STONY PLAIN, AB. (July 12) - Bruce Broughton certainly had high hopes for the 2013 race season.  Unfortunately the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor will be watching the remainder of the season from the sidelines.  The 44-year old suffered a heart attack on July 4th.  The good news is that Broughton is now resting comfortably at home.  "This was a pretty big scare for me," admits the 2010 NPP Late Model Series champion, "I'm pretty tired right now but I am up and moving around." 


The Stony Plain, Alberta driver was on holidays in Northern Alberta when the health emergency struck.  "There was a big storm coming in.  I was outside moving lawn chairs so they wouldn't blow away.  I came back inside the trailer and then immediately fell to the floor."  Broughton's wife was with him. "Allison was rock solid during this time. If it wasn't for her I think the outcome would have been a lot different."  Broughton was rushed to hospital in Barrhead, Alberta before being transported to Edmonton.  "They were going to fly me out [Stars Air Ambulance] but the weather was bad so they took me the long way [by road]."  Broughton underwent emergency surgery in Edmonton.  "I was in intensive care for three days.  They opened me up on Friday [July 5th] to see what kind of shape my heart was in. Doctors said I actually had a second heart attack when I was on the table."  Ironically Broughton, a non-smoker, and his family doctor talked about the potential for a heart attack when he was in for his annual checkup.  "I was in for my regular checkup about six weeks ago.  My grandfather had heart problems in his sixties, my dad in his fifties.  They say that it hits ten years earlier each generation. I guess they were right." 


Broughton had angioplasty and three stents inserted.  Doctors say the prognosis looks good for a full recovery.  "I'm following doctors orders right now," says Broughton, "I've parked myself for the season and I'm taking a few months off of work [LJB Auto - Spruce Grove]."  Broughton knows he won't be behind the wheel of a race car for the forseeable future. "My biggest disappointment is not being able to race the end of this month [with the NASCAR drivers on July 31st].  I planned on winning that one.  I will be in the pits though. You can count on that!" Broughton would like to thank his fellow racers for their prayers and offered some timely advice. "Be grateful for what you got.  Life can be pretty short.  Don't take anything for granted and appreciate those you love."  The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wishes Bruce Broughton a speedy recovery.

79 - Race Starts
54 - Top 10's
32 - Top 5's
  5 - Pole positions
  8 - Feature Wins
42 - Heat Wins

2012 - 7th in NPP Series points
2010 - NPP Late Model Series Champion
2006 - 6th in NPP Series points
2005 - NPP Series Rookie of the Year (5th in points)


KINDERSLEY, SK. (July 15) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series appearance at Flatlanders Speedway has been moved from the August long weekend back to the September long weekend.  "The big eraser is out once again," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "it's just been one of those years as far as our schedule is concerned."  The NPP Late Model Series plays a major role in the Race of Champions event on Wednesday, July 31st in Edmonton.  "The Race of Champions was actually a last minute addition to our schedule [back in April] after we had just moved our race date in Kindersley, Saskatchewan from the September long weekend to the August long weekend."  The Race of Champions features NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader and Dave Blaney.  Track officials at Flatlanders Speedway and NPP Late Model Series officials agree that there could be some serious logistical problems if the race schedule was left as is. 


"We want to put on a good show for the fans [in Kindersley]," explains Craig, "you just never know what kind of shape our cars are going to be in after the Wednesday night race in Edmonton.  The quick turnaround would be asking a lot from NPP Series drivers and their teams."  This is the second consecutive season the NPP Late Model Series will compete on the tricky triangle of Flatlanders Speedway on the September long weekend.  "We had a blast at that track last year."  Track officials in Kindersley, Saskatchewan have added a fireworks show after Saturday nights NPP Late Model Series feature race. 

5:00pm -Spectator gates open
6:00pm - Racing (Fireworks following the event)
Spectator Admission (Saturday)
$12.00 - General
NPP Late Model Series
Thunder Stocks
Mini Stocks

1:00pm -Spectator gates open
2:00pm - Racing
Spectator Admission (Sunday)
$10.00 - General
NPP Late Model Series
Thunder Stock Trucks
Street Stocks


EDMONTON, AB. (July 17) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series, which has been plagued with bad weather at all scheduled events this year, finally hopes to get the 2013 race season underway.  This Friday and Saturday night, Canada's oldest, most prestigious Sprint Car race rumbles into Castrol Raceway.  First competed in Edmonton (Speedway Park) back in 1954, the Gold Cup features some of the best open wheel drivers in Western Canada and the United States.  For the fifteenth consecutive year, the NPP Late Model will be the support class at the 2013 Gold Cup.  "We made our official Edmonton debut back at the 1999 Gold Cup," explains NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "the Gold Cup race has always had special meaning to the drivers of our Series."  Two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy won the first ever NPP Late Model Feature race in Edmonton in his familiar NPP #81 Dodge at the 1999 Gold Cup.  "I actually forgot about that," admits the Edson, Alberta driver, "we've run so many races over the years they all start to blend together." 

---------------------------------------------- ----------------

Kennedy finished 3rd and 6th at last year's two-day Gold Cup race weekend.  "I know it's been a few years since we won at a Gold Cup race in Edmonton. Hopefully we'll have a good weekend."  Kennedy swept the NPP Series Features at the 1997 Gold Cup race.

---------------------------------------------- ---------------- (PHOTO: NPP ARCHIVES)

Defending NPP Series Champion Kevin Wheeler is looking to start off the 2013 season on a strong note.  "We've had a pretty good run the past few years at season opening races," says the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, "we just got to win the darn thing."  At the most recent NPP Series season opening races Wheeler has finished 4th[2010], 3rd[2011] and 2nd[2012].  "Could this be the year we win one [in Edmonton].  That would be awesome."  Wheeler finished fifth and third at last year's Gold Cup race weekend in his KW Mechanical #3 Dodge.  His best Gold Cup finish was a second back in 2010.  "We're ready to get this season going and defend the title!"    

2013         ???????????
2012    Chris Beaulieu (May 12th)          
2011    Mike Tom (June 4th)                   
2010    Bruce Broughton (May 15th)       
2009    Darrell Midgley (May 16th)        
2008    Dwight Kennedy (May 17th)       
2007    Jason Beaulieu (May 19th)          
2006    Trevor Emond (May 13th)
2005    Jason Beaulieu (May 7th)
2004    Trevor Emond (May 8th)
2003    Feature cancelled – snow (May 17th - Heat races completed)
2002    Larry Simpson (May 11th)
2001    Dwight Kennedy (May 19th)

> FRIDAY, July 19th
4:00pm - Spectator Gates Open
5:30pm - Sprint Car Qualifying
Racing to follow

> SATURDAY, July 20th
4:00pm - Spectator Gates Open
5:30pm - Sprint Car Qualifying
Racing to follow

Spectator Admission to Castrol Raceway (Friday or Saturday)
$20.00 Adults
$10.00 Youth and Seniors
Free    Children (age 5 and under)

Classes competing (both nights):
'360' Sprint Cars
NPP Late Model Series
Mini Stocks


EDMONTON, AB. (July 20) - After seven hard fought years, Kevin Wheeler can finally say he has won a Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Feature race in Edmonton.  The defending season champion held off a late race charge by his brother Wayne Wheeler to claim victory at the 2013 NPP Series season opener Friday night.  "I'd never hear the end of it if my brother won in Edmonton before I did," laughs Wheeler, "we nailed the setup in every race.  Wow, what a great night!"  After a third place finish in his Qualifying Heat, Wheeler won the 'A' Dash race securing the pole position for the Feature.  Wheeler navigated the dry slick track conditions at Castrol Raceway flawlessly to claim his fourth career NPP Series Feature win.


"We've been trying so hard here [in Edmonton]. We've lead a lot of laps but always came up a little short."  With his victory, the driver of the KW Mechanical/Bill Weins Trucking #3 Dodge takes over the early season points lead in the NPP Series Championship standings.  Wheeler, who made his debut in Edmonton on July 14, 2006,  has managed an impressive average Feature finish of 3.5 in his last 17 appearances in Edmonton dating back to the 2009 season.  Wayne Wheeler made NPP Series history Friday night with his second place finish.  Wheeler set a new NPP Series record becoming the highest finishing rookie at a Season Opening race.  The previous rookie record was a third place finish held by three drivers; Brent Broughton (2003), Darrell Midgley (2004) and Tim Beausoliel (2005).  The former motocross racer surprised a lot of people with his performance at the season opener.  "The car handled good tonight," exclaims Wayne Wheeler, "the best part was chasing my brother in the main.  Good times!"   


Travis Day finished third in the Feature making it a Whitecourt, Alberta sweep of the podium which is also a first for the NPP Late Model Series.  "My crew worked really hard," says the driver of the Trappers Auto Parts #10 Chevrolet, "we had lots of luck on our side. We had a really good day." Days last appearance in Edmonton was 2011 where he finished 5th in the Feature. "Missed it alot!" Altario, Alberta's Kevin Clark and Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley won Friday nights Qualifying Heats. Midgley would bow out of the Feature early with mechanical problems. Clark finished in eighth after a late race spin.

What was supposed to be a two-night Gold Cup race weekend in Edmonton unfortunately was cut short by mother nature.  NPP Series teams had just taken to the race track for the first Saturday night Qualifying Heat when a torrential downpour turned the Oval track into a soupy mess.   Track officials immediately cancelled the remainder of the evening. This was the sixth NPP Series race event to be affected by the weather in 2013.

The next scheduled event for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is a rare mid-week race night.  Wednesday night July 31st is the Race of Champions in Edmonton featuring Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader and Dave Blaney. Gates will open at 5:00pm with pre-race ceremonies at 6:30 and racing starting at 7:00pm. 


EDMONTON, AB. (July 29) - The race cars have been built and decaled.  Now only the seats need to be fitted as Western Canada's toughest racing Series 'on the dirt' welcomes some NASCAR star power to its line-up for a special night of racing.  This Wednesday (July 31) the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series welcomes Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney and two-time Daytona 500 Champion's Michael Waltrip and Sterling Marlin to the inaugural 'Race of Champions' at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.  "This is the furthest west [in Canada] I've ever raced," says Concord, North Carolina's Ken Schrader, " a couple years ago we raced the IMCA Modified in Manitoba [Winnipeg] and Saskatchewan [Estevan].  Schrader has already run 45 shows in 2013.  "We get to come to Edmonton and meet a bunch of new race fans.  I am really looking forward to it." 


Just one week ago both Schrader and Dave Blaney were competing on the dirt at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio.  Schrader was the pole sitter (finished 14th) in the Camping World Truck Series points event.  Blaney finished ninth (qualified 26th) as NASCAR returned to the 'dirt' for the first time in more than 40 years.  "Once the helmet goes on its time to go racing!"  Sterling Marlin last competed on the NASCAR circuit three years ago but still gets behind the wheel of a race car at short track events.


Marlin has two wins on the pavement in 2013 at the storied Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee.  Michael Waltrip meanwhile is coming of a fifth place finish at the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway back on July 6th.  The NPP Late Model Series will be running its full format in Edmonton on Wednesday night.  Open wheel '360' Sprint Cars will also be competing at the inaugural Race of Champions event. Defending NPP Late Model Series Champion Kevin Wheeler is the current points leader.  

3:00PM - Spectator Gates Open
3:30PM - Public autograph session begins
6:30PM - Pre-race ceremonies
7:00PM - Racing
Castrol Raceway admission:
Reserved tickets - $50.00
General tickets - $40.00
Youth – ½ price

> MICHAEL WALTRIP - North Carolina
Two-time Daytona 500 Champion
Owner of Michael Waltrip Racing
Television analyst on Fox Sports and Speed TV

> KEN SCHRADER - North Carolina      
Raced NASCAR full-time for over 20 seasons
NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1985
Running a part-time NASCAR schedule in 2013
Owns Ken Schrader Racing (NASCAR K & N Series race cars)
Set the pole position at the inaugural NASCAR Truck Series race on  the 'dirt' at Eldora Speedway in Ohio. (Finished 14th)
> STERLING MARLIN - Tennessee                      
Two-time Daytona 500 Champion
NASCAR Point leader in 2002 with 7 races remaining.  Broke his back in bad crash ending his season. Retired from NASCAR in 2010
Still runs the short track scene in Tennessee
> DAVE BLANEY - North Carolina
1995 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Champion
NASCAR driver for 16 years
Finished 9th at the inaugural NASCAR Truck Series event on the 'dirt' at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.


EDMONTON, AB. (July 31) - It was memorable and history making night for Western Canadian race fans and for drivers of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  Navigating dry slick track conditions, Concord, North Carolina's Kenny Schrader held off a late race charge by Hartford, Ohio's Dave Blaney and grabbed the checkered flag at the inaugural Race of Champions event at Castrol Raceway. Schrader becomes the first American driver to win a NPP Late Model Series Feature.  Schrader actually swept the race night winning his Qualifying Heat and the 'A' Dash race.  "The cars were fantastic," says the driver of the All Weather Windows #52 Dodge, "Blaney and I had a wonderful time and so did Sterling and Michael.  Just a lot of fun. A lot of good race fans here [Edmonton]."  Both Schrader and Blaney ran the full NPP Late Model Series race format Wednesday night in Edmonton. Blaney won the second Qualifying Heat Race.  


"A lot of times when we do these types of events we normally don't get good quality cars.  [Having these cars to run] just made it a fun night."  The Race of Champions event in Edmonton was kicked off by a four-car dash featuring Schrader, Blaney, Michael Waltrip and Sterling Marlin.  Schrader would win this dash race as well.  Top Canadian in the NPP Series Feature was Altario, Alberta's Kevin Clark who finished third.  "Those guys are just unbelievable," admits the driver of the Clark Construction # 5 Dodge, "they are such smooth drivers.  I knew I wasn't going to catch them.  I had nothing at all for them and I didn't want to do what I did a few weeks ago and spin [while running third]."  Clarks third place finish moves him to third in the NPP Late Model Series Championship point standings.  Columbia, Tennessee's Sterling Marlin, who hasn't run a dirt race in over two years, finished the Feature in eleventh. 


Michael Waltrip fell off the pace early in the NPP Series Feature but fought back for a top 10 finish.  "I got better all night long," says the driver of the #55 NAPA Toyota, "I made a couple moves at the end and that got me up to 9th place."  Like Marlin, Waltrip rarely runs dirt race events.  "I race dirt seldomly and to be able to finish as strong as we did was a great feeling."  The Sherrills Ford, North Carolina driver was also happy with who won the big Feature.  "My buddy Schrader got the win.  I figured he'd be one the beat.  In a dirt modified or late model type car, he's as good as there is in the country [USA].  Now he might be as good as there is in two countries because he came up here and won."  Despite the NASCAR drivers being in the spotlight for much of the night, Shawn Kennedy managed to grab some of that spotlight for himself.  The Edson, Alberta driver took over the race lead from pole sitter Schrader at the drop of the green.  Kennedy held off the NASCAR veteran for three laps.  "I was joking before [the race] watch me come beat these guys, it'd be great.  Then I got out in front and thinking this is crazy." 

-----------------------------------------------------(photo: STP RACING MEMORIES)

The driver of the Habitat for Humanity/ReStore #90 Dodge battled with Schrader and Blaney for half the race before the handling went away on his car.  "It was really cool racing with those guys.  There was one turn when we came out three wide.  It was just the best feeling ever."  Kennedy managed a solid fifth in the Feature.  Rookie of the Year contender Wayne Wheeler got the hard charger award in the race.  The Whitecourt, Alberta driver started the Feature near the back of the 18 car field and navigated his MAC Tools/Yaku Enterprises #4 Dodge and finished 4th.

Next race for the NPP Late Model Series is Saturday, August 18th at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.