CLARK WINS BCR BATTLE
LETHBRIDGE, AB. (September 3) - Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitors displayed a wide range of emotions during and after Saturday night's event at Bridge County Raceway. It was jubilation for Altario, Alberta's Kevin Clark winning his first NPP Feature in Lethbridge. Clark celebrated in victory lane with second place Darin Borysko and third place Calvin Robinson.


CLARK, BORYSKO AND ROBINSON CELEBRATE IN VICTORY LANE

"I had to hang onto the car the entire night," says Clark who has run a limited season in 2011, "turns one and two were ok but I could hardly get around turn three and four." Clark inherited the lead from Kevin Wheeler who suffered engine failure on lap 13. "I had nothing for Wheeler tonight," admits Clark, "I'm just amazed at how well he ran here tonight. Its really too bad about the motor. This was his race." A dejected Wheeler tried to remain positive about the cards dealt to him. "The car was running so good tonight. I felt a bit of vibration in the 'A' Dash but didn't think it could be the motor. She won't even turn over now." Wheeler started from the number four position and quickly moved to the front to challenge pole sitter Kelvin Bell. Wheeler would take over the lead on a back straight pass on lap 7. Bell would spin in turn four trying to grab back the lead from Wheeler. Wheeler would retire from the race several laps later with his blown motor. "This is one that got away," sighs Wheeler, "it was tough to watch the rest of the race from the infield thats four sure." Saturday nights Feature in Lethbridge saw six yellow flags, one red flag and one black flag.


NOT A GOOD NIGHT FOR TEAM KENNEDY

The red flag was thrown on lap 8 for two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy. The driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge slammed the front straight wall and briefly climbed the catch fence before returning to the racing surface and coming to a stop in turn 1. Kennedy would be uninjured. This was Kennedy's second incident of the Feature. The Edson, Alberta driver tore the front nose cone off his car after getting into the back of Calvin Robinson who suddenly slowed on the opening lap. Irronically lap one was not a good lap for Kennedy's daughter Crystal. While under caution for the incident involving her father, the driver of the Edson Top Choice Autobody #88 Dodge was squeezed into the front straight wall by Whitecourt, Alberta's Rod Wilde. Wilde was issued a black flag for the incident. Kennedy would watch the remainder of the race in the infield from her damaged car. Current point leader Mike Tom and Kelvin Bell would tangle with five laps to go. No yellow flag was thrown for this incident. Bell would finish the night in fourth while Tom crossed the finish line in fifth.

NPP RACE NOTES
- Mike Tom's lead in the standings increased by just a single point to 71 over second place Kevin Wheeler. Tom's magic number to clinch the 2011 NPP Championship now sits at 145.
- Darin Borysko's second place finish Saturday night moved him into third in the NPP Series Championship point standings. Borysko previous season best was 10th in the 2007.
- despite being knocked out of the race on the first lap, Crystal Kennedy hung on to fifth place in the NPP Series point standings.
- Dodge swept the podium in Lethbridge. The last time a Dodge won a NPP Feature was in September of 2009.
- rookie of the year contender Kary Rogers had fuel pump problems the entire night.

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TOM TOPS IN 2011/BEAULIEU BEST AT OILMEN'S
LETHBRIDGE, AB (September 5)
- Mike Tom and Chris Beaulieu made Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series history Sunday night at Bridge County Raceway.  Tom grabbed the 2011 NPP Late Model Season Championship while Beaulieu won the 18th annual Oilmen's Classic.  It was the first time that both the Season Championship and Oilmen's race were competed in Southern Alberta.  Tom, the defending Oilmen's champion, finished fifth in the Feature to clinch his first ever NPP Series Championship.  "It's pretty tough to believe" says the driver of the #55 Enerbuilt Technologies Chevrolet, "we have been chasing this for so long and have been so close a couple of times."


2011 NPP LATE MODEL SERIES CHAMPIONS

The Stony Plain, Alberta driver finished second in the NPP Championship points chase in 2005 and 2010.  "This year we worked hard and had good set ups for most of the season and finished well as a result (3 wins).  After seven years, we earned it."  Tom becomes the 8th different NPP Series Champion since the inaugural 2001 season. 


BEAULIEU LED 20 OF 25 LAPS SUNDAY NIGHT

After Saturday night's performance (9th in Feature /4 spins) Chris Beaulieu rebounded to win Sunday nights Oilmen's Classic Feature event.  "It's been a while since I've been behind the wheel of one of these cars (September 2009)," says the Campbell River, British Columbia driver, who has been chasing an open wheel Modified Championship in Washington State,  "I did a lot of work on the car after Saturday night's race and it paid off." Beaulieu took over the race lead on lap 5 from pole sitter Dwight Kennedy and held off a hard charging Kevin Wheeler the last 6 laps for the race victory. Chris Beaulieu and his dad Jason have combined for 6 NPP Feature event wins out of the 11 Feature events at Bridge County Raceway since 2006. 


WHEELER BLEW HIS MOTOR ON SATURDAY NIGHT

Kevin Wheeler and his crew spent much of Sunday installing a brand new engine in his KW Mechanical #3 Dodge. Wheeler placed second in the Sunday night Oilmen's Feature and with it secured second spot in the 2011 NPP Series Championship points chase. "You have to take the bad with the good in racing," laughs the Whitecourt, Alberta competitor, "it was pretty bad last night.  Our season was over."  Wheeler blew his motor while leading the Saturday night Feature. Two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy offered up a spare power plant to Wheeler.  One obstacle remained. This engine was sitting in his Edson, Alberta race shop some seven hours away.  "The motor arrived early Sunday morning," exclaims Wheeler, "we went to work putting it in."  Wheeler started the Oilmen's Feature in the 7th position and moved up to second by lap 11 but ran out of laps trying to catch Chris Beaulieu.  "We'll take second tonight and second in points.  It's definitely something to build on for next season."


A FEATURE WIN AND A THIRD FOR CLARK AT BCR WEEKEND

Kevin Clark meanwhile had his best race weekend ever in an NPP Late Model since winning rookie of the year honors in 2006. After winning Saturday nights Feature, the Altario, Alberta driver capped off the 2011 season with a third place finish.  "I wasn't points racing this year," exclaims the Altario, Alberta driver,  "I'm busy at work (Clark Construction) and it was a last minute decision to come and race in Lethbridge."  Clark came back from an early race mistake which dropped him to eighth.  "We bobbled early in the race and fought back from that.  Passed a couple of cars late in the race to gain two spots.  It was a pretty good night."  Clarks strong weekend propelled him to a 10th place finish in the NPP Series Championship point standings.


TOP 3 IN CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE: TOM, WHEELER, BORYSKO

Darin Borysko wrapped up the 2011 season with a fourth place finish in Sunday night's Feature.  Combined with his second place finish Saturday night the Edson Alberta driver finished third in the 2011 NPP Series Championship points chase.  Borysko's previous best finish in the standings was 10th in 2007.   

NPP RACE NOTES
- Beaulieu is just the second Oilmen's champion from British Columbia.  Valemont BC's Larry Simpson won the 2000 Oilmen's Classic event.
- Kevin Clark finished on the podium both nights (Win / 3rd).  For the 5th consecutive season Clark has finished in the top 10 in points (2011 - 10th //2010 - 4th // 09 - 5th // 08 - 5th // 07 - 3rd)  
- Calvin Robinson won both his heat races on Saturday and Sunday night.  The last driver to win both heat races on a two night show was Darrell Midgley in 2009 (Edmonton - August 28/29).
- Saturday's Feature race in Lethbridge had 1 red flag, 1 black flag and 6 yellows. 
- Sunday's Feature race in Lethbridge had 3 yellows.
- A NPP Series Championship has been decided by less than 55 points in three of the last five seasons.  Mike Toms 51 point lead over Kevin Wheeler was the 6th lowest in Series History. Last season Tom was involved in the second closest point finish in Series History.  
- 120 points separated the top 5 drivers in the 2011 NPP Championship Standings. (new record)  The previous top 5 point gap record was 179 back in 2004.
- 367 points separated the top 10 drivers in the 2011 NPP Championship Standings.  This was the second closest Top 10 point finish in Series history.  The current Top ten point gap record is 321 set in 2
004.

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CHAMPION SPECTATORS
EDMONTON, AB (September 19)
- Mike Tom, the newly crowned Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Champion and Bruce Broughton, the 2010 NPP Series Champion, were warming the Castrol Raceway bleachers on the weekend.  The Edmonton race track wrapped up its 20th anniversary season Saturday night and crowned its 2011 season champions.  Taking a 'mini' sabbatical from racing, Broughton ran a limited NPP Series schedule in 2011 and was behind the wheel of his new boat more often than his NPP Late Model.  "We've been racing hard for over a decade," says the Spruce Grove, Alberta driver, "got the NPP Championship last year and this season I decided it was time to step back a little."  Broughton is the only active NPP Series driver with both an Edmonton track championship (2000, 2001) and a NPP Series Championship (2010). Broughton was the NPP Series Rookie of the Year in 2005.


BROUGHTON: 8 FEATURE WINS / 39 HEAT WINS SINCE 2005

"My brother (Brent) and I sure have run a lot of laps here."  Broughton admits he missed being on the race track this season but did enjoy the benefits of being a casual spectator.  "I got home at a decent time and didn't have to worry about loading up any cars."  Despite his limited race season in 2011, Broughton still managed to register one heat race victory.  "I was in the grandstands when Mike (Tom) won his fifth NPP Feature in a row.  Mike definitely deserved the championship this year."  Mike Tom finished second to Broughton in Championship points last season. 


TOM'S CHAMPIONSHIP CAR ON DISPLAY IN EDMONTON

The NPP Late Model Series wrapped up its 10th anniversary season on the September long weekend in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Tom clinched the 2011 NPP Series Championship on the final race night of the season.  "Had a nice write up in the local paper (Stony Plain Examiner) after we won the NPP championship," exclaims Tom who had his Enerbuilt Technologies #55 Chevrolet on display in Edmonton Saturday night, "it's finally settling in that we now have the title.  It feels good and it feels right." 


TOM: 9 FEATURE WINS / 39 HEAT WINS SINCE 2004

Before coming to the NPP Late Model Series in 2004, Tom won 8 Street Stock Season Championships at Yellowhead Raceway in Hinton, Alberta.  "This is an extremely tough series to win in.  After eight years we finally did it!"       

The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series offers congratulations to the 2011 Castrol Raceway Season Champions.
'360' SPRINT CAR: #12 Casey Adams; Leduc, Alberta
SPORTSMAN SPRINT CAR: #55 Gord Kynoch; Spruce Grove, AB
CASTROL LATE MODEL: #20 Brad Cameron; Vimy, Alberta
HORNET: #11 Kent Evans; Leduc, Alberta

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TWO WHEELING IT
WHITECOURT, AB (September 27) - After a strong second place finish in the 2011 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series Championship points chase, Kevin Wheeler has admitted to dabbling in some motorcycle racing last month.  The driver of the KW Mechanical #3 Dodge threw his leg over a Yamaha YZ 250 motorcycle and participated in an Alberta Old Timers Motocross Association event.  "I rode a dirt bike as a kid but I've never competed in a motocross race before."  On the August long weekend, riders gathered east of Sherwood Park, Alberta at the Antler Lake Motocross track.  "My brother (Wayne) joined the group last year and said that this is something I had to try."  Wheeler got in a little practice session Saturday in preparation for Sundays big race. 


A SUCCESSFUL MOTOCROSS DEBUT FOR WHEELER

"I raced in the novice division," says the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, "I was hoping they were going to put me in the amateur class but that wasn't the case."  For a driver more accustomed to fenders, a roll cage and a steering wheel, Wheeler grabbed a hold of the handlebar and steered his two-wheeled machine to a third-place finish in his motocross debut.  "I didn't even know where I finished," exclaims Wheeler, "I couldn't believe it when I was told.  There's just bikes everywhere on the track.  It's hard to tell who's leading."  Twenty-nine riders took the green flag.  Wheeler admits he was a little unprepared for the conditioning needed to race a motorcycle.  "I thought racing a 30 lap Feature in a stock car was tiring.  I was absolutely exhausted after the first race."  Each class (Amateur Novice, Experts and Master) races for a minimum of 15 minutes plus 1 lap.  Wheeler did have second thoughts about participating in the second moto even after his podium finish in race one.  "I wasn't going to race the second moto.  I was done.  But my brother started egging me on so I strapped on the helmet.  I was dead tired after only about four laps but got my second wind and managed to finish seventh."  Wheeler had enough energy (plus family 'encouragement') to compete in the third and final race of the day and finished fourth.  The next event for the AOTMA is Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd at Antler Lake.  Right now Wheeler is on the fence as to whether he will be competing at this event.


PODIUM FINISH IN THE 2011 NPP SERIES POINTS CHASE

OTHER WHEELER MOTORSPORT NOTIBLES
- has finished on the NPP Season Championship podium the last two seasons (2nd in 2011 / 3rd in 2010)
- had an average finish of 3.4 in 2011 NPP Feature events. (8.5 in 2008)
- second NPP Series driver to win a Feature in the United States (September 2008)
- made his NPP Series debut in 2006. 
- 2002 Alberta Outlaw Modified Champion
- 2nd in 2001 Alberta Outlaw Modified season points at Castrol Raceway

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