MIDGLEY VICTORIOUS IN VICTORIA
VICTORIA, BC (June 1) – The defending season champion of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series kicked off his 2010 pavement season with a win at his home track in British Columbia on the weekend.  Sidney, BC’s Darrell Midgley lead all but 15 laps in the crash marred 100-lap Season Opener of the Katana Late Model Series.  Midgley and his #81 Lucas Oil/NPP Dodge qualified 15th out of 28 teams that gathered Saturday night (May 29) at Western Speedway.


LUCAS OIL/NPP #81 DODGE AT WESTERN SPEEDWAY SATURDAY NIGHT
(photos: Illusion Photography/Barry Goodwin)

The veteran pavement racer started the feature in the number seven spot, took over the lead on lap 15 and then held off a determined Brent Morris the final 32 laps.  Midgley has been a regular competitor in the NPP Late Model Series since 2004.  The BC driver has drastically reduced the number of Alberta races he will compete at this season (NPP Late Model Series) due to work and family commitments.

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RED FLAG FOR EDMONTON
EDMONTON, AB (June 3) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has been forced to cancel this weekend’s scheduled appearance at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.  Current NPP Series point leader Bruce Broughton is disappointed but understands the decision.  “You hate to cancel races but it’s not a show if you’re only going to have five or six cars running around on the track.”  The NPP Late Model Series has consistently fielded 18 – 20 cars at every Castrol Raceway event since 2003. 


BROUGHTON (#61) KICKED OFF THE 2010 SEASON WITH A WIN AT C/R-(photo: Tarra Sahlin)

“We want to do the show right, not only for the fans but for our sponsors.”  Including Broughton, only five NPP Series race teams indicated that they would be prepared to race in Edmonton Saturday night. 


AVERAGE NPP CAR COUNT AT EDMONTON EVENTS IN 2008 & 2009 WAS 19

“Fuel and engines seems to be the common theme I’m hearing right now from race teams,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “several drivers are still waiting for fuel they ordered months ago.  For other drivers in the Series, it’s just plain engine issues mixed in with a little bad luck.”  Three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond and two-time NPP Champion Dwight Kennedy both have empty engine bays in their race cars.  Curtis Moore is still waiting for his race motor to be repaired after blowing it up at the season opener.  Edson, Alberta’s Crystal Kennedy, who was preparing to compete in her first race of the season, had her brand new motor expire at the race shop last week. NPP Late Model Series race teams are scheduled to compete a total of eight more times at Castrol Raceway in 2010.     

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NICE DAY FOR A PARADE
STONY PLAIN, AB (June 5) - With a light breeze and a partly cloudy sky, thousands of Parkland County residents lined the streets of Stony Plain for the annual Farmers Day Rodeo and Exhibition Parade.  For the first time, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series participated in this year’s extravaganza.  NPP Series competitor Mike Tom says it was an eye opening experience.  “This is the first time I have ever been in a parade with the race car.  I can’t believe all the people that showed up.” 

Spectators applauded their approval when Tom fired up the motor of his Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet several times along the parade route.  “It’s a great way to expose our sponsors, the car and the series to folks that probably have never been out to the races before.”  Tom’s crew also handed out candy to the young spectators along the parade route.  “We get to meet fans at the race track.  Hopefully we made some new ones today and will see them at the track down the road.” 

The NPP Late Model Series is scheduled to participate in many more community events in the coming weeks and months including this summers Capital X parade in downtown Edmonton.

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READY FOR RIMBEY
EDMONTON, AB (June 8) – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series resumes its chase for the 2010 Championship at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey, Alberta this weekend.  Series announcer Gord Craig indicates teams are ready.  “The NPP Series and Rimbey have a unique relationship.  It began back in July of 2005.  We got to christen the oval track at their first ever race event.”  Bruce Broughton, current NPP Series point leader was a rookie driver at that grand opening event five years ago.  “They have a fantastic group of people running that track.  The fan support is also incredible.”  Despite his favorable opinion of the Rimbey facility, Broughton is still looking for a favorable finish at Central Alberta Raceways. 


CURRENT NPP SERIES POINT LEADER

“I have three heat wins but that’s it.”  Broughton’s best finish in a Feature in Rimbey was 14th at the grand opening (2005).  His average finish in Rimbey is 16.0.  The driver of the LJB Auto / Fraser Shingling sponsored #61 Chevrolet wants a strong outing this weekend.  “I’ve never been one to talk about or count points because it’s still so early in the season.  You just race as hard as you can and whatever happens….happens.”  Ironically, Paul Grundberg and Mike Tom who currently sit second and third in NPP Series points, haven’t had recent success in Rimbey either.  Grundberg’s average finish at Feature events in Rimbey is 9.0 while Tom’s average finish is 11.7.  The top three NPP Series drivers with the best average finishes at Central Alberta Raceways are Trevor Emond (2.0); Dwight Kennedy (3.3) and Dan Stewart (4.3)


EMOND, KENNEDY AND STEWART HAVE CONSISTENT FINISHES IN RIMBEY

After Rimbey, teams in the NPP Series will have three consecutive weekends off before the next schedule race event.  The NPP Series will 'back up' the open wheel ‘360’ Sprint Cars at the 2010 Gold Cup at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway on July 9th and 10th.

RIMBEY FEATURE WINNERS
2009 - Rained Out
2008 - Brian McCaughan
2007 - Snowed Out
2006 - Trevor Emond
2005 - Dwight Kennedy

 

CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS – Rimbey, Alberta
>Saturday, June 12th

>Spectator Gates @ 3:00PM
>Racing @ 4:00PM

C.A.R. ADMISSION
General - $10.00
Youth - $5.00 (age 9 – 12)
Children 8 and under FREE

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RIMBEY RAINOUT
RIMBEY, AB (June 11) – Three days of heavy rain have forced track officials at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey to cancel this weekends scheduled event.  “We have yet to hold a single Oval event this season,” says Rimbey mayor and track manager Dale Barr, “this is our third race in a row we’ve had to cancel due to weather.”  For the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series it’s the second consecutive year a scheduled race at Central Alberta Raceways has been cancelled due to weather.  “The oval track itself actually looked pretty good,” says Series announcer Gord Craig who was at the Rimbey track Friday morning, “some track preparation had obviously taken place before the rains came. Right now though you wouldn't dare put any equipment on the track.”

CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS OVAL TRACK (all photo's taken: June 11th)

After looking at the track, Craig toured the facility and realized that he should have brought his rubber boots and bug spray. “There was standing water everywhere. The competitor and spectator parking area was very, very soupy. The mosquitoes were something else too!”


THE TRACK WATER TRUCK PARKED IN FRONT OF A MINI LAKE

Despite a positive forecast for Saturday's race (Sunny 25Celcius), Craig adds that the damage has already been done.  “We lost a race in Edmonton a few years ago under the same circumstances.  It’s kind of a cruel joke.  Torrential rain for several days, then sunshine for race day. Unfortunately you just can’t squeeze three full days of facility preparation into less than 24 hours.” 


SPECTATOR PARKING AREA AND SPECTATOR MAIN ENTRANCE

The cancellation of the Rimbey event means NPP Series race teams won’t see action until the second weekend of July.  The NPP Series will 'back up' the open wheel ‘360’ Sprint Cars at the 2010 Gold Cup at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway on July 9th and 10th. 

RIMBEY WINNERS
Rained Out (2010)
Rained Out (2009)
Brian McCaughan (2008)
Snowed Out (2007)
Trevor Emond (2006)
Dwight Kennedy (2005)

NOTE: The main road adjacent to Central Alberta Raceways and the entry road to the facility have been paved.

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PACE CAR TURNS 100,000
EDMONTON, AB (June 15)
– There was little fanfare as the official pace car of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series reached a major milestone this week.  On a stretch of highway south of Drayton Valley, Alberta, the 2008 Dodge Charger turned over 100,000 kilometers. 


100,000 KILOMETERS OF EXPOSURE

“I did give it a little pat on the dash and said way to go,” smiles NPP Series announcer Gord Craig who has been the ‘caretaker’ of the pace car since it was new, “the Charger has definitely gone places the past few years.” 


NPP SERIES RACE EVENTS IN LETHBRIDGE AND DRUMHELLER ALBERTA

A majority of the accumulated kilometers have been travelled in the Edmonton, Alberta region during official and unofficial duties. 


NPP SERIES PACE CAR LEADS FIELD AT NASCC ICE RACE IN JANUARY 2010

The NPP Late Model Series/Lucas Oil pace car has also travelled to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Montana.  “From car shows and parades to grocery store trips and even a mini-family vacation, the NPP Series pace car has been an incredible promotional tool.  It’s a billboard for racing.”  Last summer the NPP Late Model Series ‘billboard’ was seen as far north as Whitecourt, Alberta and as far south as Crescent City, California. 


NPP SERIES PACE CAR AT CALIFORNIA REDWOODS

With regular appearances at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway this season, the NPP Series/Lucas Oil pace car will also be making appearances at race events in Saskatchewan and North Dakota. The pace car is also registered to participate in this years Capital X Parade in downtown Edmonton.

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DOUBLE THE FUN
LEDUC, AB (June 23) – With no scheduled race till July 9th, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor Trevor Emond is getting ready to compete in his first pavement Late Model event of the season.  The three-time NPP Series champion debuts his brand new car at the inaugural race of the Dakota Dunes Casino Super Late Model Series at Auto Clearing Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  “We want to show well this weekend but the car has not turned any laps yet.  We do some testing at the track on Friday (25th).  If we can keep the fenders on it we’ll be ok.”


EMOND: A HARD CHARGER ON PAVED OR DIRT TRACKS
(photo: Coral Lull)

Emond raced at Auto Clearing Speedway last August and finished second.  “I really like that track and we’ve had some pretty good runs there.”  Emond has proven his versatility over the years winning races and championships on both paved and dirt oval tracks.  “Preparation is key no matter what racing surface you run on,” exclaims Emond, “having a few breaks helps too.”  Emond has won a total of six championships since 2002.  Three of those championships have come on the pavement.  “It’s a different breed of racing (running on pavement).  It’s more of a chess game with a 150 laps.  You’re not running a quick sprint of 25 to 30 laps like you do on the dirt.” 


THREE-TIME NPP SERIES CHAMPION (photo: KTWO Photography)

Emond and his Hitchworks #17 Chevrolet currently sit fifth in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series point standings.  Emond plans on running several pavement events as well as select NPP Late Model Series events in 2010.  “The goal is to have fun and do well at every race we run this summer whether it’s on pavement or on the dirt.” 

Photo credits: (main page: ARCA West Series and Anna Lynn Sanche)
                       
EMONDS JUNE/JULY RACE SCHEDULE
June 26th          Auto Clearing Speedway – Saskatoon, SK
July 3rd             Montana Raceway Park – Kalispell, MT
July 9th/10th      Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, AB (NPP Series Race/Gold Cup)
July 24th           Auto Clearing Speedway – Saskatoon, SK    
              

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SECOND IN 'TOON' TOWN
SASKATOON, SK
(June 28) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series was represented well at the inaugural race of the Dakota Dunes Casino Late Model Series in the province of Saskatchewan.  Three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond drove his Hitchworks #17 Chevrolet to a second place finish at Auto Clearing Speedway Saturday night.  Calgary, Alberta’s Chris Skelton, who competed in one NPP Late Model Series event in 2009, was the race winner.  Despite limited seat time in his brand new pavement race car (missed first practice), Emond was still second fastest in qualifying on the 3/8 mile oval track.  Saskatoon’s Greg Vangool qualified in the #1 spot.  Both Emond and Vangool would accept the front row challenge and give up their prominent track position to start the 150 lap feature from the back for bonus prize money. 


EMOND
(blue) VISITS VICTORY LANE IN SASKATOON (photo: Cindy Moleski)

Emond managed to stay out of trouble during a caution marred race as he navigated his way through the field.  The Leduc, Alberta driver would end up just one car shy of completing an amazing back to front charge.  On severely worn tires, Emond would get by Trent Seidel for second then challenge race leader Skelton (started 7th) in the closing laps but was unable to complete the pass.  Skelton would drive on to victory with Emond a close second. Emond's strong performance in Saskatchewan puts him in the Dakota Dunes Casino Late Model Series point’s lead.  Emond, who sits fifth in the NPP Late Model Series Championship point's chase, now prepares for his next race event in Edmonton. The NPP Late Model Series backs up the open wheel ‘360’ Sprint Car division at the 55th annual Gold Cup at Castrol Raceway's 3/8 mile dirt oval July 9th and 10th.    

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