NPP RACE TEAMS LOOKING FORWARD TO HOME COMING
EDMONTON, AB (June 4th) Race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series touch down at Castrol Raceway this Saturday June 7th (weather permitting).  “This is the second attempt at racing at our home track this season,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “we got rained out back on May 3rd.  The rest of the month was spent racing in southern Alberta.”  Fans at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park (Okotoks) and Bridge County Raceway (Lethbridge) had the first opportunity this season to see Canada’s richest touring series on the dirt.  “I know a lot of the teams are anxious to race in front of the home crowd again.  It’s been 259 days since we’ve raced in Edmonton…..but who’s counting.”  Defending NPP season champion Jason Beaulieu has the current point lead heading into race action this weekend.  “We had a pretty good outing in Lethbridge (Feature win),” says the Campbell River BC driver, “the All Weather Windows Dodge ran very strong.  Edmonton is a whole different track which requires a completely different set up.  We already know what it takes to win there and we intend to be at the front again when the night is over.”  Beaulieu won 4 Feature events at Castrol Raceway in 2007. 


Jason Beaulieu goes for second consecutive win Saturday night

Chasing Beaulieu in the points is two time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy.  “We started off the season with a feature win that gave us the point lead” indicates the Edson, Alberta driver, “we’ve finished in the top ten (5th and 7th) the other two Features so the season is going pretty good so far.  We will try to get this Lucas Oil Dodge back to front in Edmonton on Saturday night.”  


Both Kennedy and Grundberg hope to regain NPP point lead Saturday night in Edmonton.

So far in 2008, three different drivers have sat atop the NPP point standings.  Last years NPP Rookie of the year grabbed the point lead away from Kennedy on the second night of a two day show in Okotoks (May 18th) with his first ever NPP Feature win.  “Although it was brief, its feels good to say we were number one,” says Whitecourt, Alberta’s Paul Grundberg, “regaining that point lead is what we have to do now.  You really can’t have an off night in this Series.  Unfortunately we were chasing the car set up in Lethbridge which set us back a bit.”  Grundberg enters race action in Edmonton third in the NPP point standings.  Saturday night’s race at Castrol Raceway marks the beginning of five consecutive NPP Series race dates in Edmonton.

CASTROL RACEWAY – Edmonton, Alberta
Spectator Gates @ 4:00PM
Racing @ 6:00PM

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WEATHER THREATENS NPP SERIES HOME OPENER
EDMONTON, AB (June 7th) With threatening clouds overhead, Castrol Raceway track officials say tonight’s scheduled race event is still a go.  “It’s a tough position to be in for the track,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “the forecast looks doubtful but you also have one of the biggest oval shows in June scheduled for this evening.  I would probably be hesitant to cancel the race too.”  The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and the Xtreme Sprint Car Series are the premier classes racing in Edmonton tonight.  “There will be 40+ cars with just these two classes.”  Considering all the rain that fell last night the race track looks to be in good condition.  “I drove out the track this morning to see it first hand. There is a little standing water in the pits and on the front straight.  If any rain does fall this afternoon I think we’re done.  But so far no rain has fallen on the track at all today.” Tonight’s event is the official ‘home track’ opener for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  The May 3rd event at Castrol Raceway featuring the NPP Series was rained out.      

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BROUGHTON WINS FEATURE ON HOME TRACK
EDMONTON, AB (June 7th) Bruce Broughton’s disastrous start to the 2008 season was quickly forgotten Saturday night as the Spruce Grove Alberta driver grabbed his first Feature win of the season at Castrol Raceway.  Broughton drove by two time Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series champion Dwight Kennedy just past the halfway point and scored his fourth career NPP Series victory.  It was Broughton’s first NPP Feature win since August of 2006.  “We dropped back a little at the start of the race but came on strong when we had to,” indicates the driver of the #61 LJB Auto Chevrolet, “it felt pretty good to go by the 81.  We got a couple of other fast cars along the way.  We really earned this one. The crew did a really good job.  The car was hooked up and we were fast.” 


Broughton(#61) goes low on Kennedy(#81) to take over the race lead.

With his third place finish at Bridge County Raceway (May 31st) and the Feature win Saturday night at Castrol Raceway, Broughton has moved to 10th in the NPP Late Model Series standings. 


Two celebrations for Team Broughton: Feature win and 'Moms' birthday.

“We’re not focused on points right now,” adds Broughton, “the moment you do that, you get yourself in trouble.  Our goal is to run hard every race.  The Oilmen’s race is next (June 28 & 29th).  That’s a race this team would love to win.”  Dwight Kennedy finished second Saturday night followed by son Shawn who finished third.  “Bruce had the stronger car tonight,” admits the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge. “the handling went away on the car.  It developed a push going into the corners and that’s where Bruce got us.  We did manage to get the point lead back from Jason tonight.”  It’s the second time this season the Edson, Alberta driver has been number one in points in the NPP Series.  After failing to crack the top 15 the first three Features of 2008, Shawn Kennedy finished third at Castrol Raceway Saturday night.  “Its not been fun looking at the results this season,” says the Edson, Alberta driver, “we have had no luck at all.  Hopefully we’ve turned the season around after tonight.”  Defending season champion Jason Beaulieu goal of extending his point lead came to a sudden halt on lap 6 of the Feature.  “Had a pretty good car all night long,” indicates the driver of the #46 All Weather Windows Dodge, “it’s one of those two dollar bolt deals.  Bolt came loose on the right rear trailing arm.  Rear end came out of the car along with the drive shaft.” 


Beaulieu's night ends early in Edmonton

Despite his night ending early, the Campbell River BC driver lost only one position in the NPP Series standings.  Beaulieu now sits second, 46 points behind Dwight Kennedy. The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series takes a rare two week break as teams prepare for the 15th annual Oilmen’s Invitational.  Over $50,000 in prize money will be up for grabs on Saturday and Sunday June 28th and 29th.  The Oilmen’s weekend kicks off the busiest part of the 2008 NPP Series Schedule with 8 race nights over a period of 6 weekends.

NPP PIT BITS
>Bruce Broughton scores Feature win for mother (Elaine) who was celebrating a birthday Saturday night.
>For the second NPP Series event in a row Mike Tom loses a motor in the ‘A’ Dash.
>Brian McCaughan was late in getting to the track Saturday. Vandals loosened the six tires on his car hauler. One tire fell off near Calgary as he headed north on the QE2.
>The father son team of Dwight and Shawn Kennedy have had a top three finish together only twice before:
August 19/2007 – Castrol Raceway: Dwight 1st / Shawn 3rd
May 13th/2006 – Central Alberta Raceways; Shawn 2nd / Dwight 3rd 

NEXT NPP SERIES EVENT
15th ANNUAL OILMENS INVITATIONAL
Saturday and Sunday - June 28th / 29th
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton
Racing both nights @ 6PM


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A NORTH AMERICAN DOUBLE PLAY FOR KENNINGTON
SPARTA, KY (June 16th) - Canada’s DJ Kennington was North America’s busiest race car driver on the Fathers Day weekend.  The St.Thomas Ontario driver completed a weekend double play by racing in two different Series in two countries.  Kennington was behind the wheel of the Mahindra Tractors/Northern Provincial Pipelines #81 Dodge Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.  Less than 24 hours later, Kennington would spend Sunday afternoon racing his Castrol Oil/Northern Provincial Pipelines sponsored #17 Dodge on the road course at Mosport International Raceway.  For the American race, this would be Kenningtons first ever attempt at running the 1.5 mile facility in Kentucky.  After qualifying a disappointing 34th, Kennington quickly moved into the top 10.  A costly pit stop however would drop him back to 30th.  “We were running 7th,” indicates Kennington, “our times were comparable to the top cars all day long but we had some problems with the tires on a green flag pit stop and it cost us big.”  Kennington would claw his way back and eventually finished the Kentucky race in 26th. 


DJ Kennington (#81) and Kyle Busch (#18) battle during the early laps of the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Meijer 300 auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Saturday.
(Associated Press Photo/Ed Reinke)

Kennington currently sits 25th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings, less than 150 points out of the top 20.  Before the engine even cooled down on his #81 Dodge, Kennington was headed back to Canada to compete in the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series.  There would be no private jet for the Ontario driver this night.  “It would be great to have a jet for these things,” smiles Kennington, “but let’s be honest, this is who I am.  I work on my cars, I tune my engines, and I drive to racetracks, even though I have to cross the border.”  Nine hours after leaving Sparta, Kentucky, Kennington would arrive at MIR near Bowmanville, Ontario for his next race.  “As we were running the Kentucky race (Saturday) Ken Worth was shaking down the car on the road course and qualifying it for us in Canada.  He passed along some valuable information.”  Due to current Series rules, a driver change would force Kennington to start at the back of the 29 car field.  Once the green flag dropped, DJ stormed his way to the front.  In only 14 laps he would make his way up to 10th.  With clouds threatening, Kennington pitted and it was decided to put rain tires on the car.  “This was our chance at victory, and a great call, no doubt.” 

On the final lap with rain falling, Kennington would slide into second finish right behind the race winner J.R. Fitzpatrick.  Kennington finish propeled him to 7th in the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series point standings.  “It was an exhausting and exhilarating weekend.  I’m very proud of the teams on both sides of the border.”  Kennington will have to endure 13 international double duty weekends the remainder of the season.  In the meantime Kennington has only one race to worry about this weekend.  The NASCAR Nationwide Series competes in Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Mile this Saturday June 21st.  “That first top 10 finish is getting closer.  We are coming into a stretch of great races for us (Milwaukee/New Hampshire/Daytona) where we can show our improvements!”

NEXT NATIONWIDE SERIES EVENT
The Milwaukee Mile – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Camping World 250 (250 laps)

>SATURDAY, June 21st
Practice #1: 8:00am – Edmonton time
Practice #2: 9:45am – Edmonton time
Qualifying: 3:35pm – Edmonton time
Race: 6:30pm – Edmonton time

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15th ANNUAL OILMENS INVITATIONAL PRIZE PURSE GROWS
EDMONTON, AB (June 24) Before the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series even existed, a race called the Oilmen’s Invitational set the standard for stock car races in Alberta.  “The prize money for this race has always been exceptional,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “back in 1994 the prize money totaled just a little over $6,000.  Today it’s over $75,000.”  The first ever Oilmen’s event was run at the now closed Yellowhead Raceway in Hinton Alberta and featured street stock and hobby stock race cars.  There was no NPP Late Model Series in the early days of this race event however two competitors that raced in the original Oilmen’s event currently compete in the NPP Series.  “Haven’t missed an Oilmen’s yet,” smiles current series point leader Dwight Kennedy, “back then we we’re just a bunch of stock car drivers that wanted to compete in a big show so we created one.  It’s been fun watching this race grow to what we see today.”  The two time NPP Series Champion says all stock car teams should have the opportunity to compete in at least one big race a season.  “We haven’t forgotten our racing roots which is why stock car teams from other racing division are still an important part of an Oilmen’s weekend.”  Ken Clark, currently 12th in the NPP Series standings is the only other driver that races this weekend that has competed in all Oilmens Invitational events.  Since 2002 the Oilmens Invitational has been competed at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta.  The 2008 Oilmen’s Invitational will once again have three classes competing for a record $80,300 in prize money this Saturday and Sunday night.  Race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will compete for over $55,000 of the total prize money.    

NPP                             STOCK                       STOCK
LATE MODEL          CAR                            TRUCK
WIN:   $5,000             WIN: $1,000               WIN: $1,000
2nd        $3,500             2nd     $   750                2nd     $   750
3rd        $2,000             3rd     $   500                3rd      $   500  
4th        $1,500             4th     $   450                4th      $   450
5th        $1,400             5th     $   350                5th      $   350
6th        $1,300             6th     $   300                6th      $   300
7th        $1,200             7th     $   250                7th      $   250
8th        $1,100             8th     $   200                8th      $   200
9th        $1,000             9th     $   200                9th      $   200
10th      $  950              10th   $   200                10th    $   200
11th      $  900              11th   $   200                11th    $   200
12th      $  850              12th   $   200                12th    $   200
13th      $  800              13th   $   200                13th    $   200
14th      $  750              14th   $   200                14th    $   200
15th      $  700              15th   $   200                15th    $   200
16th      $  650              16th   $   200                16th    $   200
17th      $  600              17th   $   200                17th    $   200
18th      $  550              18th   $   200                18th    $   200
19th      $  500              19th   $   200                19th    $   200
20th      $  500              20th   $   200                20th    $   200
21st      $  500
22nd      $  500
23rd      $  500
24th      $  500

TOTAL WEEKEND PURSE: $80,300

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KIDS KOTTAGE TO BENEFIT FROM OILMENS INVITATIONAL
EDMONTON, AB (June 24th) The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is proud to announce that this weekends 15th annual Oilmen’s Invitational is in support of Kids Kottage. Kids Kottage is Edmonton only 24 hour crisis nursery and emergency childcare center.  “Over the years, we’ve all seen and heard disturbing news stories regarding neglected and abused children,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “the crisis intervention work that takes place behind the scenes at Kids Kottage is simply amazing.  I can guarantee you that Kids Kottage has prevented many potential heartbreaking incidents.” 

Castrol Raceway has announced a special Canada Day long weekend $5.00 Oval admission (Saturday or Sunday) with proceeds going directly to Kids Kottage.   “It’s an opportunity for families to come out to the track, watch Canada’s premier stock car racing series and support Kids Kottage at the same time.” The NPP Late Model Series is proud to be a part of the community.

15th Annual OILMENS INVITATIONAL
CASTROL RACEWAY – Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday/Sunday June 28th / 29th

Gates @ 5:00PM
Racing @ 6:00PM

General admission $5.00
Children 6 and under FREE!

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KENNEDY AND TOM GRAB FEATURES AT OILMEN’S
EDMONTON, AB (June 30th) The 15th annual Oilmen’s Invitational was run at Castrol Raceway on the Canada Day long weekend.  Scorching temperatures (low 30’s /90+F) greeted drivers of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series both Saturday and Sunday nights.  With over $55,000 in prize money on the line, race fans were guaranteed an incredible show.  Saturday night, Dwight Kennedy, Darrell Midgley and Mike Tom would score heat race victories automatically transferring them to the ‘A’ Dash.  This race, which set the line-up for the $5,000 to win Feature event, saw two major incidents.  Graham Cooke, Kevin Clark and Wayne Gideon would come together on the very first lap.  The back straight incident would send both Clark and Gideon into the wall.  The Clark Construction #5 Dodge had to be towed from the track.  The Gideon Contractors #99 Dodge headed to the pits for repairs but did not return.  Cooke, from Port Hardy, BC was able to continue in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge.  On the restart, a four car crash would bring out the weekends only red flag.  Bruce Broughton’s #61 LJB Auto Chevrolet slipped out of gear underneath the flag stand.  Several drivers avoided the slowing race car but three did not.  Curtis Moore, Mike Tom, and Shawn Kennedy hit the brakes hard but still slid into one another.  The trio then carried on into Broughton. 


4 car incident during 'A' Dash Saturday night

The four car incident would completely block much of the track.  After the cleanup Dwight Kennedy would go on and win the ‘A’ Dash in his #81 Lucas Oil Dodge.  The win would give him pole position for the Feature event.  After the ‘A’ Dash race there were some brief fireworks in the pits.  Track security broke up an altercation between Kevin Clark and Graham Cooke.  Castrol Raceway officials had no other option but to suspend both drivers for the rest of the evening.  The Saturday night Feature saw pole sitter Dwight Kennedy give up his lead to Sidney, BC’s Darrel Midgley on lap 3.  Midgley would hold the lead for 29 laps. 


Stony Plain Alberta's Mike Tom (55) passes Sidney BC's Darrell Midgley (#14)
to win Night #1 of the 15th annual Oilmens Inviational in Edmonton.

On lap 35 of the 40 lap Feature, Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom, would get by Midgley and would drive his Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet to his first Feature event win since August of 2005.  “It’s been awhile since we’ve won one of these things,” says Tom, “losing all those engines last year and the two motors to start this season.  It sure wasn’t fun. To finally finishing on top tonight (Saturday) it just feels great.”  Darrell Midgley would finish second and rookie driver Brian McCaughan finished third.
     
Both Mike Tom and Darrell Midgley would continue their dominance in heat race action on night number 2 of the 15th annual Oilmen’s Invitational.  The Alberta and BC drivers would take the checkered flag once again Sunday night.  Rookie driver Brian McCaughan would also grab his first ever heat race victory in an NPP Late Model.  Current Series point leader Dwight Kennedy and Paul Grundberg, who sits 4th in the standings, would be forced to run the ‘B’ Dash Sunday night.  Grundberg would win the ‘B’ Dash, Kennedy would finish third giving them a 13th and 15th starting position for the Feature.  Ironically, the finish of Sundays nights ‘A’ Dash was identical to the finish of Saturday nights Feature event.  Mike Tom won the ‘A’ Dash guaranteeing him the pole position.  Darrel Midgley placed second while Brian McCaughan placed third.  The $5,000 to win Feature and Championship night of the 15th annual Oilmens Invitational had 19 cars take the green Flag.  Pole sitter Mike Tom would take the race lead and hold on to the number one spot for what was originally planned as a 50 lap Feature.  Unlike Saturday nights Feature which only saw 3 yellow Flags, Sunday nights big race saw a barrage of Yellow Flags.  Castrol Raceway officials cut back the race to 40 laps then to 35.  Many of the cautions were for single and two car spins, others were for accidents including a three car incident on Lap 20 that took out Midgley, Grundberg and Ashley Broughton.  By lap 26 Dwight Kennedy had completed his charge from the 15th starting spot to second behind leader Mike Tom.  On lap 30 Kennedy would pass Tom for the lead.  Trying hard to get his spot back Tom got out of shape with just three laps to go.  That allowed Kevin Wheeler and Brian McCaughan to slip by to finish second and third.  Saturday night’s Feature winner would have to settle for fourth.  “We were looking for some momentum heading into this weekends race and I think we got it,” says Tom after his fourth place finish, “with our win Saturday night and fourth pace finish (tonight) going into Gold Cup in a couple of weeks, we’re ready to rip!”  For Dwight Kennedy, who won the original Oilmens Invitational race back in 1994 it’s his second Oilmens Championship in an NPP Late Model in 3 seasons. 


#81 DWIGHT KENNEDY: 2008 Oilmens Invitational Champion

“Feels pretty good coming from the back all the way to the front,” smiles the Edson, Alberta, driver, “we were expecting the track to dry out on the second night and we had the car setup perfect for it.  The win makes up for my big mistake from Saturday night.” Kennedy neglected to replenish his supply of tear offs on his helmet and had visibility problems on night number one of the Oilmen’s and finished fourth.  “The car set up was there on the first night too.  Might have been able to win this race as well but couldn’t see where I was going.”  Next race action for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is at Castrol Raceway on Friday and Saturday July 11th/12th.  It’s another back to back race weekend for NPP Race teams as they compete in the 2008 NPP/Edson Chrysler Gold Cup Sprint Car race.   

NPP PIT BITS
- Okotok’s Alberta’s Brian McCaughan finished third in the feature both nights and moved into second spot in the NPP point standings.    
- Sidney, BC’s Darrell Midgley and Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom were perfect in heat race action winning both nights of the Oilmens.
- Edson, Alberta’s Ken Clark loses motors in heat race action Saturday and Sunday night. 
- After placing 9th in his first ever NPP Feature last season, Whitecourt, Alberta’s Pat Fines finishes a personal best of 6th in the Feature Sunday night.
- Dwight Kennedy has won 4 of the last 6 Oilmens Feature events (Saturday/Sunday) dating back to 2006. Sundays Feature was the 100th NPP Late Model Series Feature race dating back to the very first season in 2001.

NEXT NPP LATE MODEL SERIES EVENT
CASTROL RACEWAY – Edmonton
Friday, July 11th/Saturday, July 12th

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