GRUNDBERG GRINS, TROUBLES FOR TOM
EDMONTON, AB. (May 1) – Two NPP Late Model Series drivers were at opposite ends of the performance spectrum at the 2010 test ‘n’ tune session at Castrol Raceway Saturday afternoon.  Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom had engine problems while Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg was top NPP performer of the day.  “We had a very good test session,” indicates the driver of the Carlan Services #12 Pontiac, “hopefully we can carry it over to the season opener next weekend.”  Grundberg, the 2007 NPP Series Rookie of the Year, has never finished out of the top 10 in Championship points. 


GRUNDBERG WILL BE 'GOIN FOR IT' IN 2010

“Winning a feature is pretty tough in this class,” admits Grundberg, “it’s a big priority for the team this year to get back to victory lane.”  Grundbergs last Feature win was in September of 2008. Meanwhile Mike Tom tried to remain positive after a disappointing Saturday test session.  “It’s better to have the troubles show up now rather than at the first race of the year.”  The Hinton Oilfield Services number 55 Chevrolet was well off the pace during the NPP on track test sessions. 


TOM IS LOOKING FOR HIS MISSING HORSEPOWER

“This is our ‘A’ motor for the season,” says a disappointed Tom, “it was running lean for some reason and we couldn’t figure out why.”  His engine will go under the mechanical microscope on Sunday at the race shop.  “We need a strong start to the season this year.  You cannot have an off night in this Series that’s for sure.”  Tom had one Feature victory last season and finished 6th in NPP Championship points chase.   “Despite this little setback today we’ll be ready to go next weekend.”  The 10th season of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series begins Saturday, May 8th at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway. 

LUCAS SLICK MIST SEASON OPENER
Saturday, May 8th @ Castrol Raceway
Gates – 4:00PM
Racing – 6:00PM

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WHY SO CRUEL WEATHER??
EDMONTON, AB. (May 4) – A spring snow storm has slammed much of Central Alberta just days before the scheduled start of the 2010 racing season.  Facility preparations at the home track of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series have come to a halt.  “This is not good news for this weekend’s season opener,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “there are snow drifts two feet high in some areas at the track.” 

The major storm comes less than three days after a successful test ‘n’ tune session at Castrol Raceway.  “The weather was good on Saturday.  The track was in incredible shape.  Now it’s back to square one in getting the facility ready for race number one of the season.  Its probably a few steps back from that.”  Several hours of heavy rain preceded more than 6 hours of continuous snow fall on Tuesday.  The snow was whipped around by wind gusts hitting 60 kilometers per hour.  “I expect the track to make an announcement sooner rather than later regarding the status of this weekend’s season opener.” 


GRAB THE SHOVELS!

The 10th season of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and the 20th season of racing at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway is still scheduled to begin Saturday, May 8th.  If this weekends race is cancelled due to facility conditions, the 2010 Lucas Slick Mist Season opener for the NPP Late Model Series will be held in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15th.  

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SEASON OPENER POSTPONED
EDMONTON, AB. (May 6) – Race teams with the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will have to wait one more week before they get to go racing again.  Below normal temperatures and excessive moisture from Tuesdays massive snow storm have forced Castrol Raceway officials to postpone the 2010 season opener to Saturday, May 15th. 


CASTROL RACEWAY FRONT STRAIGHT/TURN 1 & 2 (photo taken May 6th)

“It doesn’t surprise me one bit,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “there were two foot snow drifts at the track after the storm.  Right now there is a bit of a lake on the front straight and the pits are a muddy mess.” 


VIEW FROM GRANDSTANDS (photo taken May 6th)

This is the fifth season in a row that the scheduled season opener has been postponed at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway..

LUCAS SLICK MIST SEASON OPENER (TAKE II)
Saturdy, May 15th @ Castrol Raceway
Gates – 4:00PM
Racing – 6:00PM

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HOME TRACK SEASON OPENER
EDMONTON, AB. (May 12) – With a favorable weather forecast in place for this Saturday, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series kicks off its 10th season of racing action at their home track for the first time since 2005.  “Since the very first season back in 2001, we have always scheduled our first race of the season at Castrol Raceway,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “unfortunately the weather has not cut us a break the past few years.”  Race fans at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge (2009), Rocky Mountain Raceway Park in Okotoks (2008), Drumheller’s Hidden Valley Motorsports Park (2007) and Rimbey’s Central Alberta Raceways (2006) have all hosted a NPP Series season opening race.  In past years NPP Series officials had scheduled only one Edmonton race date before the May long weekend.  “This year we scheduled back to back Saturday events in Edmonton (May 8th & 15th) anticipating one of those dates would be affected by the weather.  We guessed correctly.”   The Lucas Slick Mist Season Opener and the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Chase for the Championship begins Saturday May 15th at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton.   

PAST SEASON OPENER WINNERS
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!**(Edmonton)
2002– Larry Simpson (Edmonton)
2001– Dwight Kennedy (Edmonton)

**Heat races completed. Snow began to fall before Feature started.

LUCAS SLICK MIST SEASON OPENER
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, Alberta
Gates @ 4:00PM // Racing @ 6:00PM

SPECTATOR ADMISSION PROMOTION: CLICK HERE

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SLICK VICTORY FOR BROUGHTON
EDMONTON, AB. (May 16) – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series kicked off its 10th season of racing action Saturday night at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.  Spruce Grove, Alberta’s Bruce Broughton ended a 2 year Feature win drought by grabbing the checkered flag at the Lucas Slick Mist 2010 Season Opener.  “It was a good race against some tough cars tonight,” indicates the driver of the MDM Foundations/Fraser Shingling and Exteriors #61 Chevrolet, “to win on the home track and have my sponsors in the crowd was a definite bonus.”  Broughton becomes the sixth different NPP Series driver to win the first race of the season.  “Hopefully we will have the opportunity to get a few more of these this year.” 


BROUGHTON CRUISES TO FEATURE VICTORY SATURDAY NIGHT


EMOND CHEWS UP A MOTOR IN THE FEATURE

For the first time, the 2005 NPP Series Rookie of the Year leads the NPP Championship point’s chase.  Unfortunately for three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond the season opening race was not a memorable one.  “The car was working pretty good all night until the motor went.”  Emond, who won his heat race, had the pole position for the Feature but fell off the pace immediately at the drop of the green.  “Paul and Mike got by me off the start and I spent the entire race trying to get by them.”  Emonds’ motor blew with 5 laps to go.  Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg and Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom held off a late race charge by Whitecourt Alberta’s Kevin Wheeler to finish second and third.       

SEASON OPENER WINNERS
2010– Bruce Broughton
2009– Darrell Midgley
2008– Dwight Kennedy
2007– Jason Beaulieu
2006– Trevor Emond
2005– Jason Beaulieu
2004– Trevor Emond
2003– Feature Cancelled due to SNOW!!
2002– Larry Simpson
2001– Dwight Kennedy

NOTE: Bruce Broughton will be a special guest on the Race Time Radio show Tuesday night May 18th (6PM Edmonton time) on Sirius Satellite Radio.

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FUEL CRISIS STALLS SEASON
EDMONTON, AB. (May 19) – This weekends scheduled appearance of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta has been cancelled (the Lethbridge race is not).  The fuel gauge is reading close to empty for many NPP race teams.  “The NPP Late Model Series uses leaded racing fuel,” says Series announcer Gord Craig, “unfortunately purchasing this fuel in Canada is currently illegal right now.  Teams are still allowed to use any fuel left over from the previous season but that’s it.  Right now fuel distributors cannot sell leaded racing fuel in Canada.” 


NPP SERIES RACE TEAMS USE C12 AND C14 LEADED RACE FUELS

Several NPP Series race teams have already stated that they will not have enough fuel to get them through the next scheduled race event (May 22nd and 23rd).  Spruce Grove Alberta’s Bruce Broughton, last weekends Feature winner in Edmonton indicates he will have a dry tank well before the end of this weekend’s race event.  Whitecourt, Alberta’s Paul Grundberg, who had to borrow fuel from a fellow competitor at the Lucas Slick Mist Season opening race in Edmonton, estimates he will be about six gallons short.  “On behalf of the NPP Series I would like to apologize to James and Kathy Hadnagy at BCR and to all Southern Alberta race fans that were looking forward to our visit this weekend.  Unfortunately our hands are tied at this point.”  The small economic impact that the NPP Series brings to Lethbridge will not be happening this weekend either.  “NPP Series race teams really look forward to the trip to Lethbridge each season.  Many have their favorite dining and lodging spots booked months in advance.”  Plans are in the works to re-schedule the Lethbridge dates.  “The September long weekend has already been talked about,” adds Craig, “nothing is confirmed and won’t be until this fuel crisis is over.”  The Saturday, June 5th race date at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton is also in jeopardy due to the current shortage of leaded racing fuel.  NPP Late Model Series competitors along with other race teams and series that compete on Oval tracks and Drag strips right across Canada are hoping and praying that this fuel crisis is over sooner rather that later.

Background information on racing fuel ban:
-the temporary exemption of selling leaded fuel in Canada expired December 31st, 2009.
-a new 5-year extension was supposed to begin January 1st, 2010. 
-paperwork ‘issues’ in Ottawa by Federal bureaucrats delayed the implementation of the new temporary exemption measures.     
-selling leaded race fuel in Canada is expected to be allowed once again in June. 
-there is no ban on leaded racing fuels in the United States.  
-there have been four extensions in allowing the sale of leaded racing fuel in Canada.
(1997, 1998, 2003, 2007)
-0.8% of all leaded fuels imported into Canada (2009 Government figures) are used in racing vehicles.  The remainder is used by small aircraft and agriculture sector which is permanently exempted from the leaded fuel ban.

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FILL ‘ER’ UP…..
EDMONTON, AB (May 25) – A major fuel crisis for competitors in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and for many drag and oval racers right across Canada is coming to an end.  “It looks like the Canadian ban on the sale of leaded race fuels has been lifted,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “paperwork extending the exemption for another five years is still caught up in the political process down in Ottawa but word is Canadian distributors can now resume the sale of in-stock leaded race fuel without fear of major fines.” The Federal Governments temporary exemption of selling leaded fuel in Canada expired December 31st, 2009. 


LEADED RACING FUEL IS FLOWING ONCE AGAIN

Jason Thomas with AMS Engines in Edmonton and distributor of VP Racing fuels says the short lived ban on the sale of leaded fuel has been a major inconvenience.  “I’ve had drivers from the NPP Series contact me and I’ve had many drag racers contact me looking for any good news regarding the supply of race fuel.  I’ve heard June 1st is the actual date the temporary ban is lifted but until the fuel trucks are allowed across the border nothing is certain.”  Jordan Dechka with VP Racing fuels in Calgary indicates it will be business as usual next week.  “Fuel trucks are currently en-route to Canada from Texas and the shipping of leaded racing fuels to our dealers begins next week.”  According to the latest government figures (2009) 0.8% of all leaded fuels imported into Canada are used in racing vehicles.  The remainder is used by small aircraft and the agriculture sector which is permanently exempted from the ban.  Canada banned the use of leaded fuel in all passenger vehicles back in 1990.  A shortage of leaded race fuel forced NPP Series officials to cancel its scheduled May long weekend event at Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta.  “That was a tough decision to make,” admits Craig, “however showing up with six or seven cars and having them run out of fuel would not have been good. The final consensus with track management and NPP Series officials was to do the show right or not at all.”  With the flow of leaded race fuel expected to return to normal in the next few weeks many NPP Series teams will await delivery of their orders which were placed several months ago. 


EMOND HAS TWO RACE CARS WHICH NEEDS LEADED RACE FUEL TO RUN

“Just because the ban is going to be lifted does not mean the Series resumes racing immediately like nothing has happened. Our drivers have to wait for delivery like everyone else.”  Three-time NPP Series champion Trevor Emond, who is down to his final 13 gallons of leaded race fuel, hopes to get his fuel order by June 4th.  “I’ve got four barrels coming,” says the Leduc, Alberta driver, “its one less thing to worry about now.”  Emond who currently sits fifth in the NPP Late Model Series championship points chase, is also competing this season on the pavement in the Dakota Dunes Casino Western Canadian Super Late Model Series.

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SMOKE SCREEN
DEVON, AB (May 31) – Below normal temperatures (+7C) and the constant threat of rain did not stop a hearty crowd of about 500 people from enjoying the 6th annual River of Hope Baptist Church Burnout and Show ‘n’ Shine on Friday night (May 28).  The big show was part of the annual Devon Days festivities.  For the fourth consecutive year, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig was guest MC. 

“It’s too bad about the weather but for those that braved the elements they saw a great show.”  NPP Late Model Series sponsor Lucas Oil provided Slick Mist to the show ‘n’ shine winners in the car, truck and motorcycle category.  “A big thank-you definitely goes out to all the show and shine entrants plus the burn out competitors.” 

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