EDMONTON, AB (May 11th) - Gerry Emond was a dominant force in the 1990's when he ran in the Alberta Outlaw Modified class (1993/94/97 Season Champion). When he began running in the NPP Late Model class in 2004 Emond used the #17 (reverse of son Trevors #71) as his car number. The 2006 season will see Gerry Emond return to his roots as far as a race car number is concerned. Emond has decided to change his Late Model car number to the more familiar #23.


RIMBEY, AB. (May 13th)
- Leduc’s Trevor Emond won the first race of 2006 in the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and now finds himself the early season point leader. A total of 19 N.P.P. Late Model race teams made the trek to Central Alberta Raceway’s in Rimbey, Alberta Saturday, to help celebrate the tracks official grand opening. Emond started near the back of the pack in the 25 lap feature event. The defending series champion made his way through the field, taking over the lead with about 7 laps remaining. Despite several challenges near the end of the race from Edson’s Shawn Kennedy, Emond hung on for victory. “I had fun racing here. Ending up at the front was a bonus. My goal this year is to try to have more fun on the track and not to focus on the point’s race.” Emond hopes that with the change in focus the wins still come his way this season. So far he’s right! Shawn Kennedy raced one of his best events to date in a N.P.P. Late Model finishing in second spot. He started the event strong winning his preliminary heat race. “I’ve been working on the mental game behind the wheel because last year I made a lot of mistakes. I hope to build from what I did today on the track (in Rimbey) and bring it with me to the next race in Edmonton.” Shawn Kennedy’s father Dwight was the pole sitter in the race but had to settle for third spot in the feature. “A big thanks goes out to Paul and Gerry” added Kennedy. Whitecourt’s, Paul Grundberg and Edmonton’s Gerry Emond had separate spins late in the race which sent them to the back of the field allowing Dwight Kennedy to gain back the positions lost after being passed by the two drivers. “The car setup wasn’t there,” adds Kennedy, “I’m very fortunate to get third.” Several drivers did not have the luck of Dwight Kennedy in this race. Hardisty Alberta’s Kelvin Bell crashed out of the Feature event while running 8th as did Brian Ford from Sundre. Mike Tom from Salmon Arm, British Columbia had handling problems during the Feature event, spinning twice and was forced to pit. Darrel Midgley looked to be the early favorite going into Saturday nights Feature event after winning both of his preliminary heat races. But the Sydney BC driver spun late in the Feature ending his charge to the front. Midgley ended the race finishing 13th.

The next race in the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model series is Saturday night May 27th at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton and then its on the road with the first ever visit to Bridge Country Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta on June 3rd.


- The run for the 2006 Northern Alberta Pipelines Ltd. Late Model Series championship was far from the mind of Arvid Fonstad and his race team on Sunday May 21st. The Chemserve/Trailblazer RV sponsored #2 Late Model was one of the active display’s at the 2nd annual Children’s Wish Foundation Ride Along at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway. “It’s such a simple way to help out this tremendous organization”, says Fonstad, “All the rides here, the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a race car. People will be talking about this event for a long time.”  Chemserve also sponsored the chuck wagon which was the official ‘shuttle’ from the parking lot to the main spectator entrance. On the Castrol Raceway grounds over 50 vehicles were ready to give thousands of patrons a ride. For some families the choices at times were overwhelming. Army tanks, police cars, a mini train, ambulances, big rigs, motorcycles, hot rod’s and the Edmonton Oilers Fanboni, just to name a few, were at the track Most of the rides were either down Castrol Raceway’s ¼ mile IHRA dragstrip or in the drag pit area.  All proceeds from Ride a Long 2006 went to the Children’s Wish Foundation which grants very special wishes to courageous children coping with high risk, life threatening illnesses. Sunday’s event raised over $20,000, surpassing the goal set by organizers. “It’s a lot of work but it’s so worth it” says Ilya Kaplar, Edmonton event coordinator of the Children’s Wish Foundation. “There are a lot of CWF chapters across Canada that are taking a look at mirroring this event right now. This is only the second time we’ve done this so we are still in the ground breaking stage.” Attendance at this years event was up more than 50%. Volunteer participants who brought out their hot rods, motorcycles and other ‘equipment’ to Castrol Raceway was up sharply as well.

Arvid Fonstad and the rest of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series get back to business this Saturday night May 27th at Castrol Raceway. It’s Race #2 of the 2006 N.P.P. Season.


– The $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipeline Late Model Series races on its home track this Saturday night May 22nd. Leduc, Alberta’s Trevor Emond is the early season point leader after a big win two weeks ago at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey, Alberta. Emond’s good fortune early in 2006 is certainly troubling news for the rest of the N.P.P. Late Model field at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway this weekend. The 2003, 2004 and 2005 N.P.P. Champion is off to one of his best starts in 4 seasons. “The last few years I’ve had some bad luck at the first few events because of something breaking on my car. Race car preparation, plain and simple, is why I won the last race (in Rimbey).” Both Dwight and son Shawn Kennedy from Edson, Alberta, are off to their best starts in several seasons also. Shawn Kennedy challenged Emond for top spot late in the race at Rimbey but settled for second. “I’ve been working on the mental game behind the wheel because last year I made a lot of mistakes,” says Kennedy who currently sits second in the points, “I hope to build from what I did in Rimbey and bring it with me to Edmonton.” Dwight Kennedy admits he’s lucky to be sitting in third spot in the chase heading into this weekend’s event. “If it wasn’t for Gerry (Emond) and Jeff (Grundberg) spinning in Rimbey I’d probably be 8th in the points. We’ve changed a few things in the car so I hope to get this Dodge to the front in Edmonton.” There are several N.P.P. Late Model series drivers looking to get out of the ’basement’ as far as the point chase is concerned. Mike Tom is looking up at the rest of the field. Tom had one of his worst season opening races ever. Handling problems forced the driver from Salmon Arm, BC to retire early from the race in Rimbey two weeks ago. Hard charging Kelvin Bell, from Hardisty, Alberta had a tough first race of the 2006 N.P.P. Series. Bell crashed out of the Rimbey event. Last seasons N.P.P. rookie of the year does not want a repeat of the Rimbey race. Bruce Broughton’s severely damaged race car is repaired. The Spruce Grove driver hopes to be one of the top challengers in Edmonton Saturday night.

WHAT: N.P.P. Late Model Series Oval event.
WHERE: Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta

2006 N.P.P. LATE MODEL SERIES STANDINGS (after 1 race)
1. #71 Trevor Emond – Leduc  ------114
2. #7 Shawn Kennedy – Edson ------ 108
3. #81 Dwight Kennedy – Edson          97
4. #19 Dan Stewart – Seba Beach        85
5. #12 Jeff Grundberg – Whitecourt      78
6. #21 Cody Graber – Edson               68
7. #78 Ken Clark – Onoway                72
8. #88 Crystal Kennedy – Edson          58
9. # 2 Arvid Fonstad – Entwistle           57
10.#23 Gerry Emond – Edmonton        50
11.#14 Darrel Midgley – Sydney, BC 46
12.#18 Tim Beausoliel – Sedgewick     45
13.#99 Wayne Gideon – Edson            40
14.#69 Kelvin Bell – Hardisty   --------32
      # 5 Kevin Clark(R) – Altario, Ab    32
15.#52 Brian Ford – Sundre                 29
16.#61 Bruce Broughton – Spruce Grove25
17.#16 Ashley Broughton(R)–Spruce Grove 24
18.#55 Mike Tom – Salmon Arm, BC 23


EDMONTON, AB. (May 28)
– Rain is normally frowned upon at any race event in North America but at Castrol Raceway Saturday night it got a rare ‘thumb’s up’ from several N.P.P. Late Model drivers. Leduc Alberta’s Trevor Emond thinks the light rain was a big factor in helping him win his second straight feature event of the season. “The #71 car was unreal tonight, the rain helped me out more than I thought it would,” says the current point leader, “it made the track nice and tacky so the horsepower of this ‘Shark’ engine could do its stuff.” The defending champion and current point leader dominated the entire field in the 25 lap feature. Emond, who started from near the back of the pack at the green flag, had a margin of victory of 10 seconds by the time the checkered flag flew. Light rain showers changed the entire race night. Track conditions for the first set of heat races were extremely dusty with many drivers indicating they had a hard time seeing who was in front of them. Several called the conditions downright dangerous. The water truck was called in to give the track a spray then shortly after the rain began to fall. The extra moisture delayed the start of the second set of heat races by only 10 minutes. That brief delay was worth it for the competitors and race fans in the stands. Lap times and top speeds increased immediately, not only for all the N.P.P. Late Model competitors, but for the other classes competing at Castrol Raceway as well. The dusty conditions were quickly forgotten and the disapproval of early track conditions quickly turned to praise. “It’s a good track, way better than last year,“ say’s Dan Stewart who had his best Late Model finish ever placing second in the feature. The Seba Beach resident now sits third in points in the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipeline Late Model Series standings moving past Edson Alberta's Dwight Kennedy. “I hope my wife and I can carry this momentum to the next race.” (Kelly Stewart will be driving the #19 at the next event.) Sedgewick, Alberta driver Tim Beausoliel finished third in the feature. “The track tonight was impressive once there was some moisture on the surface. It’s the best I’ve seen in years.” Beausoliel’s third place finish gave him an impressive jump up in the N.P.P. point standings. The number #18 moved from 12th up to 5th place which is well within striking distance of point leader Trevor Emond. For the second race in a row, Edson, Alberta's Shawn Kennedy finished in the top 5 in a Feature event. Shawn Kennedy remains second in the standings just 33 points behind Emond. Disappointment however was clearly etched on the faces of several Late Model drivers Saturday night. Entwistle Alberta’s Arvid Fonstad and Sydney British Columbia’s Darrell Midgley were on the front row of the Feature event when they got together heading into the first corner. The crash took out both drivers plus it collected Salmon Arm BC driver Mike Tom. Midgely and Fonstad did not want to talk about the opening lap crash but Tom was ready to speak out. “We were looking good tonight, we had the set up going, the car was running really good, the track was real fast but these guys were beating on each other before the green flag and then wrecked in turn one.” Tom is off to his worse season start in his 10 years of racing. “I’m very frustrated right now. They were trying to kill each other, but they killed me instead.” Mike Tom was one of the top drivers in the series in 2005. With back to back DNF’s to start 2006, Tom hopes this nightmare soon comes to an end.