NPP SERIES/OUTLAWS WRAP UP BIG 'E' WEEKEND IN ELMA
ELMA, WA
(September 1)
- For the second time in just over a week, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will be backing up the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series at a major motorsports event. Monday night is the conclusion of the BIG 'E' weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington. With only three races remaining in the 2008 season, results tonight will determine whether it will be a two or five car battle for the NPP season championship back in Edmonton on September 9th and 20th. Whitecourt, Alberta's Paul Grundberg, the winner of first ever NPP Feature in the United States, hopes to double up with another victory Monday night. Grundberg currently sits sixth in NPP Series points chase just 3 points back of Sidney, BC's Darrell Midgley (5th in NPP Series points) and 63 points back of Campbell River, BC's Jason Beaulieu (4th). Current point leader and two time NPP Series champion Dwight Kennedy has a 23 point lead over Brian McCaughan heading into race action Monday night. Stony Plain Alberta's Mike Tom sits in third, just 128 points back of McCaughan. It will be a busy night for Brian McCaughan. Along with his NPP Late Model, the Okotok's Alberta driver brought his '360' and '410' Sprint Cars on the Washington road trip. McCaughan just missed out running the ASCS '360' Sprint Car Feature Saturday night by finishing 5th in the 'B' Dash. McCaughan will be one of more than 40 '410' cars hoping to make the 24 car World of Outlaw Feature event Monday night. Ardrossan Alberta's Wade Fleming will also be running with the Outlaws at Grays Harbor Raceway Monday night. Flemings trip south of the border was made possible with major sponsorship from Northern Provincial Pipelines.

BIG 'E' WEEKEND (Night #3) - RACING STARTS AT 6:30pm (local time)

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WHEELER SURVIVES BIG 'E' FINALE IN ELMA
ELMA,WA (September 1) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wrapped up its first ever road trip to the United States with its first ever scheduled race event on a holiday Monday. With only three scheduled race events left in the 2008 season, grabbing maximum points was the goal for all drivers this night. This desperation for top points may have been a factor for several track incidents during the race night. Whitecourt Alberta's Rod Wilde and Entwistle Alberta's Arvid Fonstad duplicated Saturday nights performance by once again winning their respective Heat races. What happened behind them however grabbed more attention. Heat 1 saw a incident which could have resulted in serious injury. Whitecourt Alberta's Travis Day was slowing due to mechanical problems. Day was heading for the back straight exit to the pits when Campbell River, BC's Chris Beaulieu clipped his front right fender. Beaulieu would richochet head on into the back straight wall. The seriousness of the crash forced track officials to immediately throw the red flag. As the red flag flew and crews responded to the crash scene, Grays Harbor Raceway experienced a brown out with half of the track lights going dark. Beaulieu was uninjured in the crash. The checkered flag was flown under red conditions with 9 of the 12 scheduled laps completed. With the facility lights back on, Heat 2 saw plenty of four-wide action coming out of the turns which lead to plenty of body contact and several multi-car spins. Edson Alberta's Ken Clark finished the race missing his front nose clip and hood, Port McNeil BC's Brad Purdey, Whitecourt, Alberta's Paul Grundberg completed the heat race with visible body damage. Defending season champion Jason Beulieu, who also was involved in early heat race contact, would be forced to pit just before the halfway point with a malfunctioning water pump. For drivers who had mechanical problems or suffered damage during the heat races came a little bit of good news from race officials. A change of schedule would be taking place. The NPP Feature would follow the World of Outlaw Feature this night. This allowed both Beaulieu cars (Jason and Chris) and Kevin Clark the extra time needed to fix their cars. Even with the extra time, damage to Travis Day's car was too extensive and could not be repaired in time. There were still more surprises on this cool September 1st evening in Washington. As the trophy was being presented to World of Outlaw Feature winner Kraig Kinser, Grays Harbor Raceway had its second brown out of the evening. Half the race track was illuminated the other half sat in darkness. NPP teams would end up driving onto the racetrack with lights still out on the raceway. With the tracks lights flickering back to life, the green flag was dropped on the 25 lap Feature. Sherwood Park Alberta's Curtis Moore would jump to the early race lead and hold onto the number one spot for close to half the race. Heading into turn 3/4, pole sitter Rod Wilde would brush into the left rear side of Moore attempting a low side pass. Wilde would briefly climb the back of Moore’s car causing the left rear tire to go down. On the restart, Wheeler would take over the race lead from Wilde and hold on for his first Feature win of the 2008 season. Right at the flag stand Series point leader Dwight Kennedy would get by Wilde to steal second.Wilde would take third.


Wheeler wins NIGHT 2 in ELMA (Fletch photo)

The win for Wheeler now puts him within striking distance of the top 5 in the NPP Series Points Chase. Kennedy's second place finish puts some distance between himself and Brian McCaughan, who remains in second place in the points chase with just two races to go.  Both races will be run at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.

VIDEO ( Nathan Prince - Grays Harbor Raceway videographer)
Click: NIGHT #2 HEAT RACES
Click: NIGHT #2 FEATURE



NEXT NPP SERIES RACE EVENT

Saturday, September 6th
CASTROL RACEWAY - Edmonton
Racing @ 6:00PM

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NPP SERIES RETURNS TO HOME TRACK TO WRAP UP SEASON
EDMONTON, AB
(September 3) With an incredible weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma Washington behind them, race teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series return to their home track Saturday night.  “Only two race dates remain on the schedule,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “we’re back at Castrol Raceway for two Saturday night shows.  Both of which will be hard fought nights.”  Three drivers still have a mathematical chance at grabbing the 2008 Championship.  Two time NPP Series champion and current point leader Dwight Kennedy has a 95 point lead over second place Brian McCaughan.  “Race smart,” says Kennedy, “stay out of trouble and we should be there at the end.” 


Kennedy leads the NPP Series points chase with 2 races remaining

Kennedy drove his Lucas Oil #81 Dodge to back to back top five finishes (5th and 2nd) in Washington on the weekend.  “We’ve won twice in Edmonton already this year (Aug. 23rd/ June 29th) so we are in pretty good shape.”  Kennedy needs just 212 points to clinch the 2008 NPP Late Model Series Championship.  Brian McCaughan, in his avenuebuilt.com #42 Chevrolet, who clinched the Rookie of the Year honors in Elma, Washington last weekend, is looking forward to the final two races at Castrol Raceway. 


McCaughan has not finished a Feature lower than sixth in Edmonton this season.

“We have four 3rd place finishes in Edmonton this season,” says the Okotoks, Alberta driver, “that’s pretty good considering we’ve run there only five times this season.”  McCaughan however will be looking over his shoulder the remaining races at a hard charging Mike Tom. 


Tom finished 2nd in NPP Series points in 2005. (currently 3rd)

The Stony Plain Alberta driver sits third in the standings just 77 points back in his #55 Hinton Oilfield Services Chevrolet.  Rounding out the top 5 drivers in the NPP Series point’s chase.  Defending season champion Jason Beaulieu in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge is fourth and Kevin Clark sits fifth in his #5 Clark Construction Dodge. 


No repeat championship for BC's Beaulieu in 2008

Although mathematically eliminated from season champion status in 2008, both Beaulieu and Clark could still finish as high as second in the standings.  However, they would need both Tom and McCaughan to have major problems on the remaining race nights.     

NPP PIT BITS
- the last rookie to finish second in NPP Series points was Gerry Emond in 2005.
-Rookie Brian McCaughan has finished out of the top 10 only once this season in Feature events.  - there have been 9 different Feature winners in 2008 which ties the current record set in 2005.
- there have been 14 different Heat winners in 2008 (record is 22 set in 2007)
- eight drivers have surpassed the 1,000 point plateau this season which ties the record set in 2005.   
- since 2001, only four NPP drivers have ever surpassed the 1,300 point plateau.
2003: Trevor Emond – 1,363
2005: Trevor Emond – 1,515 (single season record)
2007: Jason Beaulieu – 1,309
2008: Dwight Kennedy – currently 1,339 with 2 races to go.

SATURDAY, September 6th
Scheduled start time is 6:00PM

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McCAUGHAN WINS AND CUTS KENNEDYS LEAD WITH ONE TO GO
EDMONTON, AB
(September 7th) – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series returned to its home track of Castrol Raceway Saturday night less than a week after venturing south of the border to Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington.  Five days after his worse finish of the season (16th in Elma), Okotoks Alberta’s Brian McCaughan rebounded to win his second NPP Feature of the season.  “You will not find a better group of guys to go racing against anywhere,” says the driver of the avenuebuilt.com #42 Chevrolet, “several teams are peaking at this point so it’s all about luck right now.  One crash can change it all.  We had to finish up front and tonight we pulled it off.  The same thing will apply for final race of the year.” 


McCaughan (#42) and Kennedy (#81) to battle for NPP Championship

McCaughan held off Sherwood Park Alberta’s Curtis Moore and Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom early in the Feature then had to contend with two-time NPP Champion and current point leader Dwight Kennedy for the final 13 laps.  The Edson, Alberta driver was forced to finish the race in a bad handling car after contact with Bruce Broughton on lap 3 of the Feature.  That contact bent the right front control arm.  “We had the winning car tonight,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, the contact with Bruce knocked off the set up.  We had a better car than Brian tonight too but it just wouldn’t turn in the corners.”  Kennedy’s second place finish keeps him number one in the chase for the NPP Series championship.  Kennedy has a 59 point lead over McCaughan with one race remaining in the 2008 season. 

Tom (#55) and Wheeler (#3) battle hard at Castrol Raceway

Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom finished third in the Feature the hard way Saturday night.  On lap 12, Tom who was running second and Whitecourt Alberta’s Kevin Wheeler (running third) got caught up with a lapped car that had just spun.  Wheelers front right tire was ripped from its mount and was done for the night.  Tom, who intentionally spun to avoid contact, had to go to the back of the pack and began his hard charge to the front.  In just eight laps Tom moved his #55 Hinton Oilfield Services Chevrolet back up to third just in time for the checkered flag.  “We finished third behind the two cars we needed to finish in front of tonight,” says Tom, “we didn’t gain anything tonight (standings).  We are locked solid in third right now but we still can creep into second if everything plays in our favor at the last race.”  Tom sits 107 points behind second place McCaughan in the NPP Points chase. With the focus on the 2008 NPP Late Model Series Championship, there are several finishing positions from fourth on down have yet to be decided.  Only 64 points separates 4th through 8th in the current standings.  With a top 3 finish now impossible, defending season champion Jason Beaulieu in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge will try to hold on to 4th place in the standings. 


Moore (#80) and Grundberg(#12) finished 4th and 5th in the Feature Saturday night

Just 9 points back of Beaulieu is last years NPP Rookie of the Year. Paul Grundberg finished fourth in points in 2007 in his Carlan Services #12 Pontiac.  Getting by the defending season champion would be a small victory for Grundberg which would go with his 2 Feature wins in 2008.  The final race of the season for teams of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series takes place Saturday September 20th at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.    

NPP PIT BITS
-  Only 5 Features have been won from the pole position in 2008.  Brian McCaughan’s two wins this season have come from the pole.
- Bruce Broughton has won 4 of the last 5 heat races he’s competed in.
- With 2 Feature wins this season, Paul Grundberg has yet to register a heat race victory (won 4 heat races in 2007)
- Wayne Gideon became the 15th different driver to register a heat race win Saturday night (NPP record is 22)
- at 1450 points and one race to go, Dwight Kennedy now sits second for most points earned in a single season.  Three-time NPP Champion Trevor Emond holds the current record: 1,515 points (2005 season)
-Trevor Emond won the 2003 NPP Season championship by 337 points (NPP record)
-Dwight Kennedy won the 2006 NPP Season championship by just 6 points (NPP record)
- 4 out of the 7 NPP Season championships awarded since 2001 have been decided by less than 40 points.

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NORTH VS SOUTH BATTLE TO DECIDE NPP CHAMPIONSHIP
EDMONTON, AB (September 17) -The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wraps up its 8th season of race action this Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. “All race teams will be bringing their ‘A’ game to the track that’s for sure,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “no position in the point standings is safe and that includes drivers who are running at the front.” The battle for the 2008 NPP Late Model Series Championship and the prize money that comes with it is now a classic matchup between Northern and Southern Alberta.  Edson Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy has a 59 point lead over Okotoks Alberta’s Brian McCaughan. “If we can keep the consistency going we should be there at the end,” says Kennedy who has a win, two seconds and a fifth in the last five Feature events in his #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “we’re going to race clean and not bump to pass like some of the guys behind me.” Kennedy has been in tight point battles before winning the 2001 NPP Series Championship by just 11 points and the 2006 NPP Series Championship by a mere 6 points. “Close point battles make for great racing,” adds Kennedy, “and we are ready for a battle this Saturday night.” 


KENNEDY WON THE 2001 AND 2006 NPP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Brian McCaughan hopes to become the first ever Southern Alberta driver to win an NPP Season Championship and the first ever rookie driver to do so.  “It’s all about the luck right now,” says McCaughan, “we just need one more race like the one we ran in Edmonton two weeks ago [win] and that’s all we can do.”  McCaughan became the first ever Rookie driver to lead the NPP Point standings when he took over top spot from Kennedy on the August long weekend at his home track of Rocky Mountain Raceway Park south of Calgary.  Kennedy would then wrestle the point lead back at his home track of Castrol Raceway in Edmonton three weeks later.  “Its going to be a hard fought race in Edmonton,” adds the driver of the avenuebuilt.com #42 Chevrolet, “but in this class, they always are.” 


McCAUGHAN IS EYING 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP TO GO WITH ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS

Sitting third in the NPP Series points chase is Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom.  “We’re pretty much locked down in third right now,” says the drivers of the #55 Hinton Oilfield Services Chevrolet, “we’ve overcome a lot of adversity this year and that only motivates us to finish the season well.  Wrapping up the year with a victory would be a pretty nice touch for the team.” 


MIKE TOM SITS THIRD IN NPP SERIES POINTS

Tom sat 16th in the NPP points chase the beginning of June after losing two motors early in the season but fought his way back into the top ten by the end of June and into the top three in the standings the end of August.  Tom finished second in NPP Series points in 2005.  Much of the focus may be on the top three drivers heading into the last race of the 2008 season but there are close battles for position elsewhere in the standings.  Defending NPP Series Champion Jason Beaulieu of Campbell River BC sits fourth in points in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge just 9 points ahead of Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg in his Carlan Services #12 Pontiac. 


FINISHING TOP 5 IN NPP POINTS CHASE NOW THE GOAL FOR
BEAULIEU (#46) AND GRUNDBERG (#12)

Both Beaulieu and Grundberg briefly held the NPP Series point lead early in the season.  The NPP Series points chase is extremely tight from 6th position down to 10th.  Just 7 points separates Whitecourt’s Kevin Wheeler and Sidney BC’s Darrell Midgley (7th and 8th in points). 15 points separates Sherwood Park Alberta’s Curtis Moore (9th) and Seba Beach Alberta’s Dan Stewart (10th).  With the $100,000 NPP Late Model Series point fund still to be decided, the final race of 2008 will be one of the most intense races of the season.


2008 CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT

Saturday, September 2Oth

Racing scheduled to start at 6:00PM

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McCAUGHAN WINS 2008 NPP CHAMPIONSHIP, KENNEDY DQ’D
EDMONTON, AB (September 21)
– Jason Beaulieu, the defending Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Champion, won the final race of the 2008 season Saturday night at Castrol Raceway in his #46 All Weather Windows Dodge.  However, it was Brian McCaughan who made NPP Series history this night.  The Okotok’s Alberta driver became the first rookie and southern Alberta competitor to win a NPP Series Championship. McCaughan entered race action in second place just 59 points behind two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy. “We had an unbelievable night,” says the driver of the Lucas Oil/avenuebuilt.com Chevrolet, “we did everything we needed to do. We got the big win two weeks ago which gave us the chance we needed tonight. We started off well (heat win) but then had problems in the Dash.”


BRIAN McCAUGHAN
2008 NPP LATE MODEL SERIES CHAMPION
2008 NPP ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

McCaughan’s placed 8th in the ‘A’ Dash which, at the time, meant a near impossible task of catching Kennedy in the points chase.  However, an uncharacteristic and shocking move from the veteran driver at the conclusion of the ‘A’ Dash would change everything this night.  Kennedy and Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom were in a heated battle for third during the entire 12 lap ‘A’ Dash.  At the end of lap 11, Kennedy and Tom would get together coming out of turn 4. 


Tom and Kennedy swap some paint in Turn 4.

Kennedy’s race car would careen into the front straight wall losing several positions.  Kennedy would manage to drive his damaged car into turn 1 and 2 only to get tapped from behind from a faster car.  Kennedy would spin right in front of the pit exit as the checkered flag flew for ‘A’ Dash winner, Campbell River BC’s Jason Beaulieu.  What transpired next would stun the Castrol Raceway crowd and fellow race car competitors.  With Dash cars coming into the pits, Kennedy looked to be heading directly to his pit stall.  Without warning, the rpm’s on his race car came up.  In a 45 foot launch, Kennedy steered his #81 Dodge directly into the side of Mike Tom’s race car.  Kennedy’s car suffered heavy front end damage. 


Moment before impact: Kennedy (#81) takes aim at Tom (#55)

The two-time NPP Series Champion was immediately disqualified from the Feature by Castrol Raceway officials.  Although the impact looked severe, most of the visible damage to Tom’s car (tire change) was repaired at the site of the crash.  Tom then drove his car back to his pit stall for further repair.  Hidden frame damage would be discovered later.  The Kennedy disqualification would now open the door for McCaughan, who would have to finish 10th or better in the Feature to clinch the 2008 NPP championship.  McCaughan would fall to ninth on lap number 2 but made the hard drive up to fourth.  By lap 21, McCaughan would get by Bruce Broughton, Paul Grundberg, Kevin Wheeler and Arvid Fonstad. 


Needed only to place 10th to clinch NPP Championship...finished Feature in 4th.

His fourth place was all that was needed to claim the 2008 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Championship and the $15,000 point fund check to go with it.  “We thought we’d have to fight for it (championship) a little differently tonight.  To win it this way, we are kind of freaked out.  It’s just awesome and it’s slowly sinking in.  That incident with Dwight though was a little unique,” adds McCaughan, “but one thing everyone has to remember, I don’t care who it is.  We’re all human.  We all make mistakes.  And he (Dwight) made a mistake.  That’s what humans do.”  Defending season champion Jason Beaulieu would win his fourth Feature of the year on the final night of the 2008 NPP Season. Despite what happened after the 'A' Dash, Mike Tom would finish second in his #55 Hinton Oilfied Services Chevrolet.  Kevin Clark, driving his Clark Constructions # 5 Dodge, finished third.  Plans for the 2009 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series are about to get underway.  A tentative scheduled is hoped to be released before the middle of December.   

NPP PIT BITS
- the NPP point lead changed hands 7 times in 2008 (NPP Series record)
- 4 different drivers lead the points chase in 2008 (NPP Series record)
- 5 of the 8 NPP Season championships awarded since 2001 have been decided by less than 40 points.
- McCaughan’s 24 point margin over Kennedy for the 2008 Championship is the third lowest in NPP Series history (6 points in 2006 // 11 points in 2001)
- this is the third time Kennedy has finished second in point since 2001.
- nine drivers surpassed the 1,000 point plateau in 2008 which beat the old record of eight set back in 2005.
- for the second time in NPP Series history the driver with the most Feature wins did not win the Season Championship. (2008: Jason Beaulieu > 4 // 02: Trevor Emond > 4)

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BEAULIEU WINS FINAL RACE OF 2008 NPP SEASON
EDMONTON, AB (September 21st) – Jason Beaulieu could not repeat as champion of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. However he did manage to do what no other NPP Series driver could do in 2008. The Campbell River BC driver registered his fourth NPP Feature wins in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge. Beaulieu also swept the final night of the NPP Season by winning his Heat and the ‘A’ Dash which gave him pole position for the Feature. At the drop of the green though, Altario Alberta’s Kevin Clark would immediately power past Beaulieu to take over the race lead. Clark would hold that lead until lap 5 when Beaulieu made a low side pass in turns 1 and 2. Only three caution flags would fly during the Feature. Beaulieu would be challenged briefly by Clark on the restarts. 


Defending season Champion Beaulieu briefly held the NPP Series point lead in June. 

Clark would then be passed by Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom on lap 13. A final caution would fly on lap 23 which would mean a green, white checker run to the finish. Beaulieu would hang on for the victory, Mike Tom in his Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet was second and Kevin Clark in his Clark Construction # 5 Dodge finished third. “It’s good to end the year on a winning note,” says Beaulieu, “it certainly was a different year for us. We missed a few NPP races this year due to work and other racing commitments (Modified/Pavement Late Model). I would also like to congratulate to Brian (McCaughan) on winning this years championship as well. At the first race of the year back in May I had a feeling that he was going to be tough to beat.” Okotok’s Alberta’s Brian McCaughan would finish fourth in the Lucas Oil/avenuebuilt.com #42 Chevrolet giving him the points needed to clinch the 2008 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Championship.

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>FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th (12:30PM)
Two official statements regarding last weekends incident at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta have been released.

From the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series :
As many of you are aware, a serious incident took place Saturday night September 20th, 2008 at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway involving two Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series racers. What began as an on track racing incident should have ended there. It did not.  The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series takes these actions very seriously and is acting accordingly. The NPP Late Model Series supports Castrol Raceway’s decision of a three race suspension and 1 year probation to driver Dwight Kennedy.  In addition to the Castrol Raceway suspension and probation, Mr. Kennedy will also be on probation at all tracks the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competes at in 2009.  The NPP Late Model Series is also levying a monetary fine of $2,000.  This fine will be donated to Kid’s Kottage in Edmonton. 

Gord Craig
NPP Series Media relations director

From driver Dwight Kennedy:
To Castrol Raceway officials, sponsors, competitors and my fellow drivers in the NPP Series, I would like to apologize for what took place Saturday night at the track. I simply ‘lost’ it after the incident in the dash. In over 20 years of racing I have always kept my cool and have tried to set an example for my fellow racers, my daughter and my son. Taking out my frustrations in the oval pits, the way I did, was wrong. 

Sincerely,
Dwight Kennedy

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