RACEDAY: EDMONTON, ALBERTA
EDMONTON, AB (July 3) - After two single nights of race action in May and June, teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series compete in their first double header race weekend of the 2015 season. Friday and Saturday night (July 3/4) is the Jim Albert Memorial Gold Cup race at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.  The Gold Cup, first run back in 1954 (Speedway Park - Edmonton), is Canada's oldest most prestigious open wheel Sprint Car event. 


#81 DWIGHT KENNEDY: TO START 150th NPP SERIES EVENT FRIDAY NIGHT
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"The NPP Late Model has been the support class to the Gold Cup event in Edmonton since 1999," says NPP Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig, "Northern Provincial Pipelines actually has been a proud sponsor and supporter of this race going back to 1997."  Several NPP Series competitors will be in the spotlight this weekend.  Darrell Midgley sits number one in the NPP Series Championship point standings.  The driver of the Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge is undefeated in 2015 Feature events and is looking at becoming just the fourth driver in NPP Series history to win three consecutive Feature to start off a season.  Dating back to last season, the Sidney, British Columbia driver has won four consecutive NPP Series Feature events, a winning streak that has only been accomplished four-times since 2001. 


2009 CHAMP MIDGLEY(#14) AND DEFENDING CHAMP MILLER(#69)
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Midgley has a 33 point lead over Edson, Alberta's Dwight Kennedy who reaches a racing milestone on Friday night.  The owner of Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. and founder of the NPP Series will be starting his 150th NPP Series event on Night #1 of the Gold Cup. "I probably have close to 250 race events under my belt," says Kennedy, "we did a lot of racing back in the early 90's in a Hobby Stock before the NPP Series started up."  Kennedy won his first ever NPP Late Model Series Feature event back on July 7th, 2001.  "Winning one of these races is getting tougher and tougher," admits Kennedy who has 25 NPP Series Feature wins (18 in Edmonton), "we came close last weekend (finished second) but Darrell was running really good."  Kennedy's last Feature event win was August 8, 2012 in Edmonton. His last Feature win at a Gold Cup event was back in 2007. Shawn Kennedy, Dwight's son, sits third in points heading into race action this weekend.  The driver of THE REBEL.media #7 Dodge has never won a Feature in Edmonton.  The Gold Cup race weekend could play into the younger Kennedy's favor if the past repeats itself.  The NPP Series Feature events at the 2013 and 2014 Gold Cup were both won by first-time Edmonton winners (Kevin Wheeler and Mark Miller).  Both Wheeler and Miller would also win the NPP Series Championship the same seasons. Defending season champion Mark Miller from Calgary and 2010 NPP Series Champion Bruce Broughton from Stony Plain, enter the race weekend tied for fourth in points. Miller got his only win of the season last year on Night #1 of the Gold Cup event (Night #2 was rained out). Broughton won both NPP Series Feature events at the 2010 Gold Cup race. Beaumont, Alberta's Dean Deatherage sits fifth in points heading into the race weekend.


Classes Racing: '360' Sprint Cars & NPP Late Model Series
RACING @ 7:00PM on FRIDAY (after Sprint qualifying)
RACING @ 6:00PM on SATURDAY (after Sprint qualifying)

SPECTATOR ADMISSION (Fri or Sat)
$20.00 General
$10.00 Youth (ages 6 - 12)
FREE Children 5 and unde

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WIN SOME, WIN SOME MORE
EDMONTON, AB (July 5) - Veteran oval racer Darrell Midgley has put together an amazing winning streak that has never been accomplished before in the 15 year history of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  The Sidney, British Columbia driver led all laps in the Friday and Saturday night Features at Castrol Raceway to win his sixth consecutive NPP Series Feature event.  "We were probably the best car here tonight and got the best results," says the driver of the Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge, "things are just going our way right now."  His six race winning streak began at the final race weekend of the 2014 season in Rimbey, Alberta.


NPP SERIES ALL-TIME RECORD: SIX CONSECUTIVE FEATURE WINS FOR MIDGLEY
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Midgley, who had never won at Central Alberta Raceways, claimed both Features.  "We'll just keep doing what we can and see how far we can go with this."  Despite his strong performance, the 2009 NPP Series Champion was challenged hard and often for the race lead Friday and Saturday night by the defending NPP Series Champion.  "Mark [Miller] was nipping at our heels both nights.  He's a great driver in this Series.  He won the championship last year so he knows how to get to the top."  Mark Miller has now finished second to Midgley in three consecutive Feature events this season.  Miller is only the second driver in NPP Series history to accomplish the second place 'triple-play." Valemount, British Columbia's Larry Simpson was the first to finish second in three consecutive NPP Features back in 2003. The string of podium finishes has leapfrogged the Calgary, Alberta driver from seventh to second in the NPP Series points chase. The driver of the A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet sits just 62 points behind Midgley. "Darrell's definitely got the quicker car this year," admits Miller, "its going to take a lot to beat him. We need to have one good night where the track is where we want to be and our set-up is where it needs to be so we can battle and hopefully pull a win out." Miller won the Friday night Dash claiming his first pole position of the season. "Midgley was pretty quick both nights. I don't know if we had a car both days to actually be faster than him. Maybe the second night we had the faster car on the inside groove. We have to step up our game and maybe be able to beat Darrell the next time out."


DEFENDING SEASON CHAMPION MILLER SITS SECOND IN 2015 POINTS CHASE
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Another driver that had identical finishing spots in Edmonton on the weekend was Dean Deatherage. The Beaumont, Alberta driver won his Friday and Saturday night Heat races and finished fourth in both Feature events. "I've had more fun in this car since I started driving,"exclaims Deatherage, "my confidence driving the car is way higher than it has been in the past thanks to Shawn [Kennedy] helping me with setting up this car."


#18 DEATHERAGE AND #81 KENNEDY TIED FOR THIRD IN POINTS
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The on-track consistency is paying off as the driver of the Scott Safety #18 Dodge now sits in a two-way tie for third with Edson, Alberta's Dwight Kennedy in the Championship point standings. "Getting in there and racing against Darrell, Mark, Dwight and Bruce and being able to challenge them sure helps." Deatherage ran his first NPP Series event back in 2008 as a fill-in driver.


ENGINE WOES FOR BOTH SHAWN KENNEDY AND BRUCE BROUGHTON
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(photo: Stpracing Memories)
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NPP SERIES - THE INSIDE TRACK
- the NPP Late Model has been the support class at the Gold Cup sprint car race since 1999.  Midgley is the third driver to sweep both nights of a Gold Cup race weekend. (Bruce Broughton - 2010  // Trevor Emond - 2003/2005)    
- Darrell Midgley is the first driver since the 2004 season to win four consecutive NPP Series Feature events to start off a season.  The last driver to accomplish this was Leduc, Alberta's Trevor Emond who would also win the season championship the same year.
- retired NPP Series driver Mike Tom (2011 NPP Champion) and Kevin Wheeler (2012/2013 Champion) are the only other drivers to win five Feature events in a row.
- while leading the Dash Friday night, Shawn Kennedy's engine expired.  Kennedy did an engine swap in preparation for Saturday nights race only to have this engine expire in his Heat race.
- Bruce Broughton had his engine expire in his Saturday night Heat race.
- Marc Hobe' ran his last race in Edmonton Saturday night (finished 7th).  After spending the last few years in Alberta, Hobe' is moving to Arizona.
- a wild rain and lightning storm on Friday night sent race teams and fans running for cover just as the intermission started.  The rain delay lasted 1 hour 32 minutes.

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CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
EDMONTON, AB (July 9) - Three engines expirations in one weekend is major cause for concern for several race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  Shawn Kennedy's championship hopes for 2015 all but evaporated when he lost two engines at the 2015 Jim Albert Memorial Gold Cup two-day race weekend.  Kennedy was leading the 'A' Dash race on Friday night when his first engine let go.  "I could feel the car was underpowered a bit towards the end of the dash", says the Edson, Alberta driver,  "then going into the final corner that was it."  THEREBEL.media #7 Dodge stopped dead on the track about 50 feet in front of the flag stand.


KENNEDY BLEW ENGINE ON WHITE FLAG LAP WHILE LEADING THE 'A' DASH

Kennedy and crew installed a new engine in preparation for the second night of racing in Edmonton.  This time the engine expired in the Qualifying Heat. "Same story all over again."  Kennedy was quick to explain the engine failures.  "We really are pushing these engines to the limit.  They are pushing over 600 horsepower and often hit 8,000rpm. That's a lot for a 340. After all the grinding and porting there is very little room for mechanical error.  In this case the bottom end let go and the camshaft was next." 


SECOND ENGINE OF THE WEEKEND EXPIRED ON THIRD LAP OF QUALIFYING HEAT

Kennedy, who was an early season championship hopeful for 2015, dropped from third to seventh in the NPP Series Championship chase with his engine woes.  "There is no recovering from this," sigh's Kennedy, "but you don't give up.  You can't give up.  I'm still going to go out there and kick some ass and make things interesting.  Winning a couple of races would really put some pressure on the frontrunners and shake up the points a bit.  Who knows, maybe I can get back into the top five."  Stony Plain, Alberta's Bruce Broughton was in the thick of the points battle as well when his engine expired on night number two of the Gold Cup race weekend. 


DEFENDING CHAMPION MARK MILLER AND 2010 CHAMPION BRUCE BROUGHTON
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(photo: Stpracing Memories)

"You just got to hold your head high and know you were running strong when it happened," says the driver of the All Weather Windows/Habitat for Humanity #61 Dodge, "it just means you are pushing the limits and when you push the limits, sometimes stuff breaks."  Broughton finished third in the Friday night Heat, Dash and Feature.  The Stony Plain, Alberta driver finished third in the Saturday night Heat and was going to sit on the pole for the 'A' Dash when the engine diagnosis emerged.  "Everybody has had motors fail if they have done this for a while," says the 2005 NPP Series Rookie of the Year and 2010 NPP Series Champion, "that's just part of racing.  You just get it fixed and go on to the next one."   Broughton was as high as third in the NPP Series Championship standings on the Gold Cup race weekend but now sits fifth, with four races left in the 2015 season.


KENNEDY AND BROUGHTON ARE ON THE SAME ENGINE PROGRAM FOR 2015

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WANTED: BONUS POINTS
EDMONTON, AB (July 22) - Darrell Midgley not only leads the 2015 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series point standings, he also leads all drivers in bonus points earned this season.  NPP Series bonus points are awarded for positions gained in all Dash races and for laps lead in Feature events.  With four consecutive Feature wins and strong performances in Dash races, Midgley has a 62 point lead over defending season champion Mark Miller.


BONUS POINT BONANZA FOR MIDGLEY THIS SEASON
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Take away Midgley's bonus points in 2015 and the Sidney, British Columbia drivers points lead shrinks to just 32 points.  "You can never have too big of a point lead," says the 2009 NPP Series Champion, "when you start at the back [in the Dash] you've got to pass as many guys as you can to get those extra points."  Midgley is the only driver to earn bonus points at every event this season.  He has earned 30 Bonus points so far, with 22 of those points coming from positions gained in Dash races.  "I just want to keep racing for the wins.  If we keep finishing up near the front the points take care of themselves."


PERFORMANCE BONUSES IN NPP SERIES DASHES AND FEATURES
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Mark Miller, the defending season champion currently sits second in the NPP Series Championship points standings.  "I wish the points race was a little bit tighter.  It should be a little bit tighter but it isn't."  The driver of the A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet has spent much of the season in catch-up mode.  "We had a good car at the first race of the year but unfortunately we had to pull into the pits due to overheating."  Thanks to three consecutive second place finishes in Feature events, the Calgary, Alberta driver has moved from seventh to second in the standings..  "The top finishes are nice," adds Miller, "hopefully at the next race we will be able to switch rolls." 


MILLER IS AIMING FOR STRONG FINISHES AND MORE BONUS POINTS
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Miller realizes that grabbing all available points at the remaining races is crucial.   "The bonus points is where we can make up a lot of ground on Darrell."  Miller has earned just 6 Bonus points this season. "We have to step up our game." Next race for the NPP Late Model Series is August 21st and 22nd at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey.

2015 NPP SERIES EARNED BONUS POINTS
#14 Darrell Midgley - Sidney, BC               30
#18 Dean Deatherage - Beaumont, AB          8
#61 Bruce Broughton - Stony Plain, AB        6
#69 Mark Miller - Calgary, AB                     6
#81 Dwight Kennedy - Edson, AB                4
# 2 Marc Hobe' - Sylvan Lake, AB               2
#33 Jay Carr - Devon, AB                            2

DASH BONUS - 2 points for every position gained
FEATURE BONUS - 1 point for leading a lap / 1 point for leading the most laps

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NO RACING = LONG WEEKEND
EDMONTON, AB (July 31) - In its 15 season history, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series teams have only competed on the August long weekend a total of five times [9 races].  Current NPP Series point leader Darrell Midgley has competed in three of those race weekends.  His best finish was a third on Night #1 of the 2012 August long weekend event at British Columbia's Merritt Speedway.  There will be no putting on a helmet or fire suit for the 2009 NPP Series Champion this August long weekend. 


WEEKEND OFF FOR MIDGLEY
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"It's actually going to be pretty laid back for me," admits the driver of the Integra Tire(Edson) #14 Dodge, "I'm doing absolutely nothing."  Even though Midgley is the promoter of Western Speedway, the Sidney, British Columbia driver won't even be turning laps in his pavement late model.  "The track is basically dark this weekend.  There is just so much going on in the Victoria region.  We actually haven't scheduled any big events (on August long weekend) the past few years.  It's a good time to give my staff some time off."


CAPACITY CROWDS AT WESTERN SPEEDWAY IN 2015
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Dwight Kennedy was the first ever NPP Series Feature winner at an August long weekend event.  The two-time NPP Series Champion took the checkered flag on Night #1 of the August 2004 long weekend race in Edmonton [finished 5th on Night #2].  Kennedy's plans this long weekend are the complete opposite of Midgley's.  "Work, work work," exclaims the Edson, Alberta driver and founder of the NPP Series, "we are still busy here (at Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd.).  The original plan was to give my employees the weekend off. That changed earlier this week with a rush (pipeline) job that starts on Saturday." Kennedy, who sits third in the NPP Series Championship points chase, will be behind the wheel of an Excavator instead of his NPP #81 Dodge.


KENNEDY SITS THIRD IN NPP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
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Already in the NPP Late Model Series record books with three consecutive NPP Series Championships [2003, 2004, 2005] and most Feature wins in a single season [7 in 2003], Trevor Emond dominated August long weekend race action.  Emond, who has temporarily hung up his helmet [pavement and dirt], won 5 consecutive August long weekend Feature events.  The Leduc, Alberta driver grabbed both Features at the 2008 August long weekend event in Okotoks, won the rain shortened 2009 weekend in Edmonton, and took both Features at the British Columbia August long weekend race in 2012.  Emond will be at the Wetaskwin track this August long weekend acting as crew chief for his two children. Both Tyler and Kara run in the Mini Cup and Bandelero classes.


EMOND: PASSING THE MOTORSPORTS TORCH......
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(photos: Emond Racing)
    

AUGUST LONG WEEKEND NPP SERIES FEATURE WINNERS
2004 - Friday, August 6th (Edmonton, AB)             Dwight Kennedy (pole: Darrell Midgley)
2004 - Saturday, August 7th (Edmonton, AB)         Jason Beaulieu (pole: Shawn Kennedy)
2006 - Saturday, August 5th (Swift Current, SK)     Bruce Broughton (pole: Bruce Brougton)
2006 - Sunday, August 6th (Swift Current, SK)       Shawn Kennedy (pole: Shawn Kennedy)
2008 - Saturday, August 2nd (Okotoks, AB)           Trevor Emond (pole: Brian McCaughan)
2008 - Sunday, August 3rd (Okotoks, AB)              Trevor Emond (pole: Trevor Emond)
2009 - Saturday, August 1st (Edmonton, AB)           - Rained Out -
2009 - Sunday, August 2nd (Edmonton, AB)            Trevor Emond (pole: Darrell Midgley)
2012 - Saturday, August 4th (Merritt, BC)                Trevor Emond (pole: Darin Borysko)
2012 - Sunday, August 5th (Merritt, BC)                  Trevor Emond (pole: Trevor Emond

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