ALL WEATHER WINDOWS ON BOARD FOR 2008
EDMONTON, AB (January 22nd)
- The Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. Late Model Series is pleased to announce that All Weather Windows will once again be a major supporter in 2008. "The NPP Series is proud to be affiliated with Canada's largest private window company," says Series announcer Gord Craig, "the company is also celebrating its 30 year anniversary in 2008 so we're happy to be a part of this as well. We have worked really hard to get the Series to where it is today. Thanks to major supporters like All Weather Windows we can keep moving forward. Having All Weather Windows on board as a corporate sponsor speaks volumes." The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series begins its 8th season of racing in May.

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N.P.P. SERIES OFFICIAL 2008 SCHEDULE RELEASED
EDMONTON, AB (January 28)
– The Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. Late Model Series is pleased to announce its 2008 racing schedule. A record seven race tracks are on the NPP Series schedule for the upcoming season. Castrol Raceway will once again be the home track for Canada’s richest ‘short track’ series. The run for the 2008 NPP Series Championship and over $200,000 in prize money begins at Castrol Raceway on Saturday, May 3rd. 10 of the 19 scheduled race events that make up the NPP season in 2008 will be run at the facility just south of Edmonton. The 2008 NPP schedule also features stops at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park in Okotoks, Alberta, Bridge County Raceway in Lethbridge, Alberta, Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey, Alberta and Rapid Fire Motorsports Park in Drayton Valley, Alberta. For the first time in Series history the NPP schedule has an international flavor. “We have 3 scheduled race dates in the United States this season,” says NPP Series announcer/media relations director Gord Craig, “the Series will visit Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, Washington) and Electric City Speedway (Great Falls, Montana) this summer. We’ve attracted a lot of attention from race tracks south of the border, so the timing is right to cross over the 49th.” Behind the scenes, officials continue to prepare for the 8th consecutive season of racing action featuring some of the best race car teams in Western Canada. More announcements regarding the upcoming race season will be released on the npp-racing.com website.

NPP LATE MODEL SERIES 2008 SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 26th      Castrol Raceway – test ‘n’ tune
Saturday, May 3rd         Castrol Raceway – Season Opener
Saturday, May 17th       Rocky Mountain Raceway Park
Sunday, May 18th         Rocky Mountain Raceway Park
Saturday, May 31st       Bridge County Raceway
Saturday, June 7th         Castrol Raceway
Saturday, June 28th       Castrol Raceway (Oilmen’s Invitatational)
Sunday, June 29th         Castrol Raceway (Oilmen’s Invitational)
Friday, July 11th            Castrol Raceway (Gold Cup)
Saturday, July 12th        Castrol Raceway (Gold Cup)
Saturday, August 2nd     Electric City Speedway
Sunday, August 3rd       Electric City Speedway
Saturday, August 9th     Rapid Fire Motorsports Park
Friday, August 22nd      Castrol Raceway (Oil City Cup)
Saturday, August 23rd   Castrol Raceway (Oil City Cup)
Saturday, August 30th   Grays Harbor Raceway
Saturday, Sept. 6th          Castrol Raceway
Saturday, Sept.20th         Castrol Raceway – Season Championship

2008 N.P.P. SERIES TRACKS
Bridge County Raceway – Lethbridge, Alberta
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, Alberta
Central Alberta Raceway – Rimbey, Alberta
Electric City Speedway – Great Falls, Montana
Grays Harbor Raceway – Elma, Washington,
Rapid Fire Motorsports Park – Drayton Valley, Alberta
Rocky Mountain Raceway Park – High River/Okotoks, Alberta

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NPP SERIES CHEER ON YOUNG RACERS
STONY PLAIN, AB (February 2) – The official start of the race season is still several months away but that did not stop the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series from being an encouragement to many young racers.  The 2008 Awana Grand Prix was held Saturday February 2nd at the East Parkland Bible Church in Stony Plain, Alberta.  Close to 150 people were in attendance to watch 37 hand-made wooden race cars (3 classes) entered into the competition. 

NPP Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig was special guest announcer for the 10th annual race event.  “I had a blast,” says Craig, “it’s been almost 5 months since I called a race.  It was an awesome family event with some great racing and plenty of close finishes.”  Four cars competed at a time on a ramp style track.  Each car competed in four heat races with points awarded according to where the cars finished. The top four cars with the most points then transferred to the Features.  The races even had a rare rollover, a crash at the finish line and one car losing a tire while running second.  “It was pretty dramatic near the end,” says NPP racer Mike Tom, “it was fun watching the races and seeing the excitement from both the kids and the parents.  They really got into it.”  Before the Features were run, Tom briefly spoke to the crowd on his experiences as a race car driver and the triumphs and struggles that go with it.  “It was nice to be involved today and be able to talk to the kids about racing and how you approach winning and losing.”  Tom also spoke on the importance of family.  At the end of the event, the NPP Series handed out several special awards to the young racers.  “Lucas Oil provided us with some race cars which were a huge hit,” says Craig, “the Awana group  had trophies for kids 1st through 3rd so the youngsters that finished 4th got a Lucas Oil race car.”  Lucas Oil cars and NPP Die Cast cars were also given away as door prizes during the afternoon.  The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is proud to be a part of the community. The 2008 season starts May 3rd at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. 


Gord Craig calling the action // NPP Driver Mike Tom with some of the big winners.

    
>Official race results<
10th ANNUAL AWANA GRAND PRIX
East Parkland Bible Church
Stony Plain, Alberta

SPARKS (ages 5 – 9)
1st  # 1 Josh Teichgraber – Stony Plain
2nd #11 Mason Simon – Hubbles Lake
3rd # 4 Joshua Morton – Spruce Grove

T & T’s (ages 9 – 13)
1st #21 Maddie Stanton – Stony Plain
2nd #46 Brendon Petkau – Devon
3rd #33 Megan Toews – Duffield

LEADERS
1st #93 Joshua Fehr – Stony Plain
2nd #55 Jeremy McCoy – Duffield
3rd #66 Jamie McAllister – Stony Plain

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N.P.P. GOES TO N.A.I.T.
EDMONTON, AB (February 13th) – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series made a pit stop this week at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Television and Radio Arts class.  NPP Series announcer/media relations director Gord Craig talked to the class about the Series and his career in the local radio and television industry.  “It was an incredible opportunity to tell the students about how motorsports is an untapped market here in Canada and how the NPP Late Model Series was pro-active in putting together its own television show last summer.”  Students got a chance to see several clips from last years NPP Speed broadcasts.  “Many were surprised that a race show of this caliber was produced here in Edmonton.”  Close to 30 students attended the 1 hour information session.


Future broadcast career in motorsports??

“These students have quite the future ahead of them,” indicates Craig, “they are just starting down their career path.  I’m at the point right now where I have taken a few backward glances from time to time.  I started out as a radio DJ in Edmonton close to 20 years ago.   For 15 of those years, I have had the privilege of being involved in the local motorsports scene.” The NPP Late Model Series (NPP Speed) has been invited back to NAIT’s Television and Radio Arts class in April.  “We just might be seeing some of these students at the race track this summer,” indicates Craig, “to be able to assist some enthusiastic students get a foot in the door in their career of choice will be fun to watch.” The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is proud to be a part of the community.  The 2008 run for the NPP Series Championship begins May 3rd.  The 2008 NPP Speed Schedule is still being drawn up. 

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KENNINGTON QUALIFIES IN DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 15) - The start of the NPP Late Model Series season is still two months away. On Friday afternoon, about 4,600 kilometers from Edmonton, Alberta, a Northern Provincial Pipelines sponsored #81 Dodge was turning some heads. Canadian DJ Kennington overcame long odds to qualify for Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (formerly Busch Series) race at Daytona International Speedway. The 30-year-old from St. Thomas, Ontario was the 52nd of 53 racers who participated in time trials in advance of Saturday's season-opening Camping World 300. Kennington's NPP / STP Tools Dodge Charger posted the 18th-fastest lap. After qualifying concluded, it was revealed that two drivers ahead of Kennington had their qualifying times revoked so the Canadian will start on the outside of row eight on Saturday.

b
------------------------------------------------------------------------------photo's by Dave Franks

Kennington plans to participate in the bulk of the NASCAR Nationwide Series' events in 2008, as well as in the full NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. In 2007, he finished second in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series points on the strength of two wins in the 12-race series. Kennington's qualifying lap of 50.278 seconds (179.005 mph) was better than that of many of NASCAR's most well-known and well-funded stars, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. Toyota driver Tony Stewart posted the fastest time during qualifying, at 49.741 secs. / 180.937 mph and will sit on the pole for Saturday's race. “It’s just a dream come true. Honestly, I don’t know what else to say. We’re worked my whole life to get here and we did it… we did it. It doesn’t matter what happens from here because we’re in the race and that’s all that matters to me. I feel like we won.” "We made a bunch of changes last night and I guess Randy [MacDonald] made the right calls. We were just trying to free it up so we could run as fast as we could alone in qualifying. Now we need to get it dialed in for tomorrow."

>with files from Greg MacPherson / Inside Track Motorsports News

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KENNINGTON SURVIVES GRUELING WEEK OF RACING
PHOENIX, AZ (March 2)Despite a damaged race car, Canada’s DJ Kennington managed to finish a respectable 29th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.  The race featured a record 13 yellow flags, one of which flew on lap number two when Kennington got caught up in a multi car crash.  “I had slowed my car down but somebody piled into the back of me,” says the St. Thomas, Ontario driver, “the rear tires of my car were off the ground I got hit so hard.”  Kennington immediately drove the #81 Northern Provincial Pipelines Dodge to the garage for repairs.  Down several laps, Kennington returned to the race only to have another setback.  On lap 50, a left front tire blew on DJ’s car which sent him into the wall.


DJ gets tagged on lap 2. (Photo by Perry Nelson)

“Very frustrating at that point,” sighs Kennington, “but Randy McDonald (crew chief) wouldn’t let us quit, he was on us, encouraging us to keep going.  Even though we were down laps at the end of the race, it was a small victory for the team to be able finish ahead of where we qualified (34th).”  The race in Las Vegas wrapped up an exhausting week for the Canadian race team.  “Running in California on Monday due to the rain delay was extremely tough.  After finishing the race in 26th (qualified 31st) we worked on the car till midnight then worked on it all day Tuesday and then headed off to Vegas.”


#81 DJ Kennington

There is a lot of pressure on Kennington and his team as they travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway for race number four of the season this weekend.  “Every race we’ve run so far this year we’ve had to qualify.  If we are top 30 in the points after the fifth race of the season we will be locked in for the rest of the year.  We are 26th in the points right now, so the focus is to qualify well at Atlanta and Bristol then run the tires off the car both races.  We need the points.  It’s going to be a complete team effort to get to the next level. When we get there it will take a little bit of pressure off.”        

 

Northern Provincial Pipelines, based in Edson, Alberta is proud to be the major sponsor of the #81 Dodge driven by DJ Kennington.  Northern Provincial Pipelines also is title sponsor of Canada richest short track touring series…the NPP Late Model Series which brings big league auto racing to Western Canada. 

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KENNINGTON DODGES SNOWFLAKES IN GEORGIA
HAMPTON, GA. (March 9) – A freak early morning snow storm wiped out qualifying for drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Saturday morning storm system did clear in time for race action to begin. The temperatures warmed up to only 10C as officials gave the ‘lets go racing’ nod. Canadian DJ Kennington would start his #81 Northern Provincial Pipelines sponsored Dodge in the 34th position. Just a few circuits into the 198 lap race, Kennington would have to pit under green. “The car was running good then it sputtered,” says a frustrated Kennington, “the battery shifted knocking the cable off.” Kennedy returned to the race and stayed out of trouble and finished the race in 34th. “That puts us in 32nd in the point standings. We’d like to be a bit higher in the standings but considering the challenges so far this season we’re fairly happy.”  Being 30th or higher in the standings is very important for a small race team like Kennington’s. It guarantees a starting position on race day no matter the qualification position. “We have to be 30th or better in the standings to take advantage of this rule,” says Kennington, “having a guaranteed appearance in the show would take a lot of pressure off this team so were going to have to work real hard to get back into the top 30.” The NPP Race team of DJ Kennington competes at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. “Its one of the few tracks I ran at last year,” indicates the St. Thomas, Ontario driver, “most of the tracks we run at this year will be new for us as a team so at least we can say, yeah, we’ve run Bristol before.”  This will be race number five of the 35 event Nascar Nationwide Series Schedule. “We’ve done pretty well in qualifying…we want to try to have a good run during the race for a change.” Along with Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd., Mahindra Tractors will be on board as major sponsor this weekend in Bristol Tennessee. 

Next Nascar Nationwide event:
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Practice: Friday, March 14th (11:40am & 2:45pm - Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Saturday, March 15th (7:40am - Edmonton time)
Race: Saturday March 15th   (12:30pm - Edmonton time)

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KENNINGTON GRABS AN UMBRELLA
BRISTOL, TN (March 15th)Rain wiped out qualifying and then shortened Saturday’s running of the Sharpie 300 NASCAR Nationwide race at Bristol Motor Speedway.  When the race was halted, Canada’s DJ Kennington and his Northern Provincial Pipelines/Mahindra Tractors sponsored #81 Dodge Charger was awarded a 34th place finish.  “We were in the garage when the flag flew to suspend racing,” indicates Kennington, “we were repairing a broken rear end.  The crew just about had the car ready to come back out onto the race track when the rain began to fall.”  

Phil Cavalli Photo

Only 171 of the 300 scheduled laps were completed.  “We were down laps because of the mechanical problem.  We just wanted to get back out on the track and get in more seat time.”  Next race for the St. Thomas, Ontario driver is at Nashville Superspeedway this Saturday.  “We’re holding steady in the point standings (32nd).  We need some strong showings in the next few races to try to get us back into the top 30 in points.  Memphis is a brand new track for us as are most of the tracks we’ll be racing at this season.  Our first time at the Memphis facility will be this Friday in practice.”  The Pepsi 300 is race number six of the 35 event NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule. 

Next NASCAR Nationwide event:
NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY (PEPSI 300)
Practice: Friday, March 21st (12:30pm & 3:30pm - Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Saturday, March 22nd (8:00am - Edmonton time)
Race: Saturday March 22nd (NOON - Edmonton time)     
 

 

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KENNINGTON’S TENNESEE RACE DEFLATED BY TIRE
LEBANON, TN (March 23rd) – It was one of the best shows of the 2008 season for Canada's DJ Kennington in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. After qualifying 28th earlier in the day, the St. Thomas, Ontario driver endured a fast moving Pepsi 300 that had only 3 caution periods the entire race at Nashville Super Speedway. The Mahindra Tractors/Northern Provincial Pipelines sponsored #81 Dodge was heading for its best finish of the season when a tire went down.  “We were running 25th with 25 laps to go and a tire went flat.  We had to pit under green to change it.  In NASCAR that will ruin anyone’s day. Unfortunately it was our day that was ruined.”  Kennington finished the race in 34th.

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Kennington pits under Green flag conditions // Settles for 34th ((Phil Cavali photos))

“It’s very frustrating,” sighs the St. Thomas, Ontario driver, “we had a much better car than what the results show.  We had a good race car that was running with the lead drivers the entire way.”  Kennington had an opportunity to move up in the standings with a top 30 finish.  “We were ahead of everyone we needed to be in order to get back into the top 30 in points.  Now we’re 34th heading into the next race.”  Kennington had his second best qualifying run of the season since qualifying 18th at the season opening Daytona race in February.  “We were just 1/10th of a second from being in the top 20 here. Considering we have never run this track before that’s huge.  The car was great, no doubt about it but we won’t let a blown tire get us down.”  The next big challenge for Kennington will be at Texas Motor Speedway the first weekend of April. “We definitely have something to prove here,” indicates Kennington, “last year we failed to qualify for this race.  It’s something we don’t want to do again this time round.  We are taking the positives from Nashville and believe me there are plenty of them.  We’ll take these positives and take them to Texas.”  The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 is race number seven of the 35 event NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule. 

(Perry Nelson photo)

NEXT NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
TEXAS MOTORSPEEWAY – Fort Worth, Texas
O'RIELLY AUTO PARTS 300 - Saturday, April 5th

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DJ BACK IN THE TOP 30 AFTER TRICKY TEXAS RACE
FORT WORTH, TX
(April 6th) Canada’s DJ Kennington continues to live the dream south of the border as he runs with the top stock car drivers in the world.  In the Lone Star State on Saturday, the St. Thomas, Ontario driver competed in his 7th consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The starting lineup at Texas Motor Speedway was set by points as rain wiped out qualifying earlier in the day.  Kennington would start his Northern Provincial Pipelines/Mahindra Tractor sponsored #81 Dodge in the 33rd position.  “We’ve lost several qualifying sessions this year due to weather and that’s unfortunate,” says Kennington, “the car felt pretty good in practice here and we were quite confident we could have qualified in the top 20.”  At the drop of the green flag Kennington gained several spots.  The car then developed handling troubles in the corners.  “The car was very tight and I managed to keep it from scraping the wall several times.”  Kennington brought his car to the pits to allow the crew to make chassis adjustments.   Towards the midway point of the race, track conditions changed and his race car became loose in the corners.  “Now I had to keep the rear end of the car from overtaking the front end.  The car was a handful that’s for sure but we finished another race and we beat the cars we needed in order to advance in the points.” 

Kennington would finish the race in 30th and moved up in the standings to 29th.  “We gotta keep on going,” indicates Kennington, “this next race is going to be huge.  Qualify well, race hard and maybe we can move up another couple of spots.  It is possible.”  DJ Kennington heads to Phoenix International Raceway.  The return to Arizona will be one of reflection.  “I smacked the wall pretty hard here last year after being hit from behind.  Made the highlight real too.” 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6sT1U_SBBQ

Race number 8 of the 35 event NASCAR Nationwide Series is this Friday night.  

NEXT NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – Avondale, Arizona
Bashas’ Supermarket 300
Friday, April 11th 

Practice: Thursday, April 10th (11:15am / 6:45pm – Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Friday, April 11th (3:05pm – Edmonton time
Race: Friday, April 11th (7:45pm – Edmonton time)

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KENNINGTON RUNS STRONG IN PHOENIX
AVONDALE, AZ (April 12) Momentum continues to swing in DJ Kennington’s direction.  The St Thomas, Ontario driver qualified the Northern Provincial Pipelines #81 Dodge in the 28th position Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.  Kennington would finish the race in 26th, his highest finish since February.  Even better news for Kennington was that for the third race in a row he would advance in the NASCAR Nationwide point standings.  “We’re going in the right direction that’s for sure,” says Kennington who now sits 26th out of the 75+ drivers who’ve raced in the series so far this season, “we are now locked into the top 30 in points and that guarantees us a spot at the next race in Mexico.”  Kennington has gained at least 3 positions in the point standings the last two races.  “Very proud of my team,” says Kennington, “we are racing against some of the best teams in the world and to be able to keep pace with them feels pretty darn good.” 

-

Kennington and his team now travel to very unfamiliar territory and even further away from Canada soil.  “We’re off to Mexico and the first road course race of the season,” exclaims Kennington, “I hear there are going to be 48 cars trying to qualify, so being ‘locked in’ for this race has taken a little bit of the pressure off.”  Kennington now is within striking distance of some notable NASCAR competitors including Bobby Labonte who sits 24th (9 points back) and Tony Stewart who’s currently 22nd (45 points back).  Kennington now sits less than 100 points out of a top 20 spot in the standings.              

NEXT NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
Autodromo Hermano Rodriguez – Mexico City, Mexico
MEXICO 200
Practice: Friday April 18th (NOON/2pm Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Saturday, April 19th (9:30am Edmonton time)
RACE: Sunday, April 20th (11:30am - Edmonton time)

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NPP THROWS BLACK FLAG AT NEW YELLOW FLAG RULE
EDSON, AB (April 19th) – Race teams of the NPP Late Model Series were informed Saturday that a controversial ‘Yellow Flag rule’ that was going to be put in place for every Feature event in 2008 has been scrapped. A total of 47 people (drivers/crew) gathered at the head office of Northern Provincial Pipelines in Edson on Saturday to discuss the upcoming race season.  The new race format was addressed immediately.  “Drivers like most of the race format changes announced back in December,” indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “most of the concerns raised were directed towards the yellow flag rule.”  The new race format cuts the number of heat races in half but adds two dash races.  The Feature event was increased to 40 laps but yellow flag laps would count. 


Yellows will not be counted at regular race nights in '08'

“The major concern for many drivers was counting these yellow flags at the smaller tracks that we race at.”  Many drivers agreed.  “If you have a tire go down at a small race track you are done,” said Kevin Clark, “the pits at these tracks are often located on the outside.  By the time you get to your pit stall, change a tire and then tighten the last bolt you could be down two maybe three laps.  Good luck getting those laps back on a short track race with this new format.  At least you have a fighting chance starting at the back of the pack with the traditional format.”  The Altario, Alberta driver also pointed out the potential for a new problem.  “With time not on the side of a driver, there would probably be more instances of speeding in the pits just to get back onto the racetrack.” 

A majority of the drivers and teams were breathing a huge sigh of release that counting yellows would not be taking place in 2008.  However the door was left open that counting yellows could still take place at this summer’s 15th running of the Oilmen’s Invitational at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway which features 40 and 50 lap Feature events.  Since yellow flags will no longer be counted, regular race nights for the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will return to the standard 25 lap Feature format.   The 2008 NPP Late Model Series kicks off its 8th consecutive season of racing action May 3rd at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta.   

NPP Meeting highlights….

  • 2008 schedule
  • more race car displays/appearences
  • television coverage on NPP Speed
  • new sponsors
  • driver bios/website

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KENNINGTON WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE OF TOP 20
TALLADEGA, AL (April 22) – Canada’s DJ Kennington continues to turn heads as he races against some of the best stock car drivers in the world. The St. Thomas Ontario driver has gained an amazing 14 positions in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings the past 5 weeks. Kennington now sits 22nd in points, just 59 points out of the top 20. He had his best finish ever in a NASCAR race last weekend on the road course down in Mexico City. “We finished 25th. We could have finished higher but we had a pit road error and were issued a stop and go penalty so we had to fight back from that.” What’s more amazing is that Kennington’s climb in the standings is being done the hard way. “Out of the 9 tracks we’ve raced on so far this season, 7 tracks were brand new to me and my team. We’ve never raced on them before. This weekend it’s another new track for my team.” Kennington will race the #81 Northern Provincial Pipelines sponsored Dodge at NASCARS fastest race track; Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. “We’ll be racing the same car that we ran in Daytona back in February,” indicates Kennington, “but we will have a beefier motor in the car for this race.” Because of Kennington’s current position in the standings he is guaranteed a spot on the starting grid. “There is a little less pressure going into qualifying knowing we are locked in but we are going to run the wheels off in qualifying. We want a good weekend and if we finish strong the points will take care of themselves and maybe we’ll be in the top 20 after this weekend.” This weekends race at the famed Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama is race number 10 on the 2008 schedule of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Talladega Superspeedway – Talladega, Alabama
AARONS 312 (117laps)
Practice: Thursday, April 24th (2:00pm – Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Friday, April 25th (3:00pm – Edmonton time)
Race: Saturday, April 26th (1:00pm - Edmonton time)

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TEST ‘n’ TUNE CANCELLED!!
EDMONTON, AB  (April 23) – What was going to be one of the earliest test ‘n’ tune dates in Castrol Raceway history will not be taking place.  Test 'n' tune, scheduled for this Saturday April 26th has been cancelled. “There’s still too much snow on the ground,” says oval track director Rollie Nash, “welcome to Alberta!” Snow began falling on the Edmonton region last Saturday (19th) and did not let up until late Monday afternoon. It turned out to be one of the worst snow storms to hit the Edmonton region in 20 years. “It was very surreal walking the Oval track today," says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “the snow drifts in some spots were unbelievable.  They were higher than the walls in many places. There has been some melting but there is still a long way to go before its all gone. ” 


NPP PIT AREA


TURN 3 AT CASTROL RACEWAY ( All photos taken April 23)


NPP SERIES ANNOUNCER GORD CRAIG WALKING BESIDE HUGE SNOW DRIFT

With Saturday’s test ‘n’ tune cancelled, a quick glance at the schedule shows the season opening race is just around the corner too. “I am a little concerned right now that the May 3rd race could be in jeopardy.  There is a ton of snow at that facility.”  Castrol Raceway officials will be meeting early next week to discuss the next course of action to take regarding the 2008 Oval season opener.

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BITTER-SWEET RACE FOR KENNINGTON IN ALABAMA
TALLADEGA, AL (April 27)Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama is the fastest stock car track in the world.  It’s also known for the ‘Big One’. Multi-vehicle crashes at over 180mph are not only a common occurrence, they are expected.  Canada’s DJ Kennington would miss the ‘Big One’ at Talladega Saturday afternoon.  He did have a front row seat behind the wheel of the #81 Northern Provincial Pipelines Dodge. “I literally drove through it,” says the St Thomas, Ontario driver, “I managed to drive by every car that wrecked.  I could have easily been taken out but I came through unscathed. There wasn’t a mark on the car.” 

 (Phil Cavalli photo)
Kennington (#81) ran his best race of the season at a track he’s never run at before.

Having escaped the ‘Big One’ which claimed 11 cars, Kennington set his sights on his first ever top 10 finish in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event.  With just 29 laps to go, Kennington would unfortunately be involved in his own ‘Big One’.  “We were running 7th, then the car began to vibrate going into turn number one and a tire went down and that was it.”  Kenningtons car pitch hard sideways and slid up the track into the wall when his right rear tire blew.  “It’s out of your control (tire blowing), there is nothing you can do. You just hold on tight cause you know it’s not going to be pretty.”  Kennington was struck by two other race cars during the 180mph crash.  “The car is a write off.  It’s done.  This was a 5th place car today.  The crash was heartbreaking.  The team worked so hard.  We had a great engine, car, spotter, crew, we had the whole package.” 


Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Despite crashing out, Kennington would be awarded a 26th place finish.  “Even though we are a smaller race team, after today, they (other teams) now realize we are the real deal.”  Kennington was 6th fastest in final practice and qualified 17th.  “What we accomplished this weekend was pretty incredible.  Our expectations for the rest of the season have now increased.  Finishing 25th or 26th just won’t cut it anymore because we’ve run near the front for an entire race.  We know we can do it.”  Because of Saturday’s crash, the team is on the hunt for a new Superspeedway car for the Daytona race in July. 


Kennington's car in garage area after Talladega crash.

The team now prepares for their next race this Friday at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia.  They will compete in the car they ran last month in Phoenix.  This is race number 11 on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.

NEXT NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
LIPTON TEA 250 (250 laps = 188miles)
Richmond International Raceway – Richmond, Virginia

Practice #1: Friday, May 2nd (6:45am – Edmonton time)
Practice #2: Friday, May 2nd (9:00am – Edmonton time)
Qualifying: Friday, May 2nd (2:05pm – Edmonton time)
Race: Friday, May 2nd (5:30pm – Edmonton time)

TALLADEGA RACE NOTES
>Dale Collier was Kennington’s spotter for the Talladega race.  Collier was spotter for Dale Earnhardt last ever NASCAR victory which was at Talladega Superspeedway (2000)
>Front tire changers were from the Michael Waltrip NASCAR race team.
>Rear tire changers were from David Reutimann’s NASCAR team.
>Jack/gas man were from the DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) NASCAR team. 

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SEASON OPENER JUST DAYS AWAY…....THEN AGAIN!!
EDMONTON, AB (April 28th) - The 2008 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series begins its 8th season of racing action with a huge question mark.  Where will the first race of the season be taking place?  “The schedule does show May 3rd in Edmonton and that’s what we are aiming for,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “however last weeks snow storm has set back track preparation several days.”  The 4 day storm, which began April 19th, dumped about 30 centimeters of snow on the Edmonton region.  Winds of 50kph also whipped that snow into 5 foot, hard packed drifts at the track.  “There are still small snow drifts on the racing surface but a majority of the snow has now melted,” indicates Craig, “temperatures have been in the double digits for several days now so hopefully the trend continues.” 


Back straight- Monday, April 28th / Last Wednesday (April 23rd)


Front straight and Oval pit area - photos from Monday April 28th

NPP teams and race teams from the four other divisions that are scheduled to race this Saturday night in Edmonton continue to wait patiently.  “We should know by Wednesday or Thursday if the track will be ready in time for Saturday night.  It’s always nice to get at least one race under your belts on your home track before heading out on the road.  If we don’t get this Saturday night in, then race fans in southern Alberta will be the first to see an NPP Series race in 2008.”  Rocky Mountain Raceway Park just outside of Okotoks, Alberta will be hosting its first ever 2 day show featuring the NPP Late Model Series on the May long weekend.

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NPP SEASON OPENER CANCELLED
EDMONTON, AB (April 30)
- The 2008 Season opening race of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has been cancelled at Castrol Raceway. Although the weather is expected to be sunny and warm for Saturday, May 3rd, track officials still have been unable to prepare the racing surface after the winter layoff. Last weeks snow storm and Wednesday's major rainstorm is getting pretty well all of the blame for the cancellation.

The season opening event for race teams of the NPP Late Model Series will now take place at Rocky Mountain Raceway Park in Okotoks, Alberta on Saturday and Sunday May 17th and 18th.

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