GREEN FLAG (TAKE 2)
EDMONTON, AB (June 1st)
– After last months season opening rainout in Lethbridge, race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series hope this Saturday nights sun-filled weather forecast holds true.  “Lets get this season going,” exclaims Stony Plain, Alberta’s Mike Tom, “losing the long weekend race in Lethbridge was disappointing but now we get to start off the season in Edmonton.”  Tom is looking to join an exclusive group of drivers that have won a NPP Series season opening race.  “As a team we’ve been working on our set-up notes the last few seasons and it’s finally paying off.  If we can nail it (the set-up) going into the Feature, I’m pretty confident we can win it from where ever we start.”  Tom finished second in the 2010 NPP Late Model Series Championship points chase thanks to winning the final two Feature events in Edmonton. 


TOM LOOKING FOR HIS THIRD CONSECUTIVE FEATURE WIN IN EDMONTON

Six different drivers have won the first NPP Late Model race of the season dating back to the inaugural 2001 season.  The winner of that first ever NPP Late Model Series Feature in 2001 is anticipating a very competitive night.  “It’s been a while since we’ve raced in Edmonton,” says Edson, Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy, “actually its been a few years since we’ve even won a Feature in Edmonton (August 23rd, 2008).  We’ve definitely run a few laps at that race track over the years.  It would be nice to start the season with a win.” 


KENNEDY WON THE FIRST EVER NPP SERIES FEATURE BACK IN 2001

This is only second time in the last six years that Edmonton race fans have had the opportunity to watch a NPP Series season opening race.  Ironically Saturday nights Feature race will also be the 100th NPP Series Feature competed in Edmonton since 2001.

SEASON OPENER WINNERS
2010– Bruce Broughton – Edmonton
2009– Darrell Midgley –Lethbridge
2008– Dwight Kennedy – Okotoks
2007– Jason Beaulieu – Drumheller
2006– Trevor Emond – Rimbey
2005– Jason Beaulieu – Edmonton
2004– Trevor Emond – Edmonton
2003– Feature Cancelled due to SNOW!! (heats were run) – Edmonton
2002– Larry Simpson – Edmonton
2001– Dwight Kennedy – Edmonton

LUCAS SLICK MIST 2010 SEASON OPENER (take 2)
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday, June 4th
Gates open @ 4:00pm
Racing @ 6:00pm

STATUS OF TONIGHTS RACE: (as of 9:40am)
Castrol Raceway officials have given the GREEN LIGHT to tonight's event.
Spectator gates open at 4:00pm / Racing starts at 6:00pm.

NOTE: The NPP Late Model Series will be testing its live video feed (1 camera) from Castrol Raceway tonight. The quality of the video is expected to be an issue due to uploading speed from the racetrack.


track photo taken Saturday, June 4th at 7:15am


pit photo taken Saturday, June 4th at 7:18am

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TOM SLIDES TO VICTORY AT SLICK MIST OPENER
EDMONTON, AB. (June 5) – Mike Tom kicked off the 2011 season the way he ended the 2010 season and that was by winning the Feature event. The Stony Plain, Alberta driver also added a heat race win at the Lucas Slick Mist NPP Season Opener on Saturday night. After several disappointing season openers, Tom can now say this is his best start to date in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series. “The car ran how it needed to tonight. There were no surprises on the track. Perfect way to start out the season.” After starting off the race night with a heat race victory, Tom finished second in the ‘A’ Dash which put him on the outside of the front row for the Feature beside Whitecourt, Alberta’s Rod Wilde. After the drop of the green Tom chased the pole sitter for six laps. On the start of lap seven, Tom inherited the lead after a rare spin from the veteran Northern Alberta racer. Tom held off a brief challenge from Darin Borysko but his biggest challenge of the night would be from two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy. 


TOM HOLDS OFF KENNEDY AND WHEELER FOR THE VICTORY

Kennedy, who started the Feature in fifth, would be on Tom’s rear bumper near the midway point of the Feature. Kennedy would get his fender underneath Tom’s car several times but that was as close as he would get. “I think we used up the car trying to catch Mike. We gave it all we got but the set up went away. It would have been nice to get the win but there’s always the next race.” Saturday night’s season opening race had special meaning to many drivers of the NPP Late Model Series. It was the 100th NPP Feature run at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway. Kennedy won the first ever NPP Series feature back in 2001. 


CRUNCH TIME FOR WHEELER DURING THE FIRST HEAT OF THE SEASON

Finishing third Saturday night was Kevin Wheeler. The Whitecourt, Alberta driver ran most of the season opener with a damaged race car. “It was a bit of rough start to the night,” laughs the driver of the #3 KW Mechanical Dodge, “we drove into Darin (Borykso) in the heat and messed up the front end pretty good. We patched it together as best as we could. It’s pretty tough for a guy to get on the podium in this class so it’s a huge bonus to finish third tonight.”

NPP RACE NOTES
- it was a tough night for former season champions; Bruce Broughton, the 2010 NPP Series Champion and Darrell Midgley, the 2009 NPP Series Champions blew their motors. Midgley lost his motor at the checkered flag of the ‘A’ Dash. Broughton lost his motor midway through Saturday nights Feature.
- Jason Beaulieu was scheduled to race in Edmonton Saturday night but the 2007 NPP Series Champion and Tugboat operator was searching for a wayward barge in the Pacific Ocean.
- Mike Tom becomes the 7th different driver to win a NPP season opener.
- Only 10 NPP Series Feature events have been won from pole dating back to 2008.
- Crystal Kennedys fourth place finish Saturday night is her best ever finish starting a race season. (Previous best was 6th / May 2008)
- Ryan and Curtis Ellis become the third pair of brothers to campaign separate cars in the NPP Late Model Series. Earl and Larry Simpson (2001–2003). Bruce and Brent Broughton (2005-2007)

Next scheduled NPP Late Model Series race
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday, July 9th, 2011

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CANADA DAY PLANS
EDMONTON, AB. (June 30) – Many Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series drivers plan to relax this Canada Day long weekend. For some however it will be just another weekend to work. Dwight Kennedy, owner of Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. and driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge says not only can wet, rainy weather affect races it also affects the pipeline industry. "Its impossible to work in stormy conditions. We're so behind because of the recent rains we think we're ahead. We are about three weeks behind on a couple of jobs and have two brand new jobs starting next week. I've been told that July and August are going to be a lot drier so that will help things out. The good news is the drier weather means we will be able to get some racing in too."


NEXT RACE FOR THE NPP RACE TEAMS IS SATURDAY JULY 9th IN EDMONTON

The Edson, Alberta driver currently sits second in the NPP Championship point standings. The owner of Trapper's Auto Parts and Towing in Whitecourt is following in Kennedy's footsteps as far as long weekend plans. "Just hired a new tow truck driver," says the driver of the #10 Chevrolet, "I've just acquired some new tow equipment as well so I will be putting on my instructor hat and will be in training mode for the long weekend. If all goes well I'll be at the next race." Day, who currently sits fourth in the NPP Championship points chase is off to his best season start ever. Both Stony Plain, Alberta's Mike Tom and Whitecourt, Alberta's Kevin Wheeler plan on distancing themselves as far away from work as possible this long holiday weekend. "Heading to the mountains to do a little camping," says Mike Tom, driver of the Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet, "the lighter race schedule does allow for more time with the family by the campfire. As a family that races I can tell you that we are all looking forward to getting back on the track next weekend." Kevin Wheeler, owner of KW Mechanical won't be straying to far from home on the Canada Day long weekend. "We are going quading, dirt biking and camping in the Whitecourt area." Wheeler sits third in the NPP Championship point standings. "Its nice to be able to step away from work once in awhile and have some fun."

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