AND YOUR POINT IS
EDMONTON, AB
(June 3) - Last year's season championship was decided by just 28 points making it the fifth closest points battle in the history of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  Early indications are pointing towards yet another close battle for the 2015 season championship.  Shawn Kennedy leads Darrell Midgley by just one point in the standings after the opener in Edmonton.  That single point lead for Kennedy makes it the closest season opening points battle in the 15 year history of the NPP Series.  "We have to go back  almost a decade to see a closer points battle after one race in the books," exclaims NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "there was a seven point gap between first and second after the 2007 season opener.  I'm really excited to see how the rest of this season will play out." 


SINGLE POINT LEAD IN THE STANDINGS FOR KENNEDY
...............................................................(photo: STPRACING Memories)

Last season saw three different point leaders in the NPP Series Championship points chase. "Kevin Wheeler, Dwight Kennedy [Shawn's father] and Mark Miller led the points chase last year with Miller of course winning the championship last September."  This is the first time that Shawn Kennedy has ever had the points lead in NPP Series competition.  "Shawn is no stranger to being at the top [of the standings].  We have to remember that he did finish second in the points chase just two seasons ago."  Kennedy won his heat race and finished second at the season opening Feature.  Midgley finished ninth in his heat and of won the Feature event.  "You can't leave any points on the table in this Series," adds Craig, "every time a driver is on the track they are earning valuable points.  Also, winning the Feature does not guarantee you the points lead as we found out at the season opener." 

MIDGLEY WON THE MAY 23rd SEASON OPENING FEATURE IN EDMONTON
...................................................................................................(photo: STPRACING Memories)

Shawn Kennedy will try to build on his single point lead in the NPP Series points standings at the next event on June 27th in Edmonton.


CLOSE RACING MAKES FOR CLOSE POINTS BATTLES
...............................................................(photo: STPRACING Memories)

————————————————————————

WHEN IT RAINS
EDMONTON, AB
(June 10) - It's a word that racers and fans never want to hear on a race day.  That word is rain.  When clouds begin to build on a hot Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon, often there are more glances skyward than towards race cars in the pits.  Over the years the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has seen its share of weather woes.  Of the 214 scheduled NPP Series race dates since the very first season back in 2001, a total of 51 of those dates have been a 'complete' loss due to weather. 


THE BIG HAILSTORM OF SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 HIT BEFORE RACING STARTED

"It sure is an eye opening number," exclaims NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "this number does not include race events that were delayed or shortened by bad weather either.  There has been a few of these over the years that's for sure."  Looking over an extensive and detailed list of race stats Craig says the month of June has not been kind to the NPP Late Model Series.  "The month of June, to put it bluntly, has sucked for us weather wise the past few years.  Two seasons ago [2013] we didn't race a single time in June thanks to five consecutive rainouts.  Just last season [2014] we had one race completely wiped out and lost the Feature in another." 


SEVEN NPP RACES IN JUNE HAVE BEEN RAINED OUT IN RIMBEY SINCE 2009

Seeing actual race results for the month of June, without weather implications, are even more grim going back to the 2009 season.  "Of the 20 events we scheduled in June [since 2009], we got rained out a total of 12 times."  The next schedule event of the NPP Late Model Series is Saturday, June 27th.  "Yes we do need the rain right now.  It's pretty dry in Alberta," says Craig, "It can rain all it wants three days before and two hours after our race is over.  Hopefully that's not too much to ask."

NPP SERIES SCHEDULED
EVENTS PER MONTH SINCE 2001

MAY                           35  (12)   34.3%
JUNE                          37  (12)   32.4%
JULY                          47  (10)   21.3%
AUGUST                    49  (4)       8.2%
SEPTEMBER             44  (13)   29.6%
OCTOBER                  2    (0)       0.0%

Number of events completely washed out due to rain/snow in brackets

———————————————————

DECAL DETAIL
EDMONTON, AB (June 19) - Feature winners in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series are receiving  a little added decoration for their race cars in 2015.  Custom feature win decals have been designed and will accompany the big trophy handed out to the top driver on race nights.  "These aren't the generic, mass produced stickers that are in use by other racing division," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "they are a season specific decal that also shows the logo of the track where the Feature race was won."  The NPP Late Model Series has been proud to acknowledge its drivers and their accomplishments since day 1. 


MIDGLEY HAS WON 3 CONSECUTIVE NPP FEATURES
------------------------------------------------ (photo: Stpracing Memories)

"We've handed out some pretty nice trophies over the years," admits  Craig, "the new Feature win decals will be a nice visual reminder for everyone at the track."  Since the very first season back in 2001, 24 different drivers have won a NPP Series Feature event. 22 different drivers have won a NPP Series Feature event in Edmonton. "This is an extremely competitive Series.  Getting to the podium [top 3] is tough enough task.  Winning a NPP Series Feature event deserves special recognition." 


POINT LEADER KENNEDY AIMING FOR FIRST FEATURE WIN IN EDMONTON
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: Stpracing Memories)

Darrell Midgley, the 2009 NPP Series Champion, won the 2015 season opener in Edmonton last month in his Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge.  The Sidney, British Columbia driver has won three consecutive Feature events dating back to last season at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey.  Current NPP Series point leader Shawn Kennedy has never won a Feature event in Edmonton.  At the Edmonton season opener, the Edson, Alberta driver finished second in THEREBELmedia.com #7 Dodge. Four different drivers went to victory lane last season. Mark Miller, the defending NPP Series champion, was the only first-time winner in 2014. The Calgary, Alberta driver took his A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet to victory lane at the 2014 Gold Cup.


MILLER IS ONE OF 24 DRIVERS THAT HAS WON A NPP SERIES FEATURE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: Stpracing Memories)

NPP LATE MODEL SERIES
ALL-TIME FEATURE WINNERS (since 2001)

Trevor Emond---------- 33
Dwight Kennedy -------25
Jason Beaulieu--------- 19
Larry Simpson---------- 9
Mike Tom--------------- 9
Kevin Wheeler-----------9
Bruce Broughton--------8
Kelvin Bell-------------- 5
Kevin Clark-------------- 5
Darrell Midgley----------5
Chris Beaulieu----------- 3
Gerry Emond-------------3
Dennis MacEachern-----3
Paul Grundberg ----------2
Wayne Iwaschuk---------2
Brian McCaughan------- 2
Ken Schrader--------------2
Graham Cooke----------- 1
Wayne Gideon----------- 1
Shawn Kennedy--------- 1
Harry Kuhne------------- 1
James McCormack------ 1
Mark Miller-------------- 1
Bev Shearer-------------- 1

————————————————————————

NO ROOM FOR ERROR
EDMONTON, AB (June 24) - Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race teams hit the track this weekend for the first time since May.  Defending season champion Mark Miller knows that having another off-night is not an option.  "There are a lot of great teams in this Series," says the Calgary, Alberta driver, "we don't like bringing a bad car to the track. We will be bringing our A game to the track this weekend." 


MILLER NEEDS A STRONG PERFORMANCE SATURDAY NIGHT

Miller suffered overheating problems at the season opener and slowed to a seventh place finish in the Feature.  "We're pretty confident that we've got the problems fixed," says the driver of the A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet, "we changed the head gasket and then had the car dynoed.  There was no overheating problem on the dyno."  Thanks to a revised point system implemented by the NPP Series a few seasons ago, Miller sits just 17 points behind Edson, Alberta's Shawn Kennedy.  Kennedy, who has been enjoying his time at the top of the point standings the past few weeks, realizes things can change awfully fast in the NPP Late Model Series. "Its the little things can set you back," says the driver of THE REBEL media.com #7 Dodge, "even if your car is driving good, someone can accidentally take you out.  Mechanical issues, which I'm familiar with, are always a huge hit."  Kennedy has a single point lead over Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley in the NPP Late Model Series Championship point standings. 


ONE POINT SEPARATES #7 KENNEDY & #14 MIDGLEY IN NPP STANDINGS
.............................................................. (photo: Stpracing Memories)

"Darrell is a seasoned driver.  He probably has double the time behind the wheel that I do."  Midgley won the season opening Feature in his Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge last month.  Kennedy says finishing well is important.  "Consistency and sometimes just finishing the race is huge in this series. Yes you want to go out and win every race but sometimes if you can't win, take that second or third place or even fifth place."  Kennedy, who finished second at the 2015 season opener, has never won a Feature event in Edmonton.  "I've come close a few times.  It's pretty tough to win one of these things."  The season opening victory for Midgley was his first victory in Edmonton since July 11th, 2009, the same year he won the NPP Series Championship.  Midgley won the last two races of 2014 and is looking at  becoming just the sixth driver in NPP Series history to win four consecutive Feature events. 


#61 BROUGHTON BATTLES WITH #81 DWIGHT KENNEDY AND #78 KEN CLARK
.................................................................................................................. (photo: Stpracing Memories)

Bruce Broughton meanwhile sits third in points.  The Stony Plain, Alberta driver had a very strong season opener grabbing a second place finish in his heat and a third in the Feature in his Habitat for Humanity/All Weather Windows #61 Dodge.  Broughton last went to victory lane on June 23rd, 2012 at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey.  His last Feature win in Edmonton took place on July 10th, 2010.  This was the same year he won his first NPP Series Championship. 

————————————————————————

RACEDAY: EDMONTON, ALBERTA
EDMONTON, AB (June 27) - Race #2 of the 2015 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series season goes tonight at Edmonton, Alberta's Castrol Raceway.  Edson, Alberta's Shawn Kennedy holds a one point lead over Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley in the NPP Series Championship point standings. 


ONE POINT SEPARATES #7 KENNEDY & #14 MIDGLEY IN NPP STANDINGS
......................................................................................................... (photo: Stpracing Memories)

Midgley won the season opening Feature last month.  Kennedy finished second in the Feature.  The win by Midgley was his first in Edmonton since the 2009 season.  Kennedy has never won a Feature in Edmonton and hopes to change that stat tonight.  "I've come close a few times.  It's pretty tough to win one of these things."  The driver of the THE REBEL media.com #7 Dodge says you have to race smart.  "Consistency and sometimes just finishing the race is huge in this series. Yes you want to go out and win every race but sometimes if you can't win, take that second or third place or even fifth place."  Bruce Broughton enters race action tonight third in the NPP Series Championship point standings.  The Stony Plain, Alberta driver is another driver looking at ending a winless drought.  Broughton last went to victory lane on June 23rd, 2012 at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey.  His last Feature win in Edmonton took place on July 10th, 2010.  This was the same year he won his first NPP Series Championship. 


#61 BROUGHTON BATTLES WITH #81 DWIGHT KENNEDY AND #78 KEN CLARK
.................................................................................................................. (photo: Stpracing Memories)

The hot temperatures will be a test for defending season champion Mark Miller tonight.  The Calgary, Alberta driver slowed to a seventh place finish at the season opener courtesy overheating in his A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet.  "We're pretty confident that we've got the problems fixed.  We changed the head gasket and then had the car dynoed.  There was no overheating problem on the dyno."  Despite the season opening troubles, Miller sits just 17 points back of top spot in the standings.  Two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy is fourth in the standings just 11 points back of his son Shawn.  Ken Clark is off to one of his best start in NPP Series history.  Clark is fifth in points just 1 point back of Kennedy.   


DEFENDING SEASON CHAMPION MARK MILLER
----------------------------------------- (photo: Stpracing Memories)

CASTROL RACEWAY NITE THUNDER
> Saturday, June 27th

Classes Racing:
NPP Late Model Series
Sportsman Sprint Cars
IMCA Modifieds

SPECTATOR GATES @ 5:00pm
RACING STARTS @ 6:00pm

SPECTATOR ADMISSION
$20.00 General
$10.00 Youth (ages 9 - 12)
FREE Children 8 and under

————————————————————————

WIN WIN NIGHT FOR MIDGLEY
EDMONTON, AB (June 27) - Despite a constant challange in the Feature from defending season champion Mark Miller and two-time NPP Series champion Dwight Kennedy, Darrell Midgley managed to lead all laps to win the Saturday night Feature in Edmonton. "We ran well all night," says the driver of the Integra Tire (Edson) #14 Dodge,  "in the Heats we ran well.  We started at the back of both [Heat and Dash] and got to the front." Midgley's victory was his second of the season and his fourth consecutive Feature event win dating back to the end of the 2014 season. "We just had a really good car tonight.  When things go your way, they go your way.  When they don't go your way, it's a real struggle.  Right now things are rolling our way."    


#81 KENNEDY AND #14 MIDGLEY IN THE OPENING LAPS OF FEATURE

The victory gives the Sidney, British Columbia driver the points lead in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series standings. Celebrations however were briefly muted shortly after the checkered flag flew. Upon post-race weigh in, both Midgley and second place Miller, crossed the scales under the legal NPP Series weight limit (3,100lbs).


#69 MILLER AND #14 MIDGLEY BATTLE FOR THE LEAD

According to the NPP Series rule book, if a car weighs in light after a race, adding fuel is allowed to make weight. In the end, both Midgley and Miller did meet the required minimum weight rule and there finishing positions stood. Mark Miller was breathing a sigh of relief. "It was a battle all night for us, indicates the driver of the A1 Autobody #69 Chevrolet, "the car seemed to hook up in the Feature." Miller finished second in the Qualifying Heat but struggled in the Dash. "Our overheating problem was still a little bit there. The guys did a good job. We got the car hooked and that's why we did as good as we did [in the Feature]." Millers second place finish in the Feature moved the Calgary, Alberta driver into a two-way tie for fourth in the Championship point standings with Stony Plain, Alberta's Bruce Broughton who finished fifth in the Feature. Edson, Alberta's Dwight Kennedy finished third in the Saturday night Feature after starting on the pole. This was the 20th time that Kennedy has started a NPP Series from the pole position since the 2001 season. "Shawn [Dwights son] set the car up right," acknowledges the driver of the NPP #81 Dodge, "a different spring in the back of the car took the wheel spin away." Kennedy says running his car on the dry track in Edmonton Saturday night was not the handful it was at the season opener. "The car is always good on a tacky track but on a dry slick track it's never been good. These have been the track conditions here [Edmonton] the past several seasons." With his third place finish, Kennedy moved from fourth to second in the NPP Series Championship point standings.


SATURDAY NIGHT IN EDMONTON: #7 SHAWN KENNEDY & #78 KEN CLARK
----------------------------------------------------------- ------------------- (photo: Stpracing Memories)

After enjoying holding onto top spot in the NPP Series Championship points chase since the 2015 season opener, Shawn Kennedy finished 6th in his ill handling race car Saturday night. Kennedy lost two spots in the points chase and now sits third. Next race for the NPP Late Model Series is Friday and Saturday night (July 3rd/4th) at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. The NPP Series is the support class for Canada's oldest open wheel race the Gold Cup. This years Gold Cup is in memory of longtime track supporter Jim Albert.

—————————————————————
—————————————————————