LIGHTS, CAMERA, WEBSITE
EDMONTON, AB. (October 8) - The video may have been extremely grainy and choppy at times but that did not stop over 1,400 viewers from tuning into Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race action on-line.  "We were able to broadcast six of our events this season," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig,  "the goal next season is to broadcast all of our events."  The NPP Series quickly found out that both internet access and upload speeds are crucial.  "Access to the internet is critical," says Craig, "but even if there is access to the internet there is a little thing called upload speed to contend with."  The NPP Late Model Series uses the on-line video stream service called USTREAM which recommends a minimum upload speed of 1mbps (mega bits per seconds) for a proper on-line broadcast.  "We weren't even close to that in any of our broadcasts," exclaims Craig, "in Edmonton for example we were about a quarter (0.76mbps) under the recommended minimum upload speed."  Upload speed comes directly from the internet service provider.  "Broadcasting audio requires very little upload speed," explains Craig, "broadcasting audio and video together is where things get a little bit more technical."  Taking the internet broadcasts to the next level is a major priority for the NPP Late Model Series in 2013.  "We are currently looking at several options that will dramatically improve the quality of the on-line video feed no matter where we race." The NPP Late Model Series competed in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan this past season.

—————————————————————

TWO OF A KIND
LAS VEGAS, NV. (October 17) - Two Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series champions are playing the odds they'll make the trip to victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.  Trevor Emond and Darrell Midgley get behind the wheel of their pavement Late Models at the four day Fall Festival of Speed at the Nevada race track.  This will be Midgley's fifth time competing on the .375 mile paved oval track in Las Vegas.  For three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond, this will be his first visit to the track named 'The Bullring'.  "We wanted to do this race last year but couldn't make it happen.  Now it's time to get on the track and get to work."


EMOND RACES IN VEGAS FOR THE FIRST TIME (photo: Emond Racing Facebook page)

Emond scored two Feature wins in NPP Late Model Series competition in 2012.  Both wins came on the dirt track at Merritt Speedway in British Columbia.  "I hope we can have the same success here that we had in BC," says the Leduc, Alberta driver, "we never raced in Merritt before either and I know my eyes will be opened here too once we get on the track for the first time."  Emond and Midgley will be taking advantage of two practice sessions on Thursday and Friday.  "We qualified fifth here last year," says 2009 NPP Series Champion Darrell Midgley, "that's been about the only big highlight. We've had some pretty tough luck with blown motors and crashes." Midgley finished 13th at last years crash filled race on 'The Bullring'.  


5TH APPEARANCE FOR MIDGLEY IN VEGAS (photo: Mike Szaszik)

The Sidney, British Columbia driver finished 4th in NPP Late Model Series Championship points in 2012 and also scored a win in his pavement Late Model at his home track of Western Speedway in Victoria. Close to 60 Late Model teams are in Las Vegas for this weekend's race. A total of 24 Late Models will take the green flag for Saturday nights Feature.


FALL FESTIVAL OF SPEED
(all Las Vegas times approximate*)

UPDATE: Emond and Midgley are competiting in two different Late Model classes in Las Vegas. Emond is competing in the Super Late Model Class. Midgley in the Late Model Class.

> Thursday, October 18th
Darrell Midgley - 16.297 (9th fastest in Late Model practice session)
Trevor Emond - 15.482 (15th fastest in Super Late Model practice session)

> Friday, October 19th
Darrell Midgley - 16.250 (6th fastest/practice #2) // 16.334 (10th fastest/practice #3)
Trevor Emond - 15.882 (20th fastest/practice #2) // 15.730 (26th fastest/practice #3)
-
Darrell Midgley - Qualified 11th (16.233)
Trevor Emond - Qualified 17th (15.300)
-
Late Model Heat: Darrell Midgley - finished 2nd
Super Late Model Heat: Trevor Emond - finished 3rd

> Saturday, October 20th
Darrell Midgley finished 5th in the Late Model Feature
Trevor Emond finished 10th in the Super Late Model Feature

—————————————————————

THE RESULTS ARE IN
EDMONTON, AB. (October 28) - The official website of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is expanding its on-line content yet again.  Complete race results from events dating back to the 2001 season are now being added to the archives section of the website.  "Having detailed race records is key for any genuine race organization," says NPP Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig, "race results from the past and present are like a proof of performance for everyone to see." 

The NPP Late Model Series wrapped up its 12th consecutive season in September. Complete results from the 2008 - 2012 seasons of the NPP Late Model Series are now on-line.  "The last six seasons are the easy ones," says Craig, "the remaining seasons are a work in progress."  Race results from the 2001 - 2007 seasons of the NPP Series will added on a weekly basis during the long off-season ahead. 


NPP SERIES RACE RESULTS FROM JULY 5, 2002

Once complete, Craig indicates this will be the most comprehensive results archives of any motorsports Series in Western Canada.  "Even if a driver didn't get to victory lane or grab a podium finish they are a part of NPP Series racing history. Having this extensive list of race results acknowledges those who have strapped on a helmet in this Series." 


WHEN PAPER RESULTS AREN'T ALWAYS AVAILABLE THERE IS ALWAYS VIDEO TAPE

Once the race results archives on the NPP Series website are completed some new race statistics will emerge.  "I am a bit of a stats geek," admits Craig, "I'm really looking forward to seeing who has the most race starts in our Series.  Which driver has the most pole positions.  Who has the most top five finishes."  These brand new NPP Series race statistics will also be available on-line.

click here to access archives

—————————————————————

DESERT HEAT
EDMONTON, AB. (November 7) - With Canadian passports in hand several Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitors are heading south of the border to take in the action at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend.  The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and the K&N Pro Series West will be competing on the one-mile oval.  "Can't wait to get to the track," says Whitecourt, Alberta's Kevin Wheeler,  "we've been going non-stop at work [KW Mechanical] since the summer so I'm looking at this as a break [from work] and a bit of a post-season celebration as well."  Wheeler won his first-ever NPP Late Model Series Championship back in September.  "It's going to be great to hear the sounds of racing again."

Other NPP Series competitors who will in attendance at the Arizona track are Kevin Clark, Jeff Grundberg, Dan Stewart and Dwight Kennedy.  Current Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car racer Tim Boychuk will also be watching the action from the VIP corporate suite with his former NPP Series competitors.  For Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. owner and president Dwight Kennedy, his annual motorsports pilgrimage to Arizona has been taking place for over 15 years.  "It began when I was invited me to go watch a NASCAR race from the Link-Belt suite at the track.  They sponsored a race car at the time and they knew I liked racing." With a guest list that totals more than 50 people, Whitemud Mechanical, owned by veteran Canadian racer Kevin Dowler and Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. are hosting the race weekend in the VIP corporate suite at Phoenix International Raceway. 


NOTE: NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Noel Dowler made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Phoenix International Raceway in the Prairie Tech Oilfield Services (Elk Point, Alberta) #41 Mustang. The Sherwood Park, Alberta driver finished 32nd after a late race crash. Dowler started 40th.

—————————————————————

MODIFIED NIGHTS
LAS VEGAS, NV. (November 12) - For the second time in three weeks a competitor from the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has played the 'motorsports dice' at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Jason Beaulieu, the 2007 NPP Late Model Series Champion, competed at the 15th annual Duel in the Desert at the LVMS Dirt Track.  A record 253 IMCA Modified competitors filled the pit area in Las Vegas Nevada hoping to be part of the elite group that would run Saturday nights $7,777 to win Feature event.  "This is the fourth time I've raced the Duel," says the Campbell River, British Columbia driver, "got taken out [crash] and blew the engine the first two times I ran here.  Last year I missed running the Saturday night Feature by just one spot."  Heat and Qualifying races began last Thursday where a mediocre performance was not an option.  "With this many cars you needed a good pill draw, a ton of luck and you had to be on your game."

-

BEAULIEU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION AT LVMS
-------------------------------------------------------- (photos courtesy Roger Seymour Photography - Las Vegas, NV)

Beaulieu found himself at the back of the pack several times in his Alien Chassis #90 Modified this year.  "It's the luck of the draw.  That's just part of the deal."  Beaulieu finished 5th in his 'B' Feature Thursday night.  Friday night saw Beaulieu winning his 'B' Feature and would start the 'A' Feature at the back of the pack.  "Finished 11th in this race," exclaims Beaulieu, "the car worked really well Friday night."  Beaulieu would race on the LVMS Dirt Track just one time Saturday.  "This was a win or go home race," explains Beaulieu, "we didn't win."  Beaulieu finished 4th in the Last Chance race ending his weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Jeremy Pane of Nixa, Missouri was this years Duel in the Desert champion. "With all the competitors that were here and missing out on running the big race by just three spots.  I'm very pleased with the weekend."  A tally of the Duel points put Beaulieu in 26th place out of 253 drivers in attendance.  The Las Vegas weekend was Beaulieu's last scheduled competition of the 2012 season.  The veteran racer won't sit idle for long. He already has plans in place for the first two months of 2013.  "I will be in Casa Grande, Arizona with the Modified for a week-long event [Jan 4th - 13th] then I'll be heading to Florida in February to race Speedweeks."

- Jason Beaulieu has 19 Feature wins and 21 Heat wins in the NPP Late Model Series. Beaulieu won the 2007 NPP Series Championship. (4th in points - 2008, 2nd in points - 2009)
- Beaulieu's son Chris finished 5th in the 2012 NPP Series Championship points chase.

—————————————————————

SCHEDULE ME IN
EDMONTON, AB. (November 27) - With just a few weeks left in 2012, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series teams are eagerly awaiting their first look at the 2013 race schedule. "We are aiming for a ten to twelve event schedule right now," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "the plan is to have our entire race season made up of two-day race weekends." Edmonton, Alberta's Castrol Raceway will host the NPP Late Model Series for at least one, two-day race weekend in 2013.  "The Gold Cup race, which features open wheel sprint cars, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 19th and 20th.  The NPP Late Model has been the support class for this major event since 1999."  The other big sprint car event in Edmonton is the Extreme Cup.  "This date is still not confirmed," says Craig, "but its looking like the Extreme Cup event will be held on Saturday, August 10th or 17th." 


NPP SERIES WILL RUN SEVERAL 2013 EVENTS IN EDMONTON

Craig indicates even with a one-night show in Edmonton Saturday, racing in Rimbey, Alberta on Sunday will most likely take place in 2013. "Officials at Central Alberta Raceway are considering moving their race nights from Saturday's to Sunday's next season.  This move will definitely help us as far as our plan to run two-day race weekends."  Central Alberta Raceways is only a 60 minute drive from Castrol Raceway.  The NPP Late Model Series has tentatively booked Saturday, June 8th and Saturday, September 14th in Edmonton, with the option of competing in Rimbey the following day.  "There will be some road trips in 2013," admits Craig, "that's what make this such a great Series.  We bring the big league race experience to smaller tracks.  Flatlanders Speedway in Kindersley, Saskatchewan wants us back again.  Same with Merritt Speedway in Merritt, British Columbia."  Dinosaur Downs Speedway in Drumheller, Alberta has also expressed interest in having the NPP Late Model Series return in 2013.  "We are also trying to secure a long weekend race at Estevan Speedway in Saskatchewan." 


NPP SERIES EXPECTS TO RETURN TO FLATLANDERS SPEEDWAY IN 2013

NPP Series officials also remain hopeful that Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta will re-open providing another destination for a two-day NPP Series race weekend in 2013.    


2013 TENTATIVE OVAL SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 4th
Saturday, May 11th
Saturday, May 25th
Saturday, June 1st
Saturday, June 8th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Friday, July 19th (NPP Series race date)
Saturday, July 20th (NPP Series race date)
Saturday, July 27th
Saturday, August 10th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Saturday, August 17th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Friday, August 23rd
Saturday, August 24th
Saturday, September 7th
Saturday, September 14th (tentative NPP Series race date)

—————————————————————

PARADE LAP
WHITECOURT, AB. (December 3) - The race season is still more than five months away but that didn't stop Wayne Wheeler from parading his race car through the streets of downtown Whitecourt, Alberta Friday night.  With light snow falling,  the newcomer to the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series debuted his Whitecourt Auto Sales #4 Dodge to thousands of parade watchers at the annual Whitecourt Santa Claus Parade.  "It was a winter wonderland," exclaims Wheeler, "the light snow was just perfect for the Christmas parade."  There were some questions leading up to the outdoor spectacle as to whether Wheeler would even have his car ready in time.  "We definitely cut it down to the wire," admits Wheeler, "it was just chassis and wheels at the beginning of the week.  We painted the car Thursday and got the car number on it Friday afternoon." 


WHEELER SHOWING HIS CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IN WHITECOURT

Wheeler plans on having a busy summer of racing in 2013.  "Along with the NPP Series, I'm still going to be racing my motorcycle."  During the 2012 Alberta Oldtimers Motocross Association season, Wheeler had the points lead twice but finished a mere five points back of claiming his first Championship.  "So close.  It would have been great to grab a championship like my brother did."  Wayne Wheeler is the brother to Kevin Wheeler, the 2012 NPP Late Model Series Champion.  "We've always had a bit of a rivalry," laughs Wheeler, "actually he won best entry at last year's Whitecourt Christmas Parade."  Despite the friendly rivalry both Wayne and Kevin will be teammates in 2013. "The two yellow cars will be pitted side by side next year."  Wayne Wheeler will be aiming for Rookie of the Year honors next season. The 2013 season of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series starts in May. 

—————————————————————

ONE GIANT LEAP
EDSON, AB. (December 9) - Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor Crystal Kennedy is heading to the heart of NASCAR country this week. After touching down in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 23 year old Kennedy will immediately head to the McDonald Motorsport race shop located just forty minutes away in Mooresville.  With the support of Randy McDonald, the Edson, Alberta resident will be running laps in a pavement Late Model at a track where racing legends Buddy Baker, Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip once competed. 


KENNEDY HITS THE PAVEMENT THIS WEEK

"I really don't know what to expect," exclaims  Kennedy, "this really is uncharted territory for me right now."  Historic South Boston Speedway near Danville, Virginia has been booked for a day-long practice session.  "I'm pretty excited about this opportunity.  If all goes well [test session] the next step will be to try and qualify at a NASCAR K & N Series race sometime next year."  Kennedy has 85 race starts [on the dirt] in the NPP Late Model Series.  "I basically grew up at a dirt track," exclaims Kennedy,  "I watched my dad race for over ten years.  Now I race against him [in the NPP Series]."  Ironically, Dwight Kennedy will be accompanying his daughter on this trip.  "She'll do just fine," says the owner of Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd., "it's definitely going to be a eye-opener for her."  It's been more than a decade since Dwight Kennedy ran a few pavement races in Northern California and in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  "I'm passed my prime to run the pavement," laughs the two-time NPP Series Champion, "when Crystal's done her test session she'll probably have more laps in a pavement car than me."   South Boston Speedway is a 4/10 mile paved oval and is located 100 kilometers east of Martinsville Speedway.



KENNEDY RAN 300 LAPS ON THE RACE SIMULATOR MONDAY
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: MacDonald Motorsports)


KENNEDY RUNNING THE #49 DODGE TUESDAY MORNING
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: MacDonald Motorsports)

—————————————————————

CELEBRATE THE SEASON
EDMONTON, AB. (December 16) - Even though race engines have been silent since early September, the top competitors from the 2012 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race season are still making a little noise during the off season.  Proudly displayed on the rear window of the NPP Late Model Series Official Pace Car is a three foot wide decal featuring top rookie driver Mike Dunn, third-place finisher Dwight Kennedy, second place Darin Borysko and season champion Kevin Wheeler.  "It's a great way to honor the top three drivers and our rookie of the year,"  says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "racing is furthest from the minds of most people right now but this moving billboard [pace car] keeps the NPP Series and our drivers in the public eye."  Kevin Wheeler, the 2012 NPP Series Champion, was surprised to hear about his high profile picture placement.  "I haven't seen the back of the pace car since Saskatchewan but that's pretty cool to hear that there is a picture of my car on it." 


BACK WINDOW DECAL ON PACE CAR HONORS TOP DRIVERS OF 2012

The Whitecourt, Alberta driver made his NPP Series debut during the middle of the 2006 season and has quickly become one of the top drivers in the Series. "We've had a pretty good run the last few years in this Series," adds Wheeler, "hopefully it will continue."  Wheeler finished second in the Championship points chase in 2011 and third in 2010.  Schedule preparations for the 2013 season continue.  NPP Late Model Series teams will be meeting in January to discuss the past season and the upcoming race year. 

—————————————————————

RACIN' IN RIMBEY
RIMBEY, AB. (December 28) - Central Alberta Raceways has released its tentative schedule for the 2013 season.  A total of nine potential oval race dates have been made available to the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series.  "New staff and management is already in place at this facility," indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig,  "one of their first decisions was to change their regular oval dates from Saturdays to Sundays.  Personally, I think it's a very good move."  Central Alberta Raceways is only a sixty-five minute drive from the hub of racing in the province of Alberta. Castrol Raceway released its Oval schedule in November.  "Edmonton has basically owned the Saturday night racing scene since the mid-1990's," explains Craig,  "it's pretty hard to go head to head with this facility."  Craig says with the scheduling change [in Rimbey] there is the possibility of racing in Edmonton Saturday night and Central Alberta Raceways on Sunday afternoon. 


SINCE 2005 THE AVERAGE NPP SERIES CAR COUNT IN RIMBEY HAS BEEN 17.8

"Out of the nine oval race dates in Rimbey, six dates are scheduled the day after an Oval event in Edmonton.  This opens the door for a two-day race weekend."  Since the inaugural season of the NPP Late Model Series back in 2001, race schedules always featured a mix of one and two-day shows.  "The goal for our upcoming race season is to have the entire 2013 schedule made up of only two-day shows.  This will give drivers and teams a few extra weekends away from the track during the summer."  Despite never running back to back shows in Edmonton and Rimbey on the same weekend, the proximity of the two tracks makes the venture quite feasible. The proposal to run in Edmonton Saturday and Rimbey Sunday will be made to drivers and teams at the upcoming NPP Series off-season meeting in January.  "There are several other tracks we'd like to compete at next season.  We're hoping to see some available race dates from them in the next few weeks."  The tentative 2013 schedule of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is now expected to be released by the end of January.


RIMBEY, ALBERTA
2013 TENTATIVE FACILITY SCHEDULE
Sunday, May 5th - ATV MUD BOGS
Sunday, May 26th - OVAL**
Sunday, June 9th - OVAL**
Sunday, June 23rd - OVAL
Sunday, July 7th - OVAL
Sunday, July 13th - DRAGS (200ft Shootout^^)
Sunday, July 28th - OVAL**
Sunday, August 11th - OVAL**
Sunday, August 25th - OVAL**
Sunday, September 8th - OVAL**
Saturday, September 21st - MUD BOGS
Sunday, September 22nd - MUD BOGS
Sunday, September 29th - OVAL (raindate)

**Saturday night race in Edmonton
^^ shootout could be held on the new drag strip/potential late summer grand opening.


EDMONTON, ALBERTA
2013 TENTATIVE OVAL SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 4th
Saturday, May 11th
Saturday, May 25th
Saturday, June 1st
Saturday, June 8th
Friday, July 19th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Saturday, July 20th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Saturday, July 27th
Saturday, August 10th
Saturday, August 17th (tentative NPP Series race date)
Friday, August 23rd
Saturday, August 24th
Saturday, September 7th
Saturday, September 14th

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