BEAULIEU PODIUMS THREE TIMES IN EDMONTON
EDMONTON, AB (July 1)
– Four weeks after the N.P.P. Late Model Feature event was rained out at Castrol Raceway (June 2nd) a makeup race was finally run.  Current point leader Jason Beaulieu collected his second consecutive Feature event win of the season on the Canada Day long weekend (Saturday June 30th).  The Campbell River BC driver held off a late race charge by Kevin Clark and Mike Tom and drove on to his fifth career Feature event win in Edmonton.  Beaulieu also finished strong in the 14th running of the N.P.P. $50,000 Oilmen’s Invitational by grabbing a third and a second place in the Features Saturday night and on Canada Day Sunday.  “The car was running good all weekend.  My crew (Kevin and Melanie) were the major reason why we finished up front in the 3 big races.”  Despite his success in the Features, Beaulieu admits it was a bit of a struggle in the heat races.  “We kept losing tires.  We finished last in every heat we ran on Saturday night.”  Sunday night was a much better race night for Beaulieu in the All Weather Windows sponsored #46, taking a win, a third, and a fifth place showing in his heats.  “The season is still far from over,” indicates Beaulieu, “were in the point lead currently but when you’ve got an incredible group of guys that are chasing you in the standings, you always have to be at the top of your game.”        

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PAST NPP SEASON CHAMPION WINS ANNUAL OILMENS RACE
EDMONTON, AB (July 1) – Race fans will be talking about the 14th annual Oilmen’s Invitational race event for the rest of the season.  The Canada Day long weekend event at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway had picture perfect weather (for a change). It was also one of the most intense and memorable Oilmen's race events in recent memory. Fans witnessed some wild wrecks, incredible passes and Feature wins from the current N.P.P. Late Model Series champion and a former N.P.P. champion. Defending Series and last years Oilmen’s Champion Dwight Kennedy, was the most dominating driver on the track Saturday night (June 30th) winning 2 heat races and the 40 lap Feature.  “They can’t disqualify you when you’re up front.” joked Kennedy, as he reflected on his disqualification from the Feature in Drumheller back in May.  “The track was fast on both nights. I’ll take a win and a 6th place finish over a disqualification any day.” For one driver, the Oilmen’s weekend was a bit of a homecoming.  It had been 5 years since Dennis MacEachern drove his N.P.P. Late Model to the 2002 N.P.P. Series Championship. Since 2003, the Edson, Alberta driver has been racing open wheeled sprint cars. “I was planning to go to the lake,” laughs MacEachern, “it was a last minute deal.  There were a lot of drivers surprised to see me.  Shawn Kennedy was not able to race on the holiday weekend. I got a call asking if I would be interested in filling in for him. I wanted to do well this weekend but to win it is incredible.  I have never run a 50 lap Feature event ever. It takes a lot out of you but it was a lot of fun.”  The NPP Series has a weekend off and then its another double race weekend.  Saturday and Sunday June 13th and 14th N.P.P. drivers and race teams are proud to be a part of Canada’s oldest most prestigious Sprint Car event ….The Gold Cup. 

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NPP OILMENS BROADCAST DATES ON SHAW TV
Sunday, July 8th at 8PM
Wednesday, July 11th at 11PM
Saturday, July 14th at 6PM

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GOLD CUP FEVER STRIKES N.P.P. SERIES
EDMONTON, AB (July 11) – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is proud to be a part of this weekend’s Gold Cup 2007 Sprint Car event at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.  “This is the 7th consecutive season the N.P.P. Late Model Series has competed at Canada’s oldest, most prestigious open wheel race event,” says tour announcer Gord Craig, “speaking on behalf of the Late Model race teams, it truly is an honor to be a part of an Edmonton motorsport event that has roots dating back to 1954.”  Just like the Oilmen’s Invitational Late Model event two weeks ago, the Gold Cup is another two-night show (Friday/Saturday) for all race teams involved.  “We’re ready to go,” says the defending N.P.P. Series Champion Dwight Kennedy.  “My crew has the #81 Dodge running flawlessly right now.” After a slow start compounded by a disqualification in Drumheller, the Edson, Alberta driver is now within striking distance of the top 3 race teams in the N.P.P. Series standings. "We won the first night of the Oilmen's, came close on the second night (6th) we're looking forward to some big things this weekend." Current series point leader Jason Beaulieu (Campbell River, BC) wants to keep the momentum going. "We're hoping for a good weekend. I just have to make sure everything is 100% and keep on top of this car. Even though we did well in the features at the Oilmens (2nd & 3rd) we had a limited crew with us. Three flat tires in the heats didn't help matters any either." Added pressure on the drivers this weekend will be the televised coverage (tape delay) of night #2 of the Gold Cup on Shaw TV. "It's awesome that local racing is on television," says Spruce Grove Alberta's Bruce Broughton, "it’s a big deal for our series and all of our sponsors that half of the races we run this year are being televised." Broughton, who sits 10th in the series points, hurt his engine at the Oilmen's race two weeks ago. "It's going to be close getting the motor ready in time for Gold Cup weekend but we should be there."

CASTROL RACEWAY – Edmonton, Alberta
Friday/Saturday – July 13th/14th
(Friday) Gates @ 5:00PM /// RACING @ 7:00PM
(Saturday) Gates @ 4:00PM /// RACING @ 6:00PM

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NPP SERIES SWINGS SOUTH THIS WEEKEND
EDMONTON, AB (July 17)The $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. Late Model Series reaches the halfway point of the 2007 season with stops in Okotoks and Lethbridge this Friday and Saturday night.  “This will be a huge test for all teams this weekend,” indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “Rocky Mountain Raceway Park (near Okotoks) is a tight quarter mile track.  Bridge County Raceway (Lethbridge) is the biggest track we’ll race at this season at just under half a mile.”  Current point leader Jason Beaulieu finished second at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park and third at Bridge County Raceway last year.  “You have to be on the ball to run at both of these tracks,” indicates the Campbell River, BC driver, “Okotoks and Lethbridge are both so different to run at.  We’re looking to have a good run this weekend.”  Defending NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy is looking forward to the trip south also.  “We had good luck in both Okotoks and Lethbridge last year,” smiles the Edson Alberta driver, “we won both races! So I hope the trend continues when we race there again this weekend.”  The Edson, Alberta driver has won two out of the last three Feature events in Edmonton and finds himself running second in the NPP points chase.  Kevin Wheeler has different reasons why he’s for looking forward to the southern Alberta swing.  “Four DNF’s in a row at Castrol Raceway has been brutal,” sigh’s the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, “since our second place showing in Drumheller (season opener) we have been dropping back quick in the standings (now 12th).  The team is really looking forward to getting out of town.  Heading to Lethbridge and Okotoks this weekend and Rimbey next weekend, hopefully we can capture a Feature win at one of those tracks.  Actually, just finishing a Feature race would probably be even better.”  Ken Clark meanwhile just loves to get out and race.  The Edson, Alberta driver is coming off one of his best weekends in three seasons with the series.  “Finishing fourth in Edmonton on Friday and Saturday night (last weekend) felt pretty good.  We’re not a high budget team.  Whatever is dealt to us we take it.  Win or lose we are having fun in this series.”  Clark, who finished just out of the top 10 in Series points last season, currently sits 8th and could find himself in the top 5 with a strong weekend in southern Alberta. 

>ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACEWAY PARK
Okotoks, Alberta
Friday, July 20th
Gates @ 6:30PM
Racing @ 7:00PM

>BRIDGE COUNTY RACEWAY
Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, July 21st
Gates @ 5:00PM
Racing @ 7:00PM

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CAR UNLOADING INCIDENT LANDS NPP DRIVER IN HOSPITAL
LETHBRIDGE, AB (July 21) - Surgery is scheduled for tonight on N.P.P. Late Model Series driver Dan Stewart. While unloading his #19 race car for a display in north Lethbridge Saturday morning. Stewart fell backwards off the upper deck of the car transporter landing on the pavement below. Ambulance crews rushed to the scene where they stabilized and then transported Stewart to hospital. During the entire time Stewart was alert and awake and talking with ambulance workers and concerned race car drivers. Stewart suffered abrasions to his arms and several cracked ribs in the fall. He also suffered a foot injury which will require surgery.  Drivers and crew off the NPP Series will obviously have Stewart in their thoughts and prayers as they race in Lethbridge tonight.

UPDATE (Sunday July 22nd): Stewart has not undergone surgery due to severe swelling. 4 cracked ribs....and compound fractures on his foot. Severely bruised wrist and multiple abrasions.

UPDATE (Wednesday, July 25th): Stewart has still not had surgery. Severe swelling on his right foot has not gone down. He is sore but remains in good spirits.

UPDATE (Friday July 27th): Dan Stewart was transferred to University Hospital in Edmonton last night (Thursday). He is expected to undergo surgery this weekend to repair damage to his right foot. Once surgery is completed doctors expect the recovery to take 3 months. Dan is expected be home (Seba Beach) by August 1st or 2nd.

UPDATE (Saturday, August 4th): Dan Stewart was released from University hospital on Friday and is now resting at home. He still has 2 more surgeries scheduled....one in just 3 weeks time.

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N.P.P. SERIES SHINES IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA
LETHBRIDGE, AB (July 22) – The $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series marked the halfway point of the 2007 season with two events in southern Alberta.  Race fans at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park (Okotoks) and Bridge County Raceway (Lethbridge) witnessed two action packed shows.  On Friday night, Kevin Clark, last years rookie of the year, won his first ever N.P.P. Late Model Feature event.  Clark, who predicted at the beginning of the year he would win a Feature this season, found out after the event he won it the hard way.  The 25 lap Feature race turned into a 29 lap Feature as radio communication between the tower and the flagman went dead.  “I thought the race seemed a little bit longer than normal,” laughs the Altario, Alberta driver, “what else can you do….just drive the wheels off until you see that checkered flag.”  Coming off a controversial disqualification in Edmonton one week ago, Sidney BC’s Darrell Midgley drove hard all night finishing in second.  Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom started at the back of the pack in the Feature.  Using the ‘bonus’ laps, Tom got by point leader Jason Beaulieu on the final lap to finish third.  N.P.P. teams had little time to savor their performance in Okotoks. The convoy of racecars embarked for Lethbridge for race number two of the southern Alberta swing.  Bridge County Raceway is the fastest and largest track the N.P.P. Series visits in 2007.  Kevin Clark and defending season champion Dwight Kennedy found out early how unforgiving the track can be.  Speeding down the front straight the two got together in one of the heats sending Clark into the wall.  Race fans in the stands got a good view of Clark’s undercarriage for about 150 feet.  “I kept my foot in it and that brought me off the wall and back down onto the racetrack.  I know I would have flipped (the car) if I lifted.”  Clark’s car suffered suspension damage.  Kennedy’s race car appeared to be fine. Both cars however would have mechanical problems crop up in the Feature.  Point leader Jason Beaulieu won the Lethbridge Feature but admits he really only had a second place car.  “Dwight was running strong the entire race its unfortunate that his car let him down.”  Leading about half the race, Kennedy’s transmission failed with ten laps to go.  “Disappointed, that’s all I can say right now. We had a third and a second in the heats we were saving a win for the Feature.  The car was set up perfect.”  Watching last years rookie of the year win his first Feature in Okotoks, Rod Wilde ran his best race of the season in Lethbridge finishing second in the Feature. “Been waiting a while for a trophy in this class,” says the rookie from Whitecourt, Alberta, “Both my boys love the movie Cars so I told them I would bring back a ‘Piston Cup’.  Very happy with how I ran tonight (Saturday).”  Second place in the Feature puts Wilde within 18 points of fellow rookie driver Paul Grundberg who also calls Whitecourt, Alberta home.  Darin Borysko finished third in Lethbridge.  It’s the second time in five events the Edson, Alberta driver has been on the podium at the end of an N.P.P. Feature event.

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DUST BOWL DOGS N.P.P. DRIVERS IN RIMBEY
RIMBEY, AB. (July 29th) – Both scheduled race events at Central Alberta Raceway in 2007 have had less than desirable outcomes. Two months ago (May 26th) race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series had a scheduled race in Rimbey, Alberta. The event was unfortunately cancelled due to a freak spring snow storm that left about a foot of heavy, wet snow on the ground. Two months later (Saturday, July 28th), excessive moisture would not be a problem. There was a hint of concern etched on the faces of drivers and crew members as they pulled into the pit area for another scheduled race event in central Alberta. How would track conditions fare with the extreme heat that’s been baking the prairies the past month? Temperatures were hovering in the mid 30’s as teams prepped their race cars for what was supposed to be the kick off to the last half of the race season. “Track crews put about 50,000 gallons of water on the track leading up to the race and another 30,000 on race day,” indicates N.P.P. tour announcer Gord Craig, “it was amazing to see just how fast it went dry. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 15 years of announcing.” Heat race action was halted momentarily after just one completed NPP Series heat race which was won by Shawn Kennedy. “There we’re only 7 cars on the track and I could hardly see anything,” indicates Darin Borysko who finished third, “we all had to endure the same conditions though. It sure was a challenge.” Central Alberta Raceway track crews immediately called for the water truck. After one lap from the water truck, pack trucks and race cars worked the moisture into the racing surface. When racing resumed, Kevin Wheeler, Bruce Broughton, Pat Fines and Wayne Gideon won the remaining heats. “The track was getting a bit dry again but wasn’t too bad on the last heat,” says Bruce Broughton who won both his heat races Saturday afternoon in Rimbey, “it was tolerable at least.” If the heat races were tolerable at the end, the Feature event would be a white knuckle experience drivers wouldn’t soon forget. Eighteen cars took the green flag. Entering the first corner, the entire field disappeared into a cloud of dust. “I couldn’t see anything,” says Tim Beausoliel, who was running near the front of the pack, “I decided to run the high side but if anyone spun if front of me it would have been game over.” Near the back of the pack the situation was desperate. “It was crazy,” says Jeff Grundberg, “couldn’t see a thing. I’m surprised they let us run as long as we did considering the conditions.” Despite visibility at or near zero, drivers manage to complete eight laps. On lap nine, three cars spun at three different areas of the track. The yellow flag flew. Drivers still inside their race cars gathered on the back straight to meet with officials. Then in orderly fashion, drove off of the race track back to the pits. It was announced the remaining laps of the Feature event would be cancelled due to safety concerns for the drivers. “Someone was going to get hurt out there if we continued,’ says Wayne Gideon, “I’m surprised we didn’t see a train wreck during the feature.” It was decided after the race that valuable N.P.P. Series heat race points would be awarded to drivers but no points would be awarded for the Feature since the halfway point was not reached. Race teams now dust themselves off (literally) and plan ahead for the final seven races of the 2007 season. Five of the races will be held at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. Two events will be held at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta. 

NEXT N.P.P. EVENT
CASTROL RACEWAY; Edmonton
>Saturday, August 11
Gates @ 4:00pm
Racing @ 6:00pm

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