KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
EDMONTON, AB. (September 4) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series crowns its 2014 champion this month.  "Just two race dates left on our schedule," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "we wrap up our season with a two-day show in Rimbey, Alberta."  Race teams will be coming off an extended break when they hit the oval track at Central Alberta Raceways on September 20th and 21st.  "We've had a bit of a gap between race dates," admits Craig, "I know that teams are pretty eager to see the green flag again."  The last NPP Series race event was more than five weeks ago. 


DARRELL MIDGLEY RACE CAR AND BIG FOOT MONSTER TRUCK DISPLAY

"Even though we've had some time off between races, it's still been pretty hectic [for us] as a racing Series."  This year has been especially busy for NPP Series pace car and race car appearances.


VILLAGE OF DONALDA, ALBERTA

"We've been to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Saskatchewan and all over Alberta with the official pace car," adds Craig, "most of our drivers have had their race cars on display several times this season as well."  Craig says staying in the public eye is important when you are not at the track. 


BRUCE BROUGHTON RACE CAR AT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

"Car displays are like an interactive billboard.  It's the perfect way to connect with fans and maybe even attract some new fans."  Just 40 points separates the top 5 drivers in the NPP Series Championship point standings.  To celebrate its 10th season of operation, Central Alberta Raceway's hosts the NPP Late Model Series Championship weekend for the very first time.    

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TO CROWN A CHAMPION
RIMBEY, AB (September 15) - Central Alberta Raceways, celebrating its 10th season of operation, hosts the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series championship weekend for the very first time.  Western Canada's toughest, most competitive racing Series 'on the dirt', touches down in Rimbey, Alberta on Saturday and Sunday, September 20th and 21st.  "Just two race dates left on our schedule," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "right now it's anyone's guess who takes this year's championship."  Just 40 points separates the top 5 drivers in the NPP Series Championship point standings. "This is how a race season should be.  Close competition with drama both on and off the race track.  We've had three different point leaders this season. There will be a lot of nail biting when we get to Rimbey this weekend."  Mark Miller leads the extremely tight 2014 NPP Series Championship points chase. 


TEAM MILLER TESTED IN RIMBEY, ALBERTA EARLIER THIS YEAR

The Calgary, Alberta driver has a 10 point lead over defending and two-time NPP Series Champion Kevin Wheeler from Whitecourt, Alberta.  "When I raced pavement I was never this far up in the standings," admits Miller, "it would be wicked if we can win this.  I know it's going to be a tough battle that's for sure."  Team Miller took advantage of an open test 'n' tune at Central Alberta Raceways back in July.  "Unfortunately we didn't gain much information from having our car there," says Miller, "from the little track time we had [in Rimbey], I know that figuring out car set up is going to be huge. Anything can happen in a two-day show."  Saturday's event will be a night-time race under the lights.  Championship Sunday will be an afternoon race which could play into Kevin Wheeler's favor.  "I'm hoping the track will dry out," exclaims Wheeler, "if it does, look out!"  Wheeler has the opportunity to become just the second driver in NPP Series history to win three consecutive championships.  "I'm not cutting anyone any slack at all this weekend especially the point leader [Mark Miller]."  Wheelers best ever Feature finish at Central Alberta Raceways was third back in 2012.  "I have to drive smart this weekend." 


#3 WHEELER LEADS #81 KENNEDY BY JUST 22 POINTS IN THE STANDINGS
------------------------------------------------- (photo: STP Racing Memories)

Two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy sits third in the standings just 22 points back of Wheeler.  "I haven't had much time to think about racing since it's so busy here at work [Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd.].  Definitely looking forward to getting back to the track this weekend so I can put a couple drivers behind me in the standings."  The Edson, Alberta driver has not been this close to a NPP Series championship since the 2008 season where he finished second.  Kennedy won the first ever NPP Series feature at Central Alberta Raceway back in 2005.  "It's tough to win a championship in this Series but racing is not supposed to be easy."  Kennedy and Wheeler took turns earlier this season leading the NPP Series Championship points standings.  Wayne Wheeler (Whitecourt, Alberta), last season's NPP Series Rookie of the Year, sits fourth in points just 3 points back of Kennedy.  Bruce Broughton (Stony Plain, Alberta),  the 2010 NPP Series Champion, is fifth in points, only 5 points back of Wayne Wheeler.  NPP Series announcer Craig points out that the top five drivers are glancing over their shoulders heading into the last weekend of racing.  "You can't ignore drivers that are sitting just outside of the top 5.  Any mistakes in Rimbey this weekend could cost you the season championship."  Dean Deatherage (Whitecourt, Alberta), Jay Carr (Devon, Alberta), Crystal Kennedy (Edson, Alberta), Darrell Midgley (Sidney, British Columbia) and Shawn Kennedy (Edson, Alberta), still have a mathematical chance at climbing to the top in the standings.  Before the 2014 season began, the NPP Late Model Series adjusted its point structure.  "Our goal [with the point structure change] was to create a tighter points chase.  We've definitely accomplished that."
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NPP LATE MODEL SERIES
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

> Saturday, September 20th - racing at 6:00pm
> Sunday, September 21st - racing at 2:00pm
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CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS
- Rimbey, Alberta

Classes competing:
NPP Late Model Series / Sportsman Sprint Cars / Hobby & Mini Stocks

Spectator Admission (set by track):
$10.00 General
$  5.00 Youth (age 9 - 12)
FREE (age 8 and under)

 

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RACEDAY: RIMBEY, ALBERTA
RIMBEY, AB (September 20) - For only the sixth time in its fourteen year history, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wraps up its season with a two-day show.  Central Alberta Raceways will be the battleground that decides the 2014 season champion of Western Canada's toughest racing Series 'on the dirt'.  The Rimbey, Alberta track is celebrating its 10th season of oval racing.  "The NPP Late Model Series was here for the very first race," exclaims announcer Gord Craig, "we christened this race track, so it's only fitting that we scheduled our championship weekend here."  The NPP Late Model Series originally scheduled its 2014 season opener in Rimbey.  "We really were hoping to start our season here as well but unfortunately we got rained out [on May 31st].  The season opener moved to Edmonton instead."  Central Alberta Raceways is just the fourth track to host the season championship of the NPP Late Model Series.  Castrol Raceway (Edmonton, Alberta), Bridge County Raceway (Lethbridge, Alberta) and Flatlanders Speedway (Kindersley, Saskatchewan) were prior season championship host tracks.  "This is the fourth consecutive year that the season championship will be decided using a two-day race weekend." 


POINT LEADER MILLER (#69) AND 2010 NPP SERIES CHAMPION BROUGHTON

The top-three drivers in the NPP Series Championship chase are separated by just 32 points.  Defending and two-time season champion Kevin Wheeler sits just 10 points back of leader Mark Miller from Calgary, Alberta.  "I'm not cutting anyone any slack at all this weekend," admits the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, "especially the point leader."  Wheeler swept both Feature events of Championship weekend last year at Flatlanders Speedway in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.  Wheelers best ever Feature finish at Central Alberta Raceways was third back in 2012.  Wheeler has an average Feature finish in Rimbey of 8.5. With a strong wrap-up to the season Wheeler could become just the second driver in NPP Series history to win three consecutive track championships. Point leader Miller has not run a competitive lap at Central Alberta Raceways. "We had the car out for a test 'n' tune back in July but didn't get much track time.  Figuring out car set up will be huge for us this weekend." 


TWO-TIME NPP SERIES CHAMPIONS: #3 WHEELER & #81 KENNEDY

Two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy won the very first NPP Series Feature in Rimbey.  The Edson, Alberta driver sits third in the NPP Championship points chase and has the best average Feature finish of all drivers at Central Alberta Raceways this weekend at 4.3.  "Thanks to the weather [rainouts] it's been a few years since we've raced in Rimbey," says Kennedy, "I finished  in the top 10 [7th] the last time we were here.  Will have to do better than that to catch Kevin and Mark."  Bruce Broughton, the 2010 NPP Series Champion, was the last competitor to race to victory lane.  The Stony Plain, Alberta driver swept the June 23rd, 2012 race night with a Heat, Dash and Feature win.
     
NPP SERIES - THE INSIDE TRACK:
- Saturday nights NPP Series Feature in Rimbey will be the 150th Feature competed since the first season in 2001.
- First run in 1994, Sunday's Feature is also the 21st annual Oilmen's Classic race.  
- the 2013 NPP Series race dates in Rimbey were rained out including the rain-out date.
- Since 2005, the NPP Series has lost 8 race dates due to inclement weather (rain & snow) at Central Alberta Raceways.

- Kevin Wheeler (Whitecourt, AB) won the first and last NPP Series race of the 2013 season. Wheeler won the 2014 season opener.
- Dwight Kennedy (Edson, AB) has finished second or third in the points chase a total of six-times since 2001. Finished 5th in 2013.
- Jay Carr (Devon, AB) can clinch the 2014 NPP Series Rookie of the Year honors by starting Saturday nights Feature. Carr currently sits 7th in points.
- Bruce Broughton (Stony Plain, AB), Dean Deatherage (Whitecourt, AB) and Wayne Wheeler (Whitecourt, AB) are the only NPP Series drivers to register top 10 finishes in every Feature this season.
- Both Kevin Wheeler and 2009 NPP Series Champion Darrell Midgley (Sidney, BC) have recorded 49 Top 10 finishes in NPP Series Feature events.
- Darrell Midgley has never had a Top-10 finish in Rimbey, Alberta.

- Shawn Kennedy (Edson, Alberta), Bruce Broughton (Stony Plain, Alberta) and Dwight Kennedy (Edson, Alberta) were heat race winners at the first ever NPP Series event in Rimbey back in 2005.
- Bruce Broughton leads all NPP Series drivers with 4 Heat race wins. Shawn Kennedy sits second with 3 Heat race wins in Rimbey. Broughton has two pole wins in Rimbey.

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MILLER TIME AS MIDGLEY SWEEPS
RIMBEY, AB (September 21) - Both Darrell Midgley and Mark Miller have added to their personal list of motorsports accomplishments after visiting Central Alberta Raceways on the weekend. Midgley had never won a Feature at the Rimbey, Alberta race track. Miller has never won a season championship. Both feats were accomplished in dramatic style as the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wrapped up the 2014 season. Darrell Midgley recorded the fastest ever lap-time in NPP Series history on a 3/8 mile oval track (16.398 seconds) en-route to his first Feature event win of the season Saturday night. Midgley battled hard with pole sitter Shawn Kennedy the entire Feature and took over the race lead for good nearing the midway point.


KENNEDY AND MIDGLEY BATTLE FOR THE LEAD SATURDAY NIGHT
........................................................ .................................. (photo: STP Racing Memories)

This was Midgleys first trip to victory lane since July 11th, 2009. Mark Miller finished third in the fast paced Saturday night Feature to expand his lead in the NPP Series championship standings from 10 to 31 points over two-time and defending NPP Series champion Kevin Wheeler.


TRYING TRACK CONDITIONS IN RIMBEY SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Championship Sunday in Rimbey, Alberta could only be described as a race of survival for NPP Series teams. The 'A' Dash saw point leader Mark Miller back his car hard into the turn 3/4 wall. It didn't take long for the hard hit to show its effects. A few laps after going back to green, the rear suspension of Miller's car would collapse. What happened next was one of the most bizarre moments of the season. The top three cars in the points chase, Miller, Kevin Wheeler and Dwight Kennedy would be involved in a hard crash. Miller would be towed off the track with heavy damage. Wheeler and Kennedy also sustained damage but continued. Darrell Midgley won the 'A' Dash to claim the pole position for the Sunday afternoon race.


TOP 3 DRIVERS IN POINTS COME TOGETHER SUNDAY AFTERNOON

With five classes racing at Central Alberta Raceways Sunday afternoon, track officials delayed the start of the Features in order to fix the deteriorating track conditions. The delay gave Mark Millers crew an additional 30 minutes to work on their severely damaged race car. Three cars would come together on the opening lap of the Feature. Pole sitter Darrell Midgley, Ken Clark and Kevin Wheeler would touch. Wheeler would slam the front straight wall. The damage was too severe to continue and the two-time and defending NPP Series Champion was done for the night. The Red Flag was displayed stopping the Feature in order to remove Wheelers mangled race car. Darrell Midgley would win the Sunday afternoon Feature in commanding style finishing the race with a 7.2 second lead over second place Dwight Kennedy. Crystal Kennedy finished third. Mark Miller finished the Feature in 7th to claim his first ever NPP Late Model Series Championship.

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FACING THE UPS AND DOWNS
CALGARY, AB (September 30) - It's been more than a week since Mark Miller won his first season championship in dramatic style at Central Alberta Raceway's.  In a championship race that can only be described as a monster roller coaster ride, the Calgary, Alberta driver is still amazed how he wrapped up 2014 in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series. "It was a wild, wild run at the end," exclaims Miller, "this was a highlight reel for the team more than the driver." Miller entered the final race weekend of the 2014 season with a 10 point cushion over two-time and defending season champion Kevin Wheeler and 32 points more than two-time champion Dwight Kennedy.  "I'll admit that there was some nerves but we knew what needed to be done." Any jitters about NPP Series Championship Weekend all but vanished after Miller drove his A-1 Autobody Chevrolet to a third place finish in the Saturday night Feature. 


2X CHAMPION KENNEDY AND MILLER BATTLE FOR 3RD IN RIMBEY
-----------------------------------.......................-------------- (photo: STP Racing Memories)

The podium finish bolstered Miller's cushion to 31 points heading into the final NPP Series race of 2014. "This is a very tough Series," adds Miller, "we learned that in our first season [in 2013].  It's a great bunch of guys to go racing against."  All drivers were forced to cope with dry slick track conditions on the final race day of the season in Rimbey, Alberta.  "The track conditions weren't the best, " says Miller, "but you just have to deal with it."  Miller finished second in Sunday's qualifying heat which meant an automatic trip to the double point's 'A' Dash race.  Joining Miller in the race, which sets the lineup for the Feature, were the two drivers directly behind him in the standings.  "Drawing the pole position for the 'A' Dash sure helped but I kind of threw it away."


MILLER: PRIME STARTING POSITION FOR THE 'A' DASH

On the opening lap of the 'A' Dash, Miller backed his car into the wall.  This kicked off a bizarre chain of events for Team Miller.  "I didn't think it was that hard of a hit.  Head to the back of the pack and start over." Miller re-gained several of his lost spots after the restart and got ahead of Wheeler and Kennedy once again.  "It was a bit of a blur after that.  The rear end of the car dropped down and a half a lap later I'm involved in a crash with both Kevin and Dwight."  The top three cars in the NPP Series Championship points chase sat motionless on the track.  Millers car was towed from the track to the pits. 


ON THE HOOK AT THE LAST RACE EVENT OF THE SEASON

"At first you see everyone's emotions seeing the car getting brought back. This is never a good experience.  Then the questions start flying.  What the heck can we do to get back out there."  Millers crew was now battling against the clock.  "If we didn't get back out on the track [for the Feature] the championship was gone. Absolutely.  I had confidence in my crew.  I knew they would find a way to patch the car back together."  With the NPP Series Official Pace car on the track, Miller was the last driver to leave the pits.  "I wish we could have been more competitive at the last race." 


MARK MILLER: 2014 NPP LATE MODEL SERIES CHAMPION

Miller laboured his patched up race car around the track and finished 7th in the crash filled finale in Rimbey, Alberta securing enough points to clinch the 2014 NPP Series Championship.  "It's not just the driver that's going to win a championship.  The last race proved that you need a good crew behind you." Miller would have finished ninth if he had missed the final NPP Series Feature. At 27 years of age, Miller is the youngest champion in NPP Late Model Series history.  Edson, Alberta's Dennis MacEachern has held the honor since winning his first NPP Series championship back in 2002, also at the age of 27. Miller edged out MacEachern in the age department by just 5 months and 13 days.

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