ENGINE, ENGINE NO. 3
WHITECOURT, AB. (June 3) - It was not the news Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor Kevin Wheeler wanted or needed to hear last Thursday.  "I was expecting a phone call saying come pick up your engine.  Instead I was told my engine blew up on the dyno."  This is the same engine that failed in Wheelers race car at the 2011 Season Championship weekend in Lethbridge, Alberta.  "There wasn't much left this time," sighs the driver of the KW Mechanical #3 Dodge, "the crank, rods and pistons are gone.  They think the block can be salvaged but things look pretty grim."


THE BACKUP 'BULLET' BEING INSTALLED AT THE WHEELER RACE SHOP

Wheeler currently sits second in the NPP Series Championship points chase heading into a major two-day show at Central Alberta Raceways on June 8th & 9th.  "We put the backup motor in the car again on Saturday.  The good news is we'll be ready for the race in Rimbey." Wheeler has been one of the most consistent NPP Series competitors the past several seasons. The Whitecourt, Alberta driver has finished second in three of the last four NPP Series Feature events including the 2012 Season Opener last month in Edmonton.  Wheeler had three consecutive runner-up finishes during the 2010 season.  Over last three seasons, Wheeler has had an average finish of 4.4 in NPP Series Feature events. "Consistency pays off but a win is way sweeter. We need a win real bad right now." His last trip to victory lane was at Grays Harbor Raceway [Elma, Washington] in September of 2008. Wheeler is looking forward to the opportunity to end his winless drought in Rimbey.  "Can't wait to go back.  It's been a few years since we've raced there."




CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS

Rimbey, Alberta


>FRIDAY, June 8th
Spectator Gates @ 6:00PM
Racing @ 7:00PM
Friday General Admission - $5.00
Family Pass (2 Adults / unlimited children) - $20.00
 

>SATURDAY, June 9th
Spectator Gates @ 4:00PM
Racing @ 5:00PM
Saturday General Admission - $10.00
Youth (9 - 12) - $5.00

The NPP Late Model Series is racing both nights. IMCA Modifieds, Mini and Hobby Stocks race Saturday only but have the option to test 'n' tune on Friday night.
 

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NOTE: All photos taken on Saturday afternoon and uploaded Saturday evening at 7:05pm.

RIMBEY RAINOUT
RIMBEY, AB. (June 7) - The first ever two-day show of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series at Central Alberta Raceways, scheduled for June 8th and 9th, has been cancelled due to an unfavorable weekend weather forecast.  Track officials were already pumping water from the Oval track after several storm cells moved through the Rimbey, Alberta region earlier this week.  "The decision to cancel this race is tough on everyone," says race director Dale Barr,  "it is unfortunate because this was going to be one of the biggest ever oval race weekends for Central Alberta Raceways." 


SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS
(photo taken - 4:35PM)

Although the race facility basked under sunny conditions for much of Thursday, the current weather forecast calls for rain showers to return to the area Friday and the entire weekend.  "We were out at the track site this morning [Thursday] and agreed that with the current facility conditions and the forecast it was best for everyone that we cancel.  We were expecting a number of travelling teams from all over Alberta and British Columbia.  Taking into consideration the distances that most of these teams were going to have to travel [to get here] definitely was a factor in our decision to cancel."  The NPP Late Model Series was scheduled to race on Friday and Saturday night.  This weekends event at Central Alberta Raceways was also to feature the debut of the IMCA Modified touring Series.  "It's disappointing for race fans.  It's disappointing for race teams and their crews,'" adds Barr, "our staff and volunteers were really looking forward to this weekend's race." 


SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS
(photo taken - 4:40PM)

Current point leader in the NPP Late Model Series Chris Beaulieu understands the hard decision the race track had to make.  "It's been a few years since I've raced in Rimbey," says the Campbell River, British Columbia driver, "to travel there (over 20 hours) and then having the good chance of standing in the rain is not my idea of fun.  They made the right call."   In his last Feature event at Central Alberta Raceways on July 26th 2008, Beaulieu finished third in the Feature.  Ironically this race was also the last time the NPP Late Model Series competed in Rimbey, Alberta.  The 2009 and 2010 NPP Series events, which also were scheduled in June, were both rained out.


FOUR CONSECUTIVE RAINOUTS IN RIMBEY FOR THE NPP LATE MODEL SERIES
(photo taken Saturday, June 9th at 4:49PM)

UPDATE: Central Alberta Raceway officials are pleased to announce that the NPP Late Model Series has been added to the next scheduled event in Rimbey on Saturday, June 23rd.

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DRIVER ANNOUNCEMENT
CAMPBELL RIVER, BC. (June 11) - Chris Beaulieu, son of 2007 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series champion Jason Beaulieu, will be the primary driver of the NPP/All Weather Windows #90 Dodge for the remainder of the 2012 season.  "The original plan was that my dad was going to drive most of the NPP events this season and I would race a couple of times at the events he couldn't attend."  Jason Beaulieu is owner of Pacific Cachalot, a tugboat company based in Campbell River, British Columbia.  Chris Beaulieu works as a supervisor for his father's company.  "We both can't be gone [racing] at the same time," says Beaulieu, "things are so busy right now that one of us has to be here.  So I am only following my bosses instructions." 


CHRIS BEAULIEU HANDED THE KEYS TO THE #90 DODGE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (PHOTO: STP RACING MEMORIES)

As a 'relief' driver, Chris Beaulieu wrapped up the 2011 NPP Season in Lethbridge with a Feature win.  He won the 2012 NPP Season opener in Edmonton last month.  Beaulieu currently is the early NPP Series point leader.  "This is an opportunity to make a name for myself in this Series," says the 24 year old, "I think I will probably drive a little bit more smarter but more aggressive."  In August of 2006, at a two-day show at Speedy Creek Raceway in Swift Current, Saskatchewan,  Chris Beaulieu made his NPP Late Model Series debut.  Beaulieu would register 19th place finishes in the Feature events both nights.  A few weeks later Beaulieu would finish 10th at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park in Okotoks, Alberta.  "It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be," admits Beaulieu, "I was racing IMCA Modifieds at the time.  Jumping into the bigger car was something new."  Beaulieu would later clinch the 2006 IMCA Modified Season Championship at his home track of Saratoga Speedway.  As his dad was claiming the 2007 NPP Late Model Series Championship, Chris would once again claim the IMCA Modified Season Championship on Vancouver Island.  Chris Beaulieu would win the Saratoga Speedway IMCA Modified Season Championship for a third consecutive year in 2008. 


7 RACES IN 8 NIGHTS FOR BEAULIEU THIS MONTH
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (PHOTO: TEAM BEAULIEU ARCHIVES)

Chris Beaulieu has two Feature wins in 20 NPP Late Model Series starts.  In those 20 starts Beaulieu has an average NPP Series Feature finish of 8.35.  Right now Beaulieu's next NPP Series appearance at Central Alberta Raceways on June 23rd [rescheduled from June 8/9th rainout] is up in the air.  "I'm racing my Modified in the Wild, Wild, West Speed Weeks.  This is something that has been planned for about a year."  The 2nd annual Wild West Modified Tour will feature close to 50 USRA Outlaw Modified race teams competing at seven different race tracks over a period of eight nights.  "It's a big money week," indicates Beaulieu, "right now I plan on racing the entire schedule.  However if I'm not doing well in the points then I will skip the last race in Washington [Skagit Speedway] and race in Rimbey."



CHRIS BEAULIEU'S JUNE RACE SCHEDULE
-------------> Saturday, June 16th; Southern Oregon Speedway - Medford, Oregon
> Sunday, June 17th; Yreka Speedway - Yreka, California
----------------> Monday, June 18th; Cottage Grove Speedway - Cottage Grove, Oregon
-----> Tuesday, June 19th: Willamette Speedway - Lebanon, Oregon
--> Wednesday, June 20th; Sunset Speedway - Banks, Oregon
> Thursday, June 21st; no race scheduled------------------
--------> Friday, June 22nd  - Grays Harbor Raceway - Elma, Washington
----**Saturday, June 23rd:  Skagit Speedway - Skagit, Washington
---------**Saturday, June 23rd; Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta

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PIPELINE TO VICTORY LANE
EDSON, AB. (June 17) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. flag flew in victory lane in two countries in less than 24 hours over the weekend. On Friday night,  Travis Rilat (Forney, Texas) drove the Scott Safety/N.P.P./Carlan Services #39 Sprint Car to a Feature event win at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington.


TRAVIS RILAT DROVE TO VICTORY FRIDAY NIGHT AT SKAGIT SPEEDWAY

Saturday night, DJ Kennington (St. Thomas, Ontario) came from the back of the pack in his Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors/N.P.P. #17 Dodge to win the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series Clarington 200 on the 1/2 mile Oval Track at Bowmanville, Ontario.


DJ KENNINGTON WINS IN ONTARIO SATURDAY NIGHT (photo: DJK Racing)

Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. and the NPP Late Model Series congratulates both Rilat and Kennington on their outstanding performance. 

Rilat took the lead from Toni Lutar on lap 10 of the 30 lap Sprint Car Feature and drove the Richard Saumure owned race car, based out of Whitecourt, Alberta, to the checkered flag.  Kennington, the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion, finished second and third at the first two races of the year and took over the 2012 NCTS point lead with Saturday nights victory. 

The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series resumes its 2012 season this Saturday June 23rd at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey. This event is rescheduled from the rainout two weekends ago.


CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS

Rimbey, Alberta

>SATURDAY, June 23rd
Spectator Gates @ 4:00PM
Racing @ 5:00PM
General Admission - $10.00
Youth (9 - 12) - $5.00

The NPP Late Model Series, IMCA Modified Series, Mini and Hobby Stocks are the classes competing on Saturday.
 

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READY FOR RIMBEY
EDMONTON, AB. (June 21) - Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Champions Mike Tom and Bruce Broughton have something in common heading into this Saturday's race at Central Alberta Raceways.  Both drivers say they desperately need some luck at the Rimbey facility.  Tom, the defending NPP Late Model Series Champion, says it's hard not to think about past results. 


TOM LOOKS TO RACE HARD IN RIMBEY SATURDAY NIGHT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: STP RACING MEMORIES)

"It's not that I don't like this track.  The fact is we don't have good luck at this track."  Despite finishing 4th at the inaugural NPP Series race in Rimbey back in July of 2005, the Stony Plain, Alberta driver has had an average Feature finish of 15.5 since then.  "We've had a good set-up every time we've raced there [Rimbey] but it's the parts failures that get us."  Tom says the streak of back luck at Rimbey needs to end.  "It's a challenging track and we need to be on our game this weekend.  Making the 'A' Dash is critical.  You finish well in this Dash and it sets you up nice for the Feature.  It's not going to be easy but we need to run a mistake free race."  Tom enters race action third in the NPP Series Championship points chase just 4 points behind second place Kevin Wheeler (Whitecourt, Alberta).  Sitting 4th in the NPP Championship points chase, just 6 points behind Tom, is 2010 NPP Series Champion Bruce Broughton.  Like Tom, Broughton has had his share of troubles taming the tricky track in Rimbey.  "Rotten luck on my part," says the 2010 NPP Late Model Series Champion, "it's not that we don't run well there. We do." 


BROUGHTON NEEDS STRONG SHOWING IN RIMBEY THIS WEEKEND
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: STP RACING MEMORIES)

The Spruce Grove, Alberta driver has an average Feature finish of 16th at Central Alberta Raceways.  "We've had good cars there.  Fast cars.  But it's been tire troubles that have knocked us down.  We need lady luck to smile on us this weekend in Rimbey."  Chris Beaulieu is currently the NPP Series point leader heading into this Saturday's race.  Beaulieu has just one start at Central Alberta Raceways.  In his Rimbey debut on July 26th, 2008, the Campbell River, British Columbia driver finished 3rd in the Feature.  As drivers search for a little luck this weekend, the NPP Late Model Series is in desperate need for some weather luck.  This Saturday's race in Rimbey was re-scheduled from the June 8th & 9th rainout earlier this month.  Scheduled NPP Series race events back in 2009 and 2010 unfortunately were lost due to rain.  In May of 2007 it was snow and not rain that cancelled a NPP Late Model Series appearance in Rimbey. Right now the forecast calls for a 60% chance of showers when the green flag drops at 5:00PM.     


CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS

Rimbey, Alberta

>SATURDAY, June 23rd
Spectator Gates @ 4:00PM
Racing @ 5:00PM
-
General Admission - $10.00
Youth (9 - 12) - $5.00

The NPP Late Model Series, IMCA Modified Series, Mini and Hobby Stocks are the classes competing on Saturday. The IMCA Modifieds are making their official debut at C.A.R.

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HOW SWEEP IT IS
RIMBEY, AB. (June 24) - All Bruce Broughton was looking for was a decent showing at Central Alberta Raceways Saturday night.  What he got instead exceeded his own expectations.  The Spruce Grove, Alberta driver won Saturday nights Qualifying Heat, the 'A' Dash and the Feature for a 'complete' sweep.  Broughton had won heat races before at the Rimbey, Alberta facility but never finished better than 14th in a Feature.  "We had a fantastic car tonight.  Best night of racing.  Best points night for us..... ever!"  The strong race night moved the 2010 NPP Series Champion from fourth to second place in the NPP Series points standings just 13 points behind Campbell River, British Columbia's Chris Beaulieu who finished second in the Feature.

-

BROUGHTON BUILT UP A SIZEABLE LEAD EARLY IN THE FEATURE

Unfortunately for drivers and race fans, the Feature was called at the start of Lap 18, when rain showers moved into the region.  Broughton had built up a commanding 6 second lead when the rain began to fall.  "We had a great setup on the car tonight.  The car felt good in all three races."  All drivers had to contend with a tricky racing surface during the scheduled 25 lap Feature event.  Massive ruts developed in turn #1 which would toss the 3,100lb NPP Late Model race cars around like small toys.  "I got to pick and choose my spots going into [corner] one," admits Broughton, "I can only imagine what was going on behind me."  Kevin Wheeler finished on the podium (3rd) for the second consecutive NPP Feature this season. 


WHEELER AND MOORE BATTLE FOR THIRD IN THE FEATURE

The Whitecourt, Alberta driver navigated his race car around the massive ruts and held off a barrage of on-track attacks from Sidney, BC's Darrell Midgley, Sherwood Park, Alberta's Curtis Moore and Stony Plain, Alberta's Mike Tom.  "It was definitely a tricky race track," says Wheeler, "thanks to my good pit crew we nailed the set up every time.  We hung in there and stayed out of mischief and brought the car home in one piece."  Despite his Qualifying Heat win, a fourth place finish in the 'A' Dash and a second place finish in the Feature, Wheeler dropped from second to third in the NPP Series Championship point standings.  "This shows you just how competitive this Series is."                 

Next race for the NPP Series is at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway on Friday and Saturday night July 20th and 21st.  The NPP Series is the support class for the 2012 Gold Cup, Canada's oldest most prestigious Sprint Car race.

NPP SERIES - THE INSIDE TRACK
- the last driver to score a 'complete' sweep of an NPP Series race night was Trevor Emond on August 28th, 2009 at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta.
- current NPP Series point leader Chris Beaulieu was nursing a tender left shoulder Saturday night.  Beaulieu, who finished second, dislocated his shoulder racing his Modified in Oregon on Wednesday.
- Sherwood Park, Alberta's Curtis Moore moved into the Top 5 in the NPP Standings with a Qualifying Heat win and a fourth place finish in the Feature.
- Ryan Clark made his NPP Series Rookie debut Saturday night and finished the Feature in 11th.
- NPP Rookie of the Year contender Adam Dowler registered his second consecutive Top 10 finish in a NPP Feature.
- 17 NPP Series race teams competed at Rimbey.
- Track conditions at Central Alberta Raceways were very good except for Turn #1 which deteriorated throughout the night.
- the on-track ruts led to a one bizarre on-track caution incident and caution flag in the Feature.  The front of Kelvin Bell Dodge became lodged underneath the rear bumper of Mike Tom in Turn #1.  Tom would spin and Bell would actually whip around with Tom which then separated the two cars in Turn #2.  A broken spindle would sideline Bell.  Tom would regroup and finish 5th.
- Kevin Clark would have three wheels of his #5 Dodge off the ground hitting the dirt 'mogul' going into Turn #1. (yes there will be video!!)
- the NPP Late Model Series congratulates Calgary, Alberta's Roger Bonnyville on his Feature win in the debut of the I.M.C.A. Modifieds at Central Alberta Raceways

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