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EDMONTON OVAL REVIVAL
EDMONTON, AB (January 6) - Rome Awde has been named the new race director for Castrol Raceway's 3/8 mile clay oval track.  The former race director of the now closed Race City Speedway in Calgary brings more than 40 years of paved and dirt oval experience to the Edmonton, Alberta facility.  Awde's first major decision as new Oval Director was to cut the number of classes from five to four on a regular race night.  "We have abused our fans for far too long," exclaims Awde,  "we've had too many 10 o'clock, 11o'clock nights trying to get the shows in.  We need to work on the show and end the marathons."  Awde says the track also needs to attract new fans plus bring back its long-time fans that haven't been to the facility in several seasons. 


CASTROL RACEWAY NEW OVAL DIRECTOR: ROME AWDE
--------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: Castrol Raceway)

"We need to get people reinterested in our sport again.  Forty-percent of our market doesn't even know what a dirt oval track is."  Awde says Castrol Raceway has invested heavily in hiring an experienced Marketing and Media relations team [mid-December] to help increase the fan count and exposure plus bring in new sponsors.  "The Edmonton market has changed dramatically.  We need to turn this race [oval] track around to the way it was back in the early 1990's.  If we don't have race fans and if we don't have sponsors, we don't have a track to race on." 


AVERAGE NPP SERIES CAR COUNT IN EDMONTON SINCE 2001 - 15.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (photo: STP RACING MEMORIES)

Castrol Raceway's biggest classes, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and the Alberta Sportsman Sprint Car class will figure prominently on the Edmonton race schedule this upcoming season. For the 15th consecutive season the NPP Late Model will be the support class for the Gold Cup Sprint Car race on July 19th and 20th.

NPP Series Tentative
2013 Edmonton Race Dates
Saturday, June 8th
Friday, July 19th
Saturday, July 20th
Saturday, August 17th
Saturday, September 14th

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DRUM BEATS
EDMONTON, AB. (January 22) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is making plans to return  to Dinosaur Downs Speedway for the first time since the 2009 race season. "We've heard a lot of positives about this Southern Alberta facility since our last visit,"  indicates NPP Series announcer Gord Craig,  "the thumbs up comes from many drivers including drivers in the IMCA Modified class."  Dinosaur Downs Speedway is a multi-purpose facility located on the Drumheller Stampede and Ag Society grounds just south of Drumheller, Alberta. 


NPP SERIES HEAT RACE AT DDS IN JULY 2009

"The Drumheller Ag Society is quite the busy facility," explains Craig, "they have a giant hall which is often booked months in advance for weddings, concerts and trade shows.  In between these functions, the facility is booked to run a limited number of motorsports events."  This year, Dinosaur Downs Speedway will host a total of six oval races and one demolition derby event.  Two of the Drumheller race dates fall on the Canada Day long weekend [June 29th & 30th].  "The NPP Series has already put in a request to run these dates," says Craig, "we'd be joining the IMCA Modifieds who have already been confirmed to race on these dates."  IMCA Modified race teams will be competing in the 4th annual Raptor Run.  "We've run with the IMCA Modified class several times in the past.  It's a very good show for race fans when these two classes join forces." 


SAFETY BARRICADES NOW ENCOMPASS THE ENTIRE RACE TRACK

Dinosaur Downs Speedway was built soon after Hidden Valley Motorsports Park ceased operation at the end of the 2007 season.  The NPP Late Model Series held its 2007 season opener at Hidden Valley Motorsports Park.  "It will be good to return to Drumheller again," adds Craig, "we need to support the last remaining operational dirt track in Southern Alberta.

NPP LATE MODEL SERIES
DRUMHELLER WINNERS**
**Hidden Valley Motorsports Park
**Dinosaur Downs Speedway
e
HEAT WINS
Jason Beaulieu------- 1
Bruce Broughton----- 1
Ken Clark ----------- 1
Kevin Clark---------- 1
Paul Grundberg------- 1
Dan Stewart---------- 1
Mike Tom------------ 1
Kevin Wheeler-------- 1
-
FEATURE WINS
Jason Beaulieu-------- 1
July 2009 Feature race at DDS cancelled due to deteriorating track conditions.


-
2013 'HORSEPOWER' SCHEDULE
Saturday, June 1st - Oval races
Sunday, June 2nd - Oval races
Saturday, June 29th - Oval races (2013 Raptor Run)
Sunday, June 30th - Oval races (2013 Raptor Run)
Saturday, August 3rd - Chuckwagon Races
Sunday, August 4th - Chuckwagon Races
Saturday, August 17th - Oval races
Sunday, August 18th - Oval races
Saturday, September 14th - Demo derby

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ONE GIANT LEAP (PART II)
EDGEWATER, FL. (February 6) - Less than two months after running over 150 test laps at South Boston Speedway near Danville Virginia, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor Crystal Kennedy is taking her next big step into the world of pavement late model racing.  This week, the 23 year old Kennedy is enrolled at the Finish Line Racing school in Edgewater, Florida.  "I'm here to learn," exclaims Kennedy, "this is something that I need to do before I enter my first pavement race."  The Edson, Alberta driver will be behind the wheel of a Super Late Model at one of the top racing schools in the United States.  Reigning Canadian Tire NASCAR champion DJ Kennington and current NASCAR competitors Jamie McMurray and Regan Smith recently took the same racing program.  "We even had World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz go through our program," says Mike Loescher, founder and instructor at Finish Line Racing school, "we teach a whole new way of driving a race car here." 


TIME FOR SCHOOL!!

Loescher says reading the track and reading the corners is a must in order to be a successful driver.  "There is no rewind button in racing.  Whether you are on dirt or pavement, you always have to drive the car according to the amount of grip you have."  Loescher says Kennedy will be an improved race car driver when she is finished her on-track test sessions at New Smyrna Speedway.  "We are going to brainwash her into how she goes into corners.  We are going to show her a whole new way of driving a race car."  Kennedy has 85 starts on the 'dirt' in a Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race car.  She finished 9th in points in 2012 and 6th in 2011.  "When I finally go racing on the pavement one thing I don't want to do is be responsible for wadding up an entire field of race cars."  The goal for Kennedy remains the same. Make her debut in a NASCAR K & N Series West race later this year.  "I want to do this right. After I finish here [race school] the plan is to attend several pavement races with DJ Kennington and also get some track time at Western Speedway [Victoria, British Columbia].  Darrell Midgley will be tutoring me."


PREPARATIONS CONTINUE ON KENNEDY'S NEW PAVEMENT LATE MODEL

There is already talk that Kennedy could be behind the wheel of her pavement Late Model at Shasta Raceway Park [Anderson, California] or Redwood Acres Raceway [Eureka, California] in the spring.  Crystal's father and two-time NPP Late Model Series champion Dwight Kennedy competed on the pavement at Redwood Acres Raceway back in October 2000.  Darrell Midgley, the 2009 NPP Late Model Series champion, has won Features in his pavement late model at both California race tracks.

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OFF-SEASON BLUES
EDMONTON, AB (February 10) - The 'off-season' can be incredibly short or agonizingly long for race car drivers.  For several Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series teams, the roar of engines has not been heard since the season championship weekend back in September.  Last month, the official mid-way point of the NPP Series 'off-season,' quietly passed by without any fanfare.  "The off-season has actually flown by for me," exclaims Darin Borysko, "we wrapped up the season in September.  Then all of a sudden it was December and now January is over!"  Borysko finished second in the 2012 NPP Series championship points chase in the All Weather Windows/Habitat for Humanity #35 Dodge. 


BORYSKO FINISHED 2ND IN POINTS IN 2012 [3RD IN 2011]

"I really haven't had time to think about racing," admits the Edson, Alberta driver, "we haven't seen a slowdown at work at all.  It's getting busier it seems."  Along with being a utilities supervisor, Borysko is also the Chief Bylaw Officer for the Town of Edson.  "Being busy sure beats the alternative!"  

Kevin Wheeler, the 2012 NPP Late Model Series Champion, has found some time to think about racing, put in a few laps, plus work on his race car during the off-season.  "We managed to sneak down to Phoenix, Arizona in November to take in a NASCAR race.  That was a nice break because we've been so busy here."  Wheeler owns KW Mechanical in Whitecourt, Alberta.  "The last few years we have been going wide open as far as work. Sometimes enough is enough and you just have to put work aside." 

Wheeler has spent the last few weekends stripping down his KW Mechanical #3 Dodge.  "I've managed to work on my race car for the first time since September.  The whole body is off now." Along with working on his race car he got back on his dirt bike and has made a few laps on a track near his home.  "I plowed out a bit of an ice race track on Shrum Lake and brought out the dirt bikes and the mini-sprint car and had some fun."  Both of Wheelers son's, Chase and Cruz, have been putting in some laps on the ice track.   


WHEELERS MINI SPRINT CAR ON THE ICE TRACK NEAR WHITECOURT, AB

Meanwhile it's been mostly work and very little time for play for Dwight Kennedy.  "I've managed to get away [from work] a couple of times," says the founder of the NPP Late Model Series, "went to the NASCAR race in Phoenix in November and then went down to North Carolina with my daughter in December." 


KENNEDY REGISTERED ONE FEATURE WIN AND FIVE TOP 5 FINISHES IN 2012
------------------------------------------------- (PHOTO: STP RACING MEMORIES)

Kennedy's daughter Crystal got behind the wheel of a pavement Late Model for the first time and recently attended a race school in Florida.  "I would have liked to have seen her on the track at the race school but I couldn't get away."  Kennedy  owns Northern Provincial Pipelines in Edson, Alberta. "I haven't had much time to think about racing the last few months."  Kennedy finished third in the 2012 NPP Late Model Series championship points chase.

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BEACH BATTLE
DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (February 16) - Over 80 race teams have gathered in Southern Florida for the inaugural February 18th and 19th UNOH Battle At the Beach at Daytona International Speedway.  This two-day event, featuring pavement Late Models and Modifieds, is all a part of Speedweeks which leads up to the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24th. This is the first time that a short track race has been run at Daytona during Speedweeks.

Noel Dowler (Sherwood Park, Alberta), who made his NPP Late Model Series debut in 2012, will be behind the wheel of his #5 EMCO-Rheem sponsored Dodge.  Two-time and reigning NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion DJ Kennington (St. Thomas, Ontario) will be flying the NAPA/Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd./Castrol Edge colors on the Bill McAnally Racing #28 Toyota.  Both Dowler and Kennington will be racing in the NASCAR K & N Series class on Tuesday, February 19th.  Races will be contested on a specially constructed 4/10 mile oval track on the back straight at Daytona International Raceway. 


KENNINGTON HITS THE TRACK THIS WEEK
------------------------------------- (PHOTO: Gayle Milton)

Courtesy of his 2012 championship, Kennington is already locked into the Tuesday night show but will still have to compete in a Qualifying race to determine his starting spot.  "Being able to race at Daytona is huge," says Kennedy, "to be a part of motorsports history by competing in this inaugural race is extra special."  The Battle At the Beach event replaces the NASCAR All-Star Showdown which ran from 2003 - 2011 at Irwindale Speedway in California.  Kennington finished second at the final All-Star Showdown event in 2011.    


HUGE CHALLENGE AHEAD FOR DOWLER IN FLORIDA
--------------------------------------- (PHOTO: Applo Motorsports)

-
Dowler meanwhile will have to race his way into the show by running strong in his Tuesday afternoon Qualifying Heat.  "There are a lot of tough drivers here," admits Dowler,  "this is going to be a good test for our team."  Dowler finished 10th in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series 2012 point standings.  "We've taken some big steps forward this year in our racing program.  This will be a huge learning opportunity for me as well."    

DOWLER/KENNINGTON 'BEACH' SCHEDULE
(all times Eastern)
> MONDAY, February 18th
12:40 - Practice Session One
--------Dowler - 21st fastest / Kennington - 20th fastest

>TUESDAY, February 19th
12:30pm - Practice Session Two
---------- Dowler - 26th fastest then blew engine / Kennington - 11th fastest
1:25pm - Practice Session Three
----------Dowler - did not start / Kennington - 10th fastest
4:00pm - Qualifying Race
----------Dowler - did not start / Kennington - finished 13th
8:30pm - Race (150 Laps)
--------- Kennington finished 7th / Dowler finished 12th
--------- Calgary, Alberta's Cameron Hayley wins inaugural event.

LISTEN LIVE [CLICK HERE] starting at 5:00pm Edmonton time on Tuesday..

EXTRA: As part of Speedweeks, New Smyrna Speedway's hosted a 3-day World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing event. Dowler also competed at this race.
Friday, February 15th - finished 26th
Saturday, February 16th - finished 5th
Sunday, February 17th - finished 9th

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YOUNG GUNS GO RACING
STONY PLAIN, AB (February 23) – As NASCAR kicked off the 2013 race season south of the border, the 15th annual AWANA Grand Prix took place north of the border at the East Parkland Bible Church Saturday afternoon.  "This is their Daytona 500," exclaims Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series announcer Gord Craig, "it's a huge race for the kids and their parents. A lot of preparation goes into building one of these cars."  For the sixth consecutive year, Craig was special guest announcer.  "It's been fun watching this race grow the last few years. This is a fantastic family event."  Two months ago families were handed small blocks of wood and 'spec' wheels and axles.  From these blocks of wood, 30 unique race cars were constructed and entered into this year's race [26 in 2012]. 


LINED UP FOR QUALIFYING RACES

Craig notes that some new technology made its debut this year.  "The Awana leadership group acquired a new computer program which tracked the cars time and speed.  The finish line scoreboard was also upgraded to show the actual finish order of the cars as they crossed the line."  Elapsed time, the speed of the cars and the finishing order was also projected onto a large screen behind the start line.  "Most of the races took less than three seconds," says Craig, "some of the cars were hitting scale speeds of over two hundred-eighty kilometers-per-hour.  That's clipping along pretty good." 


NEW COMPUTER SCORING FOR AWANA RACES in 2013

Each car got four runs down the track in each lane and was awarded points based on their finishing position.  The top four cars with the most points after the Qualifying Races transferred to the Championship Finals. 


SCALE SPEEDS REACHED OVER 280KPH AT THE FINISH LINE

Braeden Williams took the Championship in the SPARKS (age 5 - 9) class.  "My sister won last year," says the excited seven-year old, "I'm happy I got to win it this year."  The Spruce Grove, Alberta racer won four consecutive races in the final to claim first place.  Stony Plain, Alberta's Jordan Moncrieff won in the T&T class (age 9 - 13).  Moncrieff won the SPARKS class in 2011.  Braeden's mother Thea won in the LEADERS division.  Thea Williams finished third in the LEADERS division last year. 

>>MINI HIGHLIGHT VIDEO TO COME<<

> Official race results <
15th ANNUAL AWANA GRAND PRIX
Saturday, February 23, 2013

East Parkland Bible Church
Stony Plain, Alberta

SPARKS (ages 5 – 9)
1st  # 1 Braeden Williams – Spruce Grove
2nd # 4 Brie Kohut - Stony Plain
3rd # 6 Matthew Bueckert - Stony Plain (finished 3rd in 2011)

T & T’s (ages 9 – 13)
1st # 60 Jordan Moncrieff - Stony Plain
2nd #57 Caitlin Klassen - Spruce Grove
3rd #69 Adam Klassen - Spruce Grove (finished 2nd in 2011 / winner in 2010)

LEADERS
1st #100 Thea Williams  - Spruce Grove
2nd #111 Shannon McGann - Spruce Grove
3rd #101 Ian McGann - Spruce Grove

AWANA is a Christian children's ministry founded in 1950.

—————————————————————

REMEMBERING KELVIN BELL
HARDISTY, AB. (February 25) - Close to 300 people gathered at the Hardisty Community Hall Monday afternoon to say goodbye to five-time Edmonton track champion Kelvin Bell.  The popular Late Model driver died in a snowmobile accident on February 17th near Blue River, British Columbia.  Drivers and crew members from dozens of race car teams were in attendance to pay their respects to one of Western Canada's top drivers. 

A majority of the racers at Monday's memorial service were from the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series and the Northern Thunder Dirt Late Model class.  Bell competed in both Late Model divisions the past several seasons.  The back drop for the memorial service was a lone checkered flag, one of the many trophies he's won, plus numerous floral arrangements. There were touching tributes and a video slide show remembering the life of Kelvin Bell. At the back of the room was a display table featuring some race memorabilia including his helmet, driving suit, photographs and several trophies.  A steady stream of country music, Bells favorite, was also featured during the service. 

Bell is survived by his loving wife Tammy, his son Dale and his daughter Jenna;  his brother Byron and his wife Cheryl and children Cameron and Collin; one sister Marilyn and her husband John and their daughter Amanda. 

Memorial donations in memory of Kelvin can be made to the Hardisty Minor Hockey Association.

—————————————————————

KENNINGTON GRABS SEVENTH
AVONDALE, AZ. (March 2) - A solid performance from Canada's DJ Kennington at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday night. Kennington drove the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Clark Construction #81 Toyota to a seventh place finish at the Talking Stick Resort '60' NASCAR K & N Series race. "Hats off to my crew first and foremost," says the St. Thomas, Ontario driver, "they remained focused." On Thursday, Kennington's brand new race car did not leave pits for the first practice session. "We couldn't get the car started. We had a short in the wiring system. Thank goodness we found it."


BRAND NEW CAR FROM BILL MCANALLY RACING

Kennington almost missed the final practice session on Friday as the troubleshooting continued. "We had a grand total of only 12 laps of practice and thats it. We guessed at the set up." Kennington qualified tenth out of thirty cars. During the race Kennington never fell out of the top-ten. "I was driving too hard into turn one all night long," admits the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion, "I had to tell myself to back off a little bit. When I did, the car started turning better." Kennington ran between eight and tenth place for much of the race.


KENNINGTON RAN IN THE TOP 10 ALL NIGHT

On the white flag lap Kennington put incredible pressure on Idaho's, Brett Thompson (#61). "I wanted just one more spot. I got a good run off of two and got by him on three and won the drag race to the finish line."


7TH PLACE FINISH FOR KENNINGTON

California's Greg Pursley (#26), who set a track record in qualifying won the race. Calgary, Alberta's Cameron Haley (#24) finished second. Kennington's next race is the 2013 season opener of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series May 19th at Bowmanville, Ontario. The 2013 season opener of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is tentatively scheduled for June 8th in Edmonton, Alberta.
-

SIDE NOTE: NPP Late Model Series competitor Crystal Kennedy attended a mandatory NASCAR K & N Series safety meeting for new drivers at Phoenix International Raceway Friday. The Edson, Alberta driver plans on making her pavement Late Model debut later this year.

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MONSTER RACER
KELOWNA, BC (March 11) - Western Canada's toughest racing Series on the dirt has always attracted unique drivers and personalities.  When one of Canada's top Monster Truck competitors took the wheel of a Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race car at the 2003 Oilmen's Invitational weekend in Edmonton, it was anyone's guess how he'd react. 


ANDERSON AND HIS WILD THING MONSTER TRUCK

"I had never raced on an oval before," recalls Marvin Anderson of his August 31st debut, "I was a monster truck driver.  I go over cars."  Watching race cars pass each other was not a foreign concept to Anderson.  He was a part-time crew member for three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond during the 2003 and 2004 race seasons.  Anderson indicates he really never had the urge to get behind the wheel of a stock car.  "I remember it was a two-day show and I was crewing for Trevor on the #71 car. Rob Reeves was filling in for the regular driver of the #42 car [Bill Baudin].  Rob smacked the wall and bent up the car pretty good the first night."  The car was patched up but would have no driver for the second night.  "With some persuasion, the next thing I know is that I went from being on Trevor's crew to driving."  For his first-time behind the wheel of a NPP Late Model, Anderson exceeded many people's expectations -- including his own.  "I was surprised at how sticky the dirt was in the race," exclaims Anderson,  "I didn't know how the car was supposed to handle.  I did ok.  I think." 


ANDERSON GOT TO PASS CARS INSTEAD OF GOING OVER THEM

Anderson finished 5th and 7th in his two heat races.  He remembers heading out on the race track for the big Feature event.  "I started at the back of the pack [rookie driver].  Compared to the heats, I couldn't believe how tough the Feature was both physically and mentally."  Competing at Monster Trucks events at venues all over North America, Anderson was used to handing out the hits.  The role was reversed as he was on the receiving end on the oval track.  "There was a pretty good pileup in the Feature I remember that.  The race was red flagged.  Someone then smacked into the back of me.  It was a pretty good hit.  Got a flat out of the deal and had to pit."  In the end Anderson escaped his oval debut with a 10th place finish in the Feature finishing ahead of several veteran racers including Dwight Kennedy and eventual 2003 Rookie of the Year Sheldon Ford. 


ANDERSONS COMFORT ZONE

Anderson currently is the manager of Western RV Country in Kelowna, British Columbia and is still involved in the Monster Truck scene.  "We have five trucks right now.  Four of them are ride trucks and one of them is a race truck."  Asked whether or not he'd like to have another shot at racing on the oval again.  "I haven't been in a stock car since that one race [ten years ago].  I had fun.  Sure I'd do it again!"

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PARTIAL 2013 SCHEDULE RELEASE
EDMONTON, AB (March 15) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has released a partial schedule for its upcoming race season.  NPP Series announcer Gord Craig says the 2013 schedule is about 95% complete.  "The month of September is giving us a bit of grief but the rest of the schedule looks pretty good." The NPP Late Model Series opens up its 2013 campaign with a two-day show at Castrol Raceway and Central Alberta Raceways June 8th and 9th.  "We will be running in Edmonton on Saturday night and then wrapping up our season opening weekend in Rimbey Sunday afternoon."  The two tracks are located just one-hour apart. For the first time since the 2009 season, the NPP Late Model Series returns to Drumheller, Alberta.  "Dinosaur Downs Raceway hosts their biggest show of the season on the Canada Day long weekend, " indicates Craig, "the IMCA Modifieds and the NPP Late Model Series are teaming up for the 2013 Raptor Run."  The NPP Late Model Series returns to Kindersley, Saskatchewan for the second year in a row.  Last year's appearance took place on the September long weekend. This year the NPP Series will compete in the Land of Living Skies on the August long weekend.  "We are pretty excited to be returning to Flatlanders Speedway," admits Craig, "all of our drivers are looking forward to competing on the 'tricky' triangle."   With a majority of the schedule confirmed, the biggest gray area that remains is the month of September.  "We open the season with a two day show in Edmonton and Rimbey.  Maybe we can wrap up the season with the Edmonton/Rimbey combo as well." Still on the racing radar for the 2013 season is a possible return visit to Merritt Speedway in Merritt, British Columbia.  "For the first time in NPP Series history we competed in three provinces last year.  I'd like to see it happen again this season if possible." A two-day show in Estevan, Saskatchewan will not be taking place this summer due to scheduling conflicts with Estevan Motor Speedway and race tracks in North Dakota.

April 28       Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta (test 'n' tune)
May 25        Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta (test 'n' tune)

June 8          Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta         
June 9          Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta          
June 29        Dinosaur Downs Speedway - Drumheller, Alberta
June 30        Dinosaur Downs Speedway - Drumheller, Alberta
July 19         Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
July 20         Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
August 3      Flatlanders Speedway - Kindersley, Saskatchewan
August 4       Flatlanders Speedway - Kindersley, Saskatchewan
August 17     Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
August 31      ????????         
September     ????????
September 8    Rimbey, Alberta (tentative)
September 14  Edmonton, Alberta (tentative)
September 28  Rimbey, Alberta (tentative - rain out date)

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KEEPING PACE
EDMONTON, AB (March 24) - The official pace car of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series celebrated its first birthday on the weekend.  Over the last twelve months, the 2012 Dodge Charger has visited three provinces, performed pace car duties at five race tracks and travelled close to 38,000 kilometers. 

"It really is a great looking billboard for our Series and for racing in general," exclaims NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, "this car really stands out but it stands out even more during our long off-season because people don't expect to see a pace car driving around during the middle of winter."  This is the second pace car put into service by the NPP Late Model Series. The first pace car, also a Dodge Charger, was unveiled back in May of 2008. 

"It would be interesting to see how many pictures have been taken of our two pace cars over the years.  Simple trips to the grocery store or the gas station always turns into an opportunity to talk racing."  The current NPP Series pace car will be having another busy season in 2013.  "Like last year, we will be in a several parades and car shows."  Craig notes that the pace car will once again be visiting several non-NPP Series race tracks this summer.  "The pace car is a moving business card for the Series." 

Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race teams continue preparations for the 2013 race season.  The season opening weekend will feature two familiar tracks. Western Canada's toughest racing series 'on the dirt' competes at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway Saturday, June 8th.  The NPP Series wraps up the opening weekend at Rimbey's Central Alberta Raceways on Sunday, June 9th.

—————————————————————

RAIN & SNOW TIRES
EDMONTON, AB. (April 1) - The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series could become the first racing series in Canada to schedule events year round.  New race tires specifically designed for wet and snowy oval tracks have arrived.  BS Racing Laboratories, a little known racing and research facility in Dusseldorf, Germany, has spent the past three years perfecting a specialized race tire for our unpredictable weather.


FIRST SHIPMENT OF NEW RACE TIRES

"We've developed a tire specifically for your racing climate,"  says president Hans Bursheidt, "when one competes on wet or snowy racing surfaces, you need a tire that delivers confidence.  This tire does that."  The new tires do look similar to the current race tire that NPP Series teams are using now.  "The tread is a little deeper," adds Bursheidt, "to quickly distinguish between your regular tires and these new tires, we've etched a light blue snowflake on the tire's sidewall so there is no guessing."  Defending NPP Series Champion Kevin Wheeler has already tested the new race tire and was amazed at the results.  "I can't believe the traction these new race tires have in the snow," says the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, "I can't wait to try these tires in a downpour at the race track." 


WHEELER READY TO DEFEND HIS TITLE ON ANY RACE SURFACE THIS SEASON

Wheeler has completely rebuilt his championship car in preparation for the upcoming season. He notes that with the addition of the new racing tire, the NPP Late Model Series has changed the face of racing in Western Canada once again.  "Bring it on!  The possibilities of racing when there is a foot of snow at a track or racing during a thunderstorm just makes things more interesting." Castrol Raceway opens its Oval track for the first time this season on April 27th for test 'n' tune. Despite a record amount of snow cover which has been slow to melt in the Edmonton region, NPP Series drivers might be testing out the new mud and snow race tires sooner than expected in 2013.

Other 'notables' on this date (April 1st):
1734 – Canada's first lighthouse began operating in Nova Scotia
1918 – Prohibition took effect in Alberta.
1949 – Tupperware was patented.
1960 – Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) began jet service between Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
1975 – Canadian radio stations started giving the temperature in Celcius.
1986 - World Oil price dips below $10.00 a barrel.
1992 – NHL Hockey players went on strike for the very first time.
1999 Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory. 
2013 – Happy April Fools Day! Racing in snow or severe thunderstorms.....are you kidding!!

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WAITING FOR SPRING
EDMONTON, AB. (April 8) - Although the calendar says spring, winter still has a firm grip on Northern and Central Alberta.  Snow drifts up to four feet high dominate the landscape at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway. The current run of below normal temperatures and a near record snow pack are jeopardizing the upcoming Oval test 'n' tune scheduled for April 27th. 


HARD PACKED SNOW STILL COVERS THE TRACK GRANDSTANDS
(PHOTO TAKEN Monday, April 8th)

Castrol Raceway's new Oval director indicates that the blanket of snow covering the facility is only half of the problem. "Yes there is a lot of standing snow at the track," says Rome Awde, "and even if we do get the big melt there will still frost in the ground.  As of right now though the test 'n' tune date for April 27th remains on the schedule.  We are keeping our fingers crossed." 


FOUR FOOT HIGH SNOW DRIFT PILED UP AGAINST TURN 1 WALL
(PHOTO TAKEN Monday, April 8th)

If mother nature fails to melt the snow and dry the facility [Oval pits and track] Awde indicates the test 'n' tune date will not be re-scheduled.  "Our first race of the season remains May 4th," says Awde, "however there are discussions taking place right now that could see us opening up the track early for competitors for a pre-race test 'n' tune session."  This pre-race test 'n' tune would only be open to classes competing at the 2013 Castrol Raceway season opener.


FRONT STRAIGHT WALL BESIDE FLAG STAND
(PHOTO TAKEN Monday, April 8th)

With Castrol Raceways April 27th test 'n' tune date in jeopardy, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitors do have one other test 'n' tune date on the schedule.  Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey has invited the NPP Series to test at its facility on May 25th. 

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ONE GIANT LEAP (PART III)
VICTORIA, BC. (April 12) - Less than two months after attending the Finish Line Racing school in Florida, Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitor Crystal Kennedy was back on the track playing a 160+ kilometer-per-hour game of cat and mouse.  The Edson, Alberta driver was at Western Speedway in Victoria, British Columbia where she participated in several on-track 'chase' sessions.  "This was a very productive and challenging trip," says Kennedy, "being on the track with Brandon and Darrell really opened my eyes as to where I'm at right now." 


KENNEDY'S NASCAR K & N SERIES RACE CAR

BC racer Brandon Carlson and Darrell Midgley, the 2009 NPP Late Model Series Champion, each took turns setting the on-track pace for Kennedy to follow.  "They got away from me every once in awhile," admits Kennedy, "but overall, I'm pretty happy with how I did."  Kennedy meanwhile continues eyeing her racing calendar.  "Reality is starting to set in with what's just around the corner for me."  Although there are no confirmed dates, the 23 year old Kennedy still plans on making her NASCAR K & N West Series debut this year. 


TIME FOR A LENGTHY TEST DRIVE

"The confidence factor is there," says Kennedy, "racing with a bunch of cars doesn't bother me.  I just don't want to be the one making a stupid mistake and being responsible for wrecking a bunch of them.  Taking that next big step is getting a lot closer."  Darrell Midgley liked what he saw in his on-track sessions with Kennedy.  "This was all about car control," says the Western Speedway president, "she has a good solid base of racing experience already.  The goal here was to get her a little more comfortable on the pavement.  If you can be comfortable here [Western Speedway], you shouldn't have any problems at other similar sized tracks." 


KEEPING UP WITH MIDGLEY & CARLSON

Kennedy has 85 NPP Late Model Series starts on the 'dirt' at 9 different race tracks.  "Western Speedway is a very tough track," adds Midgley, "it's as flat as a parking lot but she was still putting down some pretty good lap times." 

2013 K & N SERIES WEST SCHEDULE
March 2nd      Phoenix International Raceway - Arizona
May 4th          Stockton 99 Speedway  - California
May 25th        Brainerd International Speedway - Minnesota
June 7th          Iowa Speedway - Newton, IA
June 9th          Lebanon I-44 Speedway - Lebanon, Missouri

June 22nd        Sonoma Raceway - California
July 27th         Colorado National Speedway - Dacano, CO
August 2nd     Iowa Speedway - Newton, IA
August 17th    Evergreen Speedway - Monroe, Washington
August 24th    Spokane County Raceway - Washington
Sept. 14th        Miller Motorsports Park - Tooele, Utah
Sept. 28th        NAPA Speedway - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Oct. 12th         All American Speedway - Roseville, California
Oct. 26th         Kern County Raceway Park - Bakersfield, California 
Nov. 9th          Phoenix International Raceway - Arizona

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OUT OF TUNE
EDMONTON, AB. (April 15) - Castrol Raceway officials have announced that the Oval test 'n' tune, scheduled for Saturday, April 27th has been cancelled.  New track oval director Rome Awde made the announcement on Monday.  "Because of weather conditions beyond our control and large amounts of snow still on the ground [at the track], the oval test and tune is cancelled." Record snowfall and below normal temperatures have plagued Northern and Central Alberta for the past several weeks. 


SPECTATOR GRANDSTAND AREA STILL SNOW COVERED
(PHOTO TAKEN Monday, April 15th)

Awde indicates he is keeping his fingers crossed that the facility will be ready to go for its scheduled May 4th season opening race.  "If it stops snowing we hope to have the track ready to go.  If possible we are going to try to open the track several hours early [on May 4th] for a brief test 'n' tune session."  This mini test 'n' tune session would only be open to classes racing at Castrol Raceway's season opener.


TRACK OFFICIALS HAVE MADE SEVERAL 'LAPS' CLEARING SNOW
(PHOTO TAKEN Monday, April 15th)

The NPP Late Model Series is not scheduled to run in Edmonton on May 4th. With less snow on the ground than Castrol Raceway, track officials at Central Alberta Raceways are currently considering adding an oval test 'n' tune date on Saturday, May 11th.  The Rimbey, Alberta facility is already making their oval track available for NPP Late Model Series testing on Saturday, May 25th.  Central Alberta Raceway holds their first scheduled event of the season (Mud Bogs) on Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th.

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NPP & NASCAR
EDMONTON, AB. (April 17) - Over the past decade Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. has been a race car sponsor at many NASCAR events south of the border.  This summer, Western Canada's toughest racing Series 'on the dirt' welcomes some NASCAR star power to its line-up for a special night of racing. On July 31st, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series welcomes Kenny Schrader, Dave Blaney and two-time Daytona 500 Champion's Michael Waltrip and Sterling Marlin to the 'Race of Champions' at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway. 

“This event is part of our continued commitment to bring world class motorsport events to the Edmonton region," says Rob Reeves, Owner & President of Castrol Raceway, "and we are extremely excited to have these NASCAR legends racing on the dirt oval! You don’t want to miss out on this unique event."  All four drivers will take part in several on-track races in cars provided by the NPP Late Model Series.  They will also participate in the NPP Late Model Series races throughout the evening.  Along with the NPP Late Model Series, open wheel '360' Sprint Cars will be competing on this special mid-week race night.  Former sprint car racer and 1995 World of Outlaws Champion Dave Blaney has already indicated he's willing to compete in both classes.


PROPOSED PAINT SCHEME FOR WALTRIPS NPP SERIES 'ROC' CAR

The NPP Late Model Series is currently preparing race cars for Waltrip, Marlin, Schrader and Blaney.  "We started working on Waltrip's car last week," says Dwight Kennedy, owner of Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. in Edson, Alberta, "in the next few weeks we'll get going on cars for Sterling, Kenny and Dave."  Car numbers and sponsorships will be announced in the coming weeks.

Michael Waltrip - North Carolina     Two-time Daytona 500 Champion
                                                        NASCAR team owner/driver
                                                        Owner of Michael Waltrip Racing
                                                        Television analyst on Fox Sports and Speed TV

Ken Schrader - North Carolina         Raced NASCAR full-time for over 20 seasons        
                                                        NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1985
                                                        Running a part-time NASCAR schedule in 2013.
                                                       Owns Ken Schrader Racing (NASCAR K & N Series)
                                                                                   
Sterling Marlin - Tennessee                Two-time Daytona 500 Champion
                                                        NASCAR Point leader in 2002 with 7 races remaining.                        ---------------------- Broke his back in a bad crash ending his season. 
                                                        Retired from NASCAR in 2010
                                                           
Dave Blaney - North Carolina          1995 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Champion
                                                        NASCAR driver for 16 years
------------------------------------- Will compete at this summers inaugural NASCAR Truck ---------------------------------------- Series event 'on the dirt' at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.

FROM THE CASTROL RACEWAY WEBSITE :
Spectator gates will open at 4:00pm with opening ceremonies beginning at 6:30pm. The race will begin at 7:00pm.  The Race Of Champions will feature exclusive autograph sessions with race fans as well as the Champions Club VIP Pass which includes a deluxe members only hospitality centre, reserved seating, complimentary dinner buffet & beverages, private cash bar and exclusive gifts & driver autograph session for only $99.

Ticket Prices:
Reserved tickets - $50.00
General tickets - $40.00
Youth – ½ price
Champions Club VIP Pass - $99.00

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LIGHTS ARE ON BUT.....
EDMONTON, AB. (April 27) - Castrol Raceway continues to emerge from its long winter slumber.  On an overcast and breezy Saturday afternoon, a handful of oval officials were at the facility testing equipment in advance of the 2013 season opener scheduled on May 4th.  Two weeks ago track officials cancelled the April 27th oval test 'n' tune for all competitors due to a record snowpack.  Officials were concerned that the track would not be ready in time for a proper open test session.  They were right. 


OVAL SURFACE IS 90% SNOW FREE
(PHOTO TAKEN Saturday, April 27th)

Standing pools of water have now replaced the four foot snow drifts that covered the oval track for most of the winter season.  No track prep has taken place due to excessive moisture still embedded in the clay racing surface.  Officials hope to begin massaging the clay oval surface this week.  Flickering to life for the first time in 2013 was the track lighting system.  The halogen lights remained illuminated for about 60 minutes. 


REMNANTS OF FOUR FOOT HIGH DRIFTS IN TURNS 1 & 2
(PHOTO TAKEN Saturday, April 27th)

Several Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race teams had planned on shaking off the winter cobwebs at the Saturday test session.  They will now have to wait a few more weeks before being able to hit the track. 


Monday, April 8th ------------------------- Saturday, April 27th

Central Alberta Raceways has invited NPP Series teams to test at their facility on May 27th.  Weather and facility conditions permitting, the Rimbey, Alberta race track  is currently considering adding an earlier oval test 'n' tune date on Saturday, May 11th. 

2013 NPP SERIES SCHEDULE
April 28th       Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta          (test 'n' tune)
May 11th        Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta (test 'n' tune/tentative)
May 25th        Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta  (test 'n' tune)
June 8th          Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta         
June 9th          Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey, Alberta          
June 29th        Dinosaur Downs Speedway - Drumheller, Alberta
June 30th        Dinosaur Downs Speedway - Drumheller, Alberta
July 19th         Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
July 20th         Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
July 31st         Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta NEW** (ALL STAR RACE)
August 3         Flatlanders Speedway - Kindersley, Saskatchewan
August 4         Flatlanders Speedway - Kindersley, Saskatchewan
August 17       Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta
August 31       Merritt Speedway - Merritt, British Columbia (tentative)  
September 1    Merritt Speedway - Merritt, British Columbia (tentative)
September 8    Rimbey, Alberta (tentative)
September 14  Edmonton, Alberta (tentative)
September 28  Rimbey, Alberta (tentative - rain out date)

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