in Edmonton, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley, the defending NPP Series champion has a seven point lead over 2014 NPP Series Champion Mark Miller of Calgary, Alberta.

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COUNT DOWN
EDMONTON, AB. (August 14) - Castrol Raceway held just their fourth oval race of the 2016 season Saturday night.  This was supposed to be a night featuring four classes of race cars.  Unfortunately last Thursday, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series informed Edmonton track officials that it was withdrawing its appearance due to a low car count.  "We've struggled with car counts this year," exclaims NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "we were only going to have four cars show up (Saturday night).  It was a tough call to make but the right one."  With no NPP Series race action, Craig was a spectator in the Castrol Raceway grandstands Saturday night.  "I can tell you right now that we aren't the only class suffering from a low car count."  A total of 27 race teams were in the pits.  "The biggest class on the property was the sprint cars with 12 teams.  The other two classes were in the single digits (9 and 6 teams)."  


SATURDAY NIGHT SPRINT CAR FEATURE IN EDMONTON

Craig talked with several drivers in the pits after the race and the theme was consistent as to the reasons for the lower car counts this season.  "Several drivers and team members blamed the struggling Alberta economy.  Many teams just don't have the resources or sponsors to race the entire season."  The 2016 season opener of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series saw only five teams compete.  "It definitely was an eye opener. For years the NPP Series often had 12 - 16 teams in the pits."  The next scheduled race for the NPP Late Model Series is Friday and Saturday, August 26th and 27th.  "We have two race weekends (4 race dates) left in our season.  It's going to be tough but I'm still hoping for 10 cars (or more) to be at our final race events."  Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley, the defending NPP Series champion, has a seven point lead over 2014 NPP Series Champion Mark Miller out of Calgary, Alberta.  Miller leads 2010 NPP Series Champion Bruce Broughton from Stony Plain, Alberta by just two points

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GOLD CUP PRIMER
EDMONTON, AB. (August 23) - Canada's longest running open wheel sprint car event runs this weekend at Castrol Raceway.  First run in 1954, the Gold Cup will be held Friday and Saturday, August 26th and 27th.  "The NPP Late Model made its official Edmonton debut at the 1999 Gold Cup race," says Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig, "we have been the support class to this race ever since."  Craig says a Feature win on either Night #1 or #2 of the Gold Cup bodes well for NPP Series drivers wanting to secure a season championship.  "Our champion the last three seasons also went to victory lane at the Gold Cup race weekend.  In fact, ten of the fifteen championships we've awarded since our very first season (2001) has gone to the driver that was a Feature winner at the Gold Cup."  One driver that knows this stat well is two-time and defending season champion Darrell Midgley.  The Sidney, British Columbia driver swept both Features at last year's Gold Cup event.   "Winning both nights was a bonus," admits the current NPP Series point leader, "its not easy but we got the job done."  Midgley became the first driver to win both nights of the Gold Cup since 2010 when Bruce Broughton accomplished the feat.  The driver of the Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge also won a Gold Cup Feature back in 2009 and would later claim the 2009 NPP Series Championship.  "You take the wins when you can get them.  It's not easy in this class.  You really have to be on your game because anyone can win."  On Friday night Midgley will be competing in his 90th NPP Late Model Series race event.


ONLY 9 POINTS SEPARATES MIDGLEY AND MILLER IN THE STANDINGS
......................................................................................................... (photo: Stpracing Memories)

Mark Miller, the 2014 NPP Late Model Series Champion  registered his first ever NPP Series Feature event victory at the 2014 Gold Cup.  "The Gold Cup is always a good race to win," exclaims the driver of the A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet, "but we haven't raced in Edmonton yet this year.  So it's going to be interesting."  The Calgary, Alberta driver was runner-up to Midgley in both Gold Cup NPP Series Features last year.  "Hope to get a good finish (both nights).  Maybe we can win one (or both) and be first in points after this weekend."  Miller trails Midgley by just 9 points in the NPP Late Model Series Championship standings.  Miller however will be looking over his shoulder as 2010 NPP Series Champion Bruce Broughton sits third in the standings just two points back.


2010 NPP CHAMP BROUGHTON SITS THIRD IN POINTS
................................................................. (photo: Stpracing Memories)

 


------- 2016 GOLD CUP --------
Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
> Friday/Saturday, August 26th & 27th
-
Featuring:
'360' Sprint Cars
NPP Late Models
-
4:00pm - Gates Open (both days)
Friday Racing @ 7:00pm /// Saturday Racing at 6:00pm



Gee looking to become first back-to-back Canadian
Gold Cup Champion since Billy Foster in 1963 & 1964*.

*from available records
(missing Gold Cup winners from 1978 - 1982 at Edmonton's Cobra Raceway)

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MOTORING MIDGLEY
EDMONTON, AB. (August 28) - Darrell Midgley solidified his point lead in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series after a weekend sweep of the Features at Castrol Raceway's Gold Cup weekend. On Friday night the Sidney, British Columbia driver held off a late charge by Edson, Alberta's Shawn Kennedy to win his second Feature of the 2016 season. Kennedy dominated the Friday night Feature leading the most laps but Midgley, competing in his 90th NPP Series event, took over the race lead with just five laps remaining. Kennedy, who has never won a Feature in Edmonton finished second, with Mark Miller from Calgary, Alberta finishing third. This was Midgleys 7th Feature win in Edmonton.


MIDGLEY WINS FRIDAY NIGHT FEATURE IN EDMONTON

After a rain delay Saturday night lasting just over one hour, Midgley went to work early winning the Heat race. Midgley took over the lead from Stony Plain, Alberta's Bruce Broughton on the white flag lap. In the Feature Midgley grabbed the race lead at the end of lap 1 from pole sitter Mark Miller. Miller would challenge the race leader for several laps before relinquishing second to Shawn Kennedy. For the second night in a row Midgley spent the remainder of this race holding off Kennedy.


SATURDAY NIGHT FEATURE IN EDMONTON

Midgley prevailed once again and drove to victory in his Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge with Kennedy finishing second and Broughton finishing third. "Everyone has stepped up their game," exclaims Midgley, "so I have to do the same. Its getting harder to win." Midgley swept both Features at last years Gold Cup race in Edmonton. This years sweep marks the first time in the 16 year history of the NPP Late Model Series that a driver has swept the Gold Cup weekend two seasons in a row. With two races to go in the 2016 season, Midgley has a 27 point lead over Kennedy in the Championship point standings.

The NPP Late Model Series congratulates Trey Starks from Puyallup, Washington winning the Saturday night '360' Sprint Car Feature to become the 2016 Gold Cup Champion. This was Starks first ever Feature win outside of the United States. Leduc, Alberta's Casey Adams was second and Travis Rilat from Forney, Texas finished third.

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BREAKING NEWS: Team NPP scores in Elma, Washington. Victoria, British Columbia's Lane Zerbin scores a Heat and Feature win Saturday night at Grays Harbor Raceway. This is Zerbin's second Feature win behind the wheel of the Northern Provincial Pipelines #81 Modified this season.

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