NPP DRIVERS READY FOR A GOLD  CUP SHOWDOWN
EDMONTON, AB (July 9th) – Race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series are about to enter the most grueling portion of the 2008 schedule.  When the green flag drops Friday night at Castrol Raceway it will mark the beginning of five consecutive weekends of racing.  “This is the toughest part of the NPP schedule,” indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “drivers will have to race hard and race smart because there won’t be too much time between events to be fixing cars.” This weekend the NPP Late Model Series is proud to be apart of the Gold Cup 2008 Sprint Car event.  “This race has roots which date back to 1954,” adds Craig, “Castrol Raceway has hosted Canada’s oldest, most prestigious Sprint Car race event since 1991.  The NPP Series has been apart of this major event the past eight seasons.”  Just like the 15th annual Oilmen’s Invitational two weeks ago, the Gold Cup is another two-night show (Friday/Saturday).  “Gold Cup weekends have been pretty good to us over the years,” says current Series point leader Dwight Kennedy, “numerous top tens, some top fives, we’ve grabbed a few wins as well.”  Kennedy won Night 2 of the Gold Cup last year.  The Edson, Alberta driver is also coming of a Night 2 win at the Oilmen’s Invitational on June 29th. 


Kennedy has a 119 point lead heading into Gold Cup weekend at Castrol Raceway

“We have the lead now but the points chase is so tight you can’t afford to make any mistakes.  Just one bad night will send you backwards (in the standings) in a big hurry.”  Thanks to back to back third place finishes at the Oilmen’s Invitational, rookie driver Brian McCaughan is making a charge to the front. 


McCaughan is hoping to become the first rookie driver in NPP Series history to lead the season point standings

“We’re getting faster every race it seems,” says the Okotoks, Alberta driver who currently sits second in the points chase, “I think running an IMCA Modified and a Sprint Car in the past has helped us in setting up this car.”  In Feature action this year, McCaughan has not finished out of the top 10.  “We’d love to pick up a big win in Edmonton before heading back home to Southern Alberta.” 

-2008-
NORTHERN PROVINCIAL PIPELINES / EDSON CHRYSLER
GOLD CUP

Friday, July 11th
Saturday, July 12th

Spectator Gates @ 4:00PM
Qualifying (Sprint Cars only) @ 5:30PM
Racing @ 6:00PM

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RAIN DAMPENS NIGHT #1 OF GOLD CUP
EDMONTON, AB (July 11)
– The weather forecast called for a 40% chance of showers Friday night.  Ask any NPP Late Model Series race team that gathered at Castrol Raceway for Night #1 of the Gold Cup and they will tell you that the forecast was 100% wrong.  “It was a very frustrating night for everyone,” sigh’s NPP Series Announcer Gord Craig, “three major rainstorms within a 3 hour time frame. What can you do?  The racing surface can only absorb so much moisture.”  The first rainstorm hit just after 5PM.  Once the rain stopped falling, race teams from both the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and the Alberta Sprint Tour did a tremendous job of packing the track.  A second, less severe storm hit around 6:30.  Once again eager drivers jumped into their race cars to pack the moisture back into the track.


No Friday night Gold at the end of this rainbow

The third and final rainstorm hit just after 8:30.  Sprint Cars were qualifying at the time when the final rainstorm hit the facility.  Race officials made the hard decision and cancelled Night number 1 of the Gold Cup. 


Pools of standing water after 3rd rainstorm blasts Castrol Raceway

The 2008 Gold Cup will be a one night show with spectator gates opening at 4PM and racing at 6PM on Saturday. 

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BEAULIEU WINS SECOND FEATURE OF SEASON
EDMONTON, AB (July 12)The point chase in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is heating up as the halfway mark of the season approaches.  Night number one of the Gold Cup (Friday) was rained out so the race weekend was turned into a one night show.  Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Curtis Moore (#80) and Edson, Alberta’s Shawn Kennedy (# 7) each grabbed their first heat race win of the season Saturday night.  Spruce Grove Alberta’s Bruce Broughton (#61) registered his third heat race win of 2008.  A wild heat race incident would see Whitecourt Alberta’s Pat Fines hung up on the turn three/four wall.  “The steering wheel popped off going into the corner,” says Fines, “it was funny but scary at the same time.  Here I am with the steering wheel in my one hand and desperately trying to turn the steering wheel shaft with my other hand.” 


Fines rides the wall in heat race action at Castrol Raceway (Perry Nelson photo)

Fines car was undamaged in the wall climbing incident and would win the ‘B’ Dash later in the evening.  Saturday night’s Feature saw four different drivers in the number one spot.  ‘A’ Dash winner and pole sitter, Darrell Midgley would relinquish the lead on the very first lap to Bruce Broughton.  Midgley would drop to fifth in the Lucas Oil #14 Dodge before fighting back and finishing the Feature in second.  Broughton would give up the lead on lap 10 to Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom.  The driver of the Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet would hold onto top spot until a familiar name charged to the lead on lap 19.  Campbell River BC’s Jason Beaulieu got past Tom with six laps to go and drove on to his second Feature win of the season.  “It was a really tough track tonight,” says the driver of the #46 All Weather Windows Dodge, “I didn’t know if I had enough for Mike Tom tonight but we had just enough power to get by the Chevy.” 


Beaulieu leads Midgley to checkered flag Saturday night. (Perry Nelson photo)

Beaulieu, who entered the race fourth in the point chase, moved past fellow British Columbia driver Darrell Midgley to third in the NPP Series standings.  “It’s been a hard fought battle this year,” adds Beaulieu, “were turning it around and we are now moving in the right direction.” In the last three Feature events, Mike Tom has shown on track performances not seen since the 2005 season.  The Stony Plain Alberta driver has a win, a fourth and now a third place finish.  “I’m happy with third tonight,” smiles Tom, “after the last couple of seasons (7 blown engines/crashes) we’re having fun again.” Tom felt the track going away near the end.  “It’s hard to say when your leading whether you’re running the fastest line or not.”  At one point in the Feature, Tom had a commanding five car lead. “We didn’t win it but we did dominate most of the race.  The guys (Midgley and Beaulieu) were coming on strong at the end and I couldn’t hold them off.”  For current NPP Series point leader Dwight Kennedy Saturday night was one of the most frustrating race nights in recent memory.  “Didn’t finish in the top four of the heat race, then we were told to pit the race car in the dash for who knows what.  Then we had a control arm break in the Feature.” For the record, Kennedy was forced to pit for causing two yellow flags to fly in the ‘B’ Dash.  “It’s a good thing we had a bit of a cushion in the point standings heading into tonight’s (Saturday) race we might have lost the lead too.”  Kennedy would be forced to start the Feature at the back of the pack.  Kennedy would finish the night in 8th and would see his point lead shrink to 89 points over Brian McCaughan (#42).  The Okotoks Alberta driver, who had an opportunity to take over the point lead Saturday night, finished fifth in the Feature.  Kevin Clark (#5) moved back into the top 10 in points for the second time this season with a fourth place finish in the Feature.  It was the Altario, Alberta driver’s best outing of the season. 

Race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series would like to congratulate Bellingham, Washington’s Brock Lemley for winning the 2008 Gold Cup Sprint Car Championship Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. It was the American drivers first ever visit to Edmonton, Alberta.

Next race for NPP Series Late Model teams is at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge Alberta.  This race is the official halfway point of the 2008 season.

BRIDGE COUNTY RACEWAY
Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, July 19th

GATES @ 5:00PM
RACING @ 7:00PM

NPP PIT BITS
-Current NPP Series point leader Dwight Kennedy has not finished out of the top 10 in the 7 Feature race events run so far this season.
-Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg, who was the NPP Series point leader after winning his first ever Feature event the season opening weekend, has now registered back to back DNF’s and has slipped to 8th in the standings. 
-Rookie driver Brian McCaughan has grabbed a fifth and two third place finishes in the last three NPP Feature races.   
-veteran driver Arvid Fonstad first NPP Series event of the season was short lived.  The Entwistle, Alberta driver suffered race ending engine problems in his heat race (lap 5).
-after a brutal Oilmen’s weekend (2 engines) Ken Clark finishes in the top 10 for the first time since his 3rd and 8th place finishes on the May long weekend.
-engine woes continue for St. Albert’s Dan Snow who lost his third power plant of the season Saturday night.

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NPP SERIES REACHES SEASON MIDPOINT
EDMONTON, AB (July 16th) The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series reaches the halfway point of the 2008 season at one of the biggest fastest oval tracks in Western Canada.  The NPP Series has made at least one scheduled stop at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2006.  It’s the second visit to the ‘Big Oval’ for the Series this season.  “This is a crucial point in the schedule for all NPP teams,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “the season will be officially half over after the Lethbridge race.  The points chase is so tight right now that no team can afford to have an off night or even a mechanical problem.  Something simple as a flat tire could potentially cost a driver three spots in the overall standings.”  Since 2006, only three NPP Series drivers have been to victory lane in Lethbridge.  Dwight Kennedy (2 wins), Jason Beaulieu (2) and Kevin Wheeler (1) are all looking forward to the return trip to Bridge County Raceway. “We’ve done very well in Lethbridge,” says Jason Beaulieu, driver of the #46 All Weather Windows Dodge, “we won the spring race (May 31st) so hopefully we can pass a few cars and get to the front again this weekend.”


Jason Beaulieu has won 2 of the last 4 NPP Features in Lethbridge

The Campbell River BC driver, who also won the race in Lethbridge last July, sits third in the NPP Series point standings, just 102 points behind current leader Dwight Kennedy.  “The pressure is on us now,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “that little cushion we built up after the Oilmen’s race is all but gone. You can’t be checking over your shoulder at whose behind,” smiles the Edson, Alberta driver, “because that’s when they’ll pass you in the points.” 


Current NPP Series point leader Dwight Kennedy looking for 3rd Feature win in Lethbridge

Kennedy is coming of an 8th place finish in Edmonton last weekend.  Kevin Wheeler has a bit of a soft spot for Southern Alberta. The Whitecourt, Alberta driver grabbed his first ever Feature victory last Setptember in Lethbridge.


Kevin Wheeler just 49 points out the Top 5.

“After a bit of a slow start to the season we’ve fought our way back  into the points chase,” indicates the driver of the # 3 K W Mechanical sponsored Dodge, “we’re sitting sixth right now in points.  It would sure be nice to grab another Feature win trophy in Lethbridge.  It would do wonders in getting even closer to Dwight, Brian (McCaughan) and Darrell (Midgley).”    

NPP/LETHBRIDGE FEATURE WINNERS
May 31st, 2008            Jason Beaulieu; Campbell River, BC
September 2nd, 2007    Kevin Wheeler, Whitecourt, Alberta
September 1st, 2007     Dwight Kennedy, Edson, Alberta
July 21st, 2007              Jason Beaulieu; Campbell River, BC                
June 3rd, 2006              Dwight Kennedy, Edson, Alberta

BRIDGE COUNTY RACEWAY
Lethbridge, Alberta

SATURDAY, JULY 19th
Gates @ 5PM
Racing @ 7PM

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NPP POINTS CHASE HEATS UP WITH BEAULIEU VICTORY
LETHBRIDGE, AB
(July 19)Race fans at Bridge County Raceway anticipated a heated battle on the track Saturday night.  What they got from drivers of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series was one of the wildest races of the season.  Campbell River British Columbia’s Jason Beaulieu would win the Feature in his #46 All Weather Windows Dodge. 


Jason Beaulieu wins second Feature in a row and third of the year Saturday night

Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom was second in his #55 Hinton Oilfield Chevrolet.  Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg placed third in his #12 Carlan Oilfied Services Pontiac.  Just getting to victory lane though was a hard fought battle.  Bruce Broughton and Curtis Moore won their qualifying heat races which automatically transferred them to the ‘A’ Dash event.  There was some drama after the second qualifying heat.  Shawn Kennedy was awarded the victory after Mike Tom, who originally took the checkered flag, was penalized four positions for jumping the start. 


Mike Tom had Qualifying win taken away in Lethbridge Saturday night.

Tom, who sits fifth in the NPP point’s chase, would run his first ‘B’ Dash of the season.  In fact, five out of the six cars that ran the ‘B’ Dash Saturday night were in the top 10 in points.  Brian McCaughan, second in NPP points, had a tire go down in qualifying heat race #2.  Kevin Wheeler was hoping to run his 8th ‘A’ Dash event of the season but defending NPP Late Model Series Champion Jason Beaulieu would grab the fourth and final transfer spot near the end of qualifying heat #3.  Current NPP Series point leader Dwight Kennedy would be forced to run the ‘B’ Dash for the fourth time this season and third race night in a row.  “Cracking into the top 4 of these qualifying heats is not as easy as it sounds,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “its tough work out there.  I just couldn’t get past the number ten (Travis Day).”  Day entered race action Saturday night 13th in the NPP point chase.  After taking over the point lead on June 7th, Kennedy has watched his 119 point cushion dwindle to 89 points.  “We could use some of those bonus dash points right about now.”  Kevin Wheeler would win the ‘B’ Dash with Mike Tom finishing second.  The 12 car, ‘A’ Dash saw some hard racing for position.  This ‘mini’ feature also saw two hard crashes in the closing laps.  Bruce Broughton’s night would come to an end after getting out of shape down the back straight.  Ricocheting off of one, maybe two cars would send Broughton into the wall.  The Spruce Grove Alberta drivers #61 LJB Auto Chevrolet could not be repaired in time for the Feature.  The second crash saw race leader Ken Clark and second place Kevin Clark get together.  “I talked to Kenny about it,” says Kevin Clark, “I feel bad about the crash cause he was running so good.  I maybe could have lifted a little bit.”  “There was a little crowding going on,” agrees Ken Clark, “I came down just a little bit as Kevin got into the side of me.”  Both cars looked to be welded together as they drove into the turn four wall.  Kevin Clark was able to drive his car away from the incident.  Ken Clark’s race car required a tow.  Jason Beaulieu would inherit the race lead and would drive on to victory guaranteeing him pole position for the Feature.  Paul Grundberg would fight his way from the back of the pack in the ‘A’ Dash and finish second and collected some extra passing points as well.  The 25 lap Feature saw seventeen race cars take the green flag.  The big race of the night would be caution free until the halfway point.  The last half of the Feature saw several yellow flags for single vehicle spins and accidents.  Sparks flew as Shawn Kennedy struck the front straight wall in a single vehicle incident.  The Edson Alberta driver would be done for the night and would be credited with 17th.  The biggest incident of the race and the entire season so far took place on Lap 19. 

A total of 6 cars were facing the wrong direction on the track.  Kevin Wheeler, running 7th, struck a spinning Travis Day (running 5th) head on. Dwight Kennedy (running 6th) also got collected up in the melee. Pat Fines, Wayne Gideon and Ashley Broughton, who were all running just out of the top 10, spun and managed to escape the carnage with no serious damage.  Wheeler would finish the night in 15th.  Day managed to stay on the track and salvage a 10th place finish.  Kennedy would wrap up the night in 8th.  The final 5 laps were caution free.  Jason Beaulieu was challenged a few times for the lead by Mike Tom but would hang on for the win.  “It was so slick at the end,” says Beaulieu, “I tried to play it safe.  I new Mike Tom was right behind me but we got it done.”  Beaulieu’s Lethbridge win and the victory in Edmonton July 12th has moved him to within 26 points of Dwight Kennedy for the NPP Series lead.  “It could be my son that grabs the point lead in Rimbey,” smiles Beaulieu, “I am shaking down my dirt modified in Elma Washington this Saturday night in preparation for the Nationals in August so Chris will be filling in.” Ironically, Chris Beaulieu was filling in for Darrell Midgley who normally campaigns the #14 Lucas Oil Dodge. The younger Beaulieu finished the Lethbridge race in fourth.  Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom finished second.  “We lost a motor here the end of May so it feels pretty good to finish second here tonight.”  Including a Feature win in Edmonton on June 28th, Tom has finished fourth or better the last four NPP race events.  “I like running in Lethbridge. It’s a fast track.  Made all my moves on the bottom of the track tonight.  We debated back and forth (with my crew) about the set up whether or not the track would stay tacky.  Luckily we made the correct set up adjustments.”  Tom is fifth in the points chase just 100 points behind current Series leader Dwight Kennedy. 


Paul Grundberg finds the podium for the first time since May

After back to back DNF’s Paul Grunberg found his way back to the podium for the first time since the May long weekend where he picked up a Feature win and a second.  “The track went dry slick really fast,” says the Whitecourt Alberta driver, “it was kinda hard to get around.  We were on the verge of spinning all the time.  We had to let Mike (Tom) go by us. He was faster so that’s what you have to do.”  Grundberg’s strong showing in Lethbridge allowed him to move from 8th to 6th in the NPP Series point standings just 62 points out of a top 5 spot.

Race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series now prepare for the track some call too tough to tame.  The Series makes its one and only visit to Central Alberta Raceways on Saturday, July 26th.

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READY FOR A RUMBLE IN RIMBEY
EDMONTON, AB (July 24th)The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wraps up the month of July with its only visit of the season to Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey, Alberta. “We hit the halfway point of the season last weekend in Lethbridge,” says NPP series announcer Gord Craig, “the race in Rimbey this Saturday afternoon kicks off the final half of the season.  It’s going to be a battle.”  The points chase has tightened up dramatically.  What was a 119 point lead for Edson Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy has dwindled to just 29 points heading into this weekend. 


Its starting to get a little crowded near the top of the NPP Series point standings

“We’ve got to turn it up a notch,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “we’ve run extremely strong in the Features this year (2 wins).  The heat races are where we have struggled a bit.  You have to get into the top 4 if you have any hope of a getting a good starting position in the feature.”  Kennedy, who has held the point lead since June 7th, has not finished worse than eighth in a Feature this season.  “We’ve run too many ‘B’ Dashes this year and that really has hurt us in the points.”  Kennedy may get the break he needs this weekend.  Two drivers that are right behind him in Series points will not be competing in Rimbey.  Jason Beaulieu (2nd) and Darrell Midgley(3rd) have previous racing commitments and are sending fill in drivers to continue running for season points.  Jason’s son Chris will take over the driving duties of his #46 All Weather Windows Dodge.  “I’m racing my Modified down in Elma, Washington the next two weekends,” says the defending NPP Season champion, “Chris will race smart (in Rimbey) but he won’t be afraid to make his way to the front.  He definitely knows his way around a race track.”  Darrell Midgley, will be at Western Speedway in Victoria BC and is sending out Brad Purdy (Port McNeil, BC) to fill in for him Saturday night.  After a strong performance in Lethbridge, Mike Tom (Stony Plain, Alberta), Paul Grundberg (Whitecourt, Alberta) and Curtis Moore (Sherwood Park, Alberta) hope to continue their forward momentum in Rimbey after gaining ground on the point leader. 

          
A heated points race + hot temperatures will make for an incredilbe race in Rimbey.

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McCAUGHAN WINS FIRST FEATURE ON TOUGH RIMBEY TRACK
RIMBEY, AB (July 26th)For the second time this season the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has a first time Feature winner.  Rookie driver Brian McCaughan drove his Lucas Oil/A-Men Contracting #42 Dodge to victory lane Saturday night at Central Alberta Raceway’s.  “It was one of those tracks where you had to be on the ball,” says the Okotoks, Alberta driver, “there was no forgiveness out there. You hit it wrong (corners) and you bust parts. It was a race where you had to be conservative and go hard when you could.”  Track conditions remained very tacky throughout the event with no major dry-slick issues.  The front and back straights remained smooth but the corners developed some nasty ruts about ten laps into the Feature.  “You had to plan out the corners. I knew a few of them (other drivers) were coming at me hard,” adds McCaughan, “I did not have the fastest car on the track tonight but I still managed to hold on for the win.” 


McCaughan tames the Rimbey track to win first NPP Feature

On this night, Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom and Whitecourt, Alberta’s Paul Grundberg were several NPP drivers that clearly had the faster cars.  The tricky ruts in the corners would both directly and indirectly bring their challenge for the lead to an end.  After storming from the back to fourth, Dan Stewart's #01 Dodge hit a rut in turn 3/4 and was launched into the side of Grundberg’s #19 Pontiac. Grundberg, who was running third, had his left rear tire punctured. Stewart was able to continue but Grundberg, who was aiming for his second feature win of the season, would finish the night in ninth.  Several laps later Tom would try a high side pass on McCaughan down the back straight when the suspension on his front right tire collapsed.  “I guess there is only so much pounding the suspension could take,” sighs the driver of the #55 Chevrolet, “we were running such a good race and to have this happen.  It’s too bad.”  In his last four Features, Tom had registered a second, third, fourth and a win.  Tom would be credited with a 12th place finish in Rimbey.  A two car crash marred lap 20 of Saturday's Feature.  Two Edson, Alberta drivers were involved. 

Scotty Aitken photo

While running in fourth, Ken Clark would spin in the middle of turn one/two after the left rear tire of his car fell off.  Shawn Kennedy would drive into the side of Clark at nearly full throttle.  “I had no where to go,” says Kennedy, “I saw the tire wobbling the last few laps but never expected it to fly off.”


Kennedy's car sits in the Rimbey infield after late race crash.

For the final five laps, Seba Beach Alberta’s Dan Stewart would successfully hold off Campbell River BC’s Chris Beaulieu and finish second.  Beaulieu was filling in for his father Jason who was racing his dirt modified in Elma, Washington.  “Pretty pleased with third,” says the ‘fill in’ driver of the #46 All Weather Windows Dodge, “it’s only my sixth time on dirt.  You really had to pick and choose your lines carefully.  You pick the wrong one and it could cost you a race.  We just wanted to play it smart, take our time and it worked.” 


"Fill-in" driver Chris Beaulieu finished third.

Stewarts second place finish in his Rockhard Contractors sponsored #01 Dodge was his best finish since a fifth place show in July of 2007.  “We had bad luck at the beginning tonight with two flat tires,” says the Seba Beach Alberta driver, “but we persevered and fought back.”  Stewart sits seventh in the NPP Points chase just 70 points out of the top five.  After running as high as fifth in the Feature, current NPP Series point leader Dwight Kennedy finished 7th.  The two-time champion leaves Rimbey with just a 3 point lead heading into the next race event at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park.  “Ironically the ‘B’ Dash saved us tonight (Saturday),” indicates the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “this ‘B’ Dash has been a bit of a curse to me lately but if the #46 made it to the ‘A’ I would be second in points right now.”  Both Kennedy and Beaulieu failed to crack the top 4 in their qualifying heats which were won by Curtis Moore, Mike Tom and Pat Fines.  Kevin Wheeler won his second consecutive ‘B’ Dash event.

Next race for NPP Late Model Series race teams is the final Southern Alberta road trip of the season.  Its also back to where the 2008 season began.  Rocky Mountain Raceway Park, between Okotoks and High River, Alberta, hosts the NPP Series for the second time this season.

NPP PIT BITS
-Dan Stewart who finished second in Rimbey announced in victory lane that he and his wife Kelly are expecting their first child. 
-Brian McCaughan joins Paul Grundberg as first time feature winners in an NPP Late Model this season.
-Shawn Kennedys heat race winning streak at Central Alberta Raceways was halted at three.  The Edson Alberta driver was the winner of his heat races in Rimbey in 2005, 2006 and 2007.  Kennedy finished second in his heat Saturday.
-Pat Fines now has a heat race winning streak.  Fines won a heat race in his rookie season in Rimbey last year.  Fines won his heat race Saturday night.    
-Current point leader Dwight Kennedy ran his fourth consecutive ‘B’ Dash event in Rimbey.
-Never in the history of the NPP Late Model Series has the points chase between first and second been this close.  Three points separates first and second. 
-Wayne Gideon left a business conference in Calgary early to compete in Rimbey.  The Edson Alberta drivers blow’s a motor in hot laps in his #99 Dodge.
-Three-time NPP Season Champion Trevor Emond was guest driver of the NPP Dodge Charger pace car Saturday night.

-Racing his #90 Dirt Modified Saturday night (July 26th), defending NPP Season Champion Jason Beaulieu wins first ever Feature in Elma Washington Saturday night. Watch feature (he is car #90) JASON B. - FEATURE WIN IN USA

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CRUCIAL RACE WEEKEND FOR ALL NPP SERIES TEAMS
EDMONTON, AB (July 29) The final Southern Alberta road trip for race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series takes place this Saturday and Sunday at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park.  It’s the fourth consecutive weekend that teams will battle for valuable season points.  “You couldn’t ask for a better script heading into this weekend’s race,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “it’s the wind up to the busiest spot on the schedule and the points chase has never been tighter.  Right now just a simple mistake, a mechanical problem or a flat tire will not only cost you spots on the track but several positions in the overall point standings as well.”  Current NPP series point leader Dwight Kennedy has just a three point lead over the father and son race team of Jason and Chris Beaulieu.  Team Beaulieu has just a thirteen point lead over rookie driver Brian McCaughan who sits third.  As the NPP point chase intensifies, race fans at RMRP could witness Series history this weekend.  “Never before in the 8 year history of the NPP Series, has a rookie lead the points chase,” adds Craig, “ironically Brian McCaughan could make this happen on his home track.” 


McCaughan (#42) is extremely pleased with his performance in 2008

“Racing in this Series has been something else this year,” says the Okotoks, Alberta driver, “I’m absolutely having a blast.  I think the topper of taking over the point lead at my home track would be incredible.”  McCaughan is still savoring his first ever NPP Feature win at Rimbey last weekend.  Edson Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy is gearing up for a battle in Okotoks. 


#81 Kennedy plans to turn it up a notch this weekend in Okotoks

“Its pretty simple, we need two strong races this weekend,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “we need to do well in the Qualifying heats, make the ‘A’ Dash and get a good starting position for the Features both nights.”  In nine Feature events so far this season, Kennedy has two wins and seven top 10 finishes.  “We have lost ground (standings) by missing the ‘A’ Dash the last four races.  That’s at least fifty points we’ve basically thrown away.”  With some of the focus on McCaughan’s aspirations to make NPP Series history this weekend, history could be on the side of Kennedy.  He has won two of the last four Features run at the Southern Alberta racetrack including the first race of 2008 on May 17th.  For the second weekend in a row defending NPP Series Champion Jason Beaulieu will be noticeably absent from the pits.  The Campbell River BC driver will be racing his Dirt Modified at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington State. 


#46 Chris Beaulieu hopes to podium again in Okotoks (Scotty Aitken photo)

Jason Beaulieu’s son Chris will once again be behind the wheel of the #46 All Weather Windows Dodge Saturday and Sunday in Okotoks.  “I’m pretty pumped for the weekend,” says Chris Beaulieu, “finishing third in Rimbey (July 26th) felt pretty good.  I’m hoping we can finish at the front again."


#80 Moore can set a NPP Series record with a Qualifying Heat win Saturday night.

NPP WEEKEND SIDE NOTES
-Curtis Moore in his Air Power Systems #80 Dodge is looking to set an NPP Series record Saturday night in Okotoks.  The Sherwood Park Alberta driver has won 3 ‘consecutive’ Qualifying heats at three different tracks. (Rimbey: July 26th, Lethbridge: July 19th and Edmonton July 12th)  Whitecourt Alberta’s Jeff Grundberg was the first NPP driver to do so in 2006. (Swift Current, Okotoks and Drayton Valley)    
-Bruce and Ashley Broughton, drivers of the LJB Auto #61 and #16 Chevrolet’s, are sitting out this weekend’s race.
-Jason Beaulieu will miss his second consecutive NPP Series race event for the first time since 2006.  The Campbell River BC driver is racing his Dirt Modified in Washington.
-5 different NPP drivers have won Feature events at RMRP since 2005.
 

NPP FEATURE WINNERS AT RMRP
Paul Grundberg; May 18th, 2008
Dwight Kennedy; May 17th, 2008
Kevin Clark; July 20th, 2007   
Dwight Kennedy; August 12th, 2006
Trevor Emond August 13th, 2005
Gerry Emond July 23rd, 2005

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