A NEW YEAR BEGINS
EDSON, AB (January 1) - Happy New Year from the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series. Spring is less than 80 days away!! In just a few weeks Team NPP kicks off its 2017 race season on the pavement at Tucson Speedway in Arizona.

The 2017 season of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series is tentatively set to begin on May 27th at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. A tentative 2017 NPP Series season schedule is expected to be released in January.

—————————————————————

DJ TO DAYTONA
ST. THOMAS, ON (January 19) - It's been eight years since DJ Kennington raced the high banked oval track of Daytona International Speedway.  On Sunday, February 26th, the Canadian returns to compete in his very first 'Great American Race'.  Gaunt Brothers Racing, based in Moorseville, North Carolina announced Wednesday (January 18th) that the St. Thomas, Ontario driver will race the 59th running of the Daytona 500 in the Lordco Auto Parts/Castrol Canada #96 Toyota. This race kicks off the 2017 season of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 


KENNINGTONS DAYTONA 500 PAINT SCHEME
...................................... (Rendering: Gaunt Brothers Racing)

In his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut last November at Phoenix International Raceway, Kennington drove the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Clark Construction #55 Chevrolet to a 35th place finish.  This car was owned by Premier Motorsports based in Huntersville, North Carolina.  How Kennington runs in Florida could determine whether or not he'll get more starts in North America's premier stock car series.


KENNINGTON AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

Along with announcing Kennington as their driver for the Daytona 500, GBR announced that they'll also run the July 1st race at Daytona and at Talladega Super Speedway on May 7th and October 15th.  The good news for Kennington is that he does have limited experience at both these tracks when he ran in the NASCAR Xfinity Series close to a decade ago.  He's run a total of three times at Daytona International Speedway with a best finish of 17th back in 2009.  Kennington has competed twice at Talladega with a best finish of 19th, also in 2009.  Kennington has 50 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and 5 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. The two-time NASCAR Pinty's Series Canadian champion, celebrates his 40th birthday in 2017 and will be designated a rookie driver for all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events he runs this season.



DJ'S DAYTONA SPEEDWEEK
....................(all times Eastern)
> Sunday, February 19th
3:00pm - DAYTONA 500 Qualifying*
*determines front row of Daytona 500. Sets the field for the Can-Am Duels. Odd number qualifiers to run Duel Race #1. Even number qualifiers to run Duel Race #2.

> Thursday, February 23rd
Noon - Practice
7:00pm - Can-Am Duels**
**finish order from both Duels sets the 3rd through 43rd starting positions.

> Friday, February 24th
1:00pm - Practice
3:00pm - Practice

> Saturday, February 25th
1:00pm - Final Practice

> Sunday, February 26th
2:00pm - DAYTONA 500

—————————————————————

TENTATIVE UNTIL CONFIRMED
EDSON, AB (January 31) - With less than 50 days till Spring, the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series has released its tentative schedule for the 2017 race season.  Right now the 17th consecutive season of NPP Late Model Series action features eight race dates at three Alberta tracks.  For the first time in NPP Series history, there are no single race days on the schedule.  The tentative 2017 schedule consists of only two-day race weekends.  The two-day season opening weekend begins May 26/27 at Central Alberta Raceways.  The track in Rimbey, Alberta will also host the season championship weekend on September 22 and 23. All oval events at Central Alberta Raceways this season are also night time events.  On July 21 and 22 the NPP Late Model Series makes its one and only weekend visit to Edmonton's Castrol Raceway.  The NPP Late Model is one of the support classes to the open-wheel Sprint Cars at the 2017 Gold Cup event. After re-opening to rave reviews last year, Drayton Valley Speedway will host the NPP Late Model Series in 2017 on August 26 and 27.  The last time the NPP Series competed in Drayton Valley was August 20th, 2006. Meanwhile, the 2016 NPP Late Model Series champion kicks off his race season in Arizona this weekend.  Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley competes on the pavement in the 4th annual Chilly Willy Super Late Model race at Tucson Speedway.

2017 NPP SERIES TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Friday, May 26                 Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey
Saturday, May 27             Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbeyz
- June -- ??
- June --
??
Friday, July 21                  Castrol Raceway - Edmonton
Saturday, July 22              Castrol Raceway - Edmonton
Saturday, August 26         Drayton Valley Speedway - Drayton Valley
Sunday, August 27           Drayton Valley Speedway - Drayton Valley
Friday, September 22       Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey
Sunday, September 23      Central Alberta Raceways - Rimbey

—————————————————————

APPEARANCE IN THE DESERT
TUCSON, AZ (February 2) - The three-time champion of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series kicks off his 2017 season this weekend in the Copper State.  Darrell Midgley competes at the 4th annual Chilly Willy 150 Super Late Model race at Tucson Speedway on Friday and Saturday February 3rd and 4th.  "We've run pretty well here," says the Sidney, British Columbia driver,  "we've led laps, we've always been fast but now we just need to bring home a good finish."  In his last appearance at the Arizona track on November 26th, Midgley qualified 7th at the Turkey Shoot 125.  The only Canadian in the field briefly took over the race lead on Lap 50.  He kept the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Alien Chassis #81 Dodge in the top 10 for most of the race but settled for an 11th place finish.  "That was the longest we've gone without burning the tires off."  At the 2015 Turkey Shoot race Midgley led nearly 50 laps.  A flat tire, while leading, ended his chances at victory.  Midgley finished 24th in this race. 


#81 DARRELL MIDGLEY: AVERAGE FINISH OF 15.8 IN 5 TUCSON STARTS
.......................................................................................................... (photo: Mandy Love Photos)

In his 6th visit to the Arizona desert since 2015, Midgley likes his chances this time.  "The Chilly Willy race is a lot different [than the fall Turkey Shoot race], there are more laps to run which means a bit of a change to our on-track strategy.  There are a couple things we're going to try this weekend so hopefully we can make it happen."  Midgley has run well in his two previous Chilly Willy appearances.  "Two years ago we were running eighth near the end of the race and got spun (finished 22nd).  At last year's race I know I could have finished in the top 10 but I ran over something on the track and got a flat."  Midgley finished 24th at the 2016 Chilly Willy 150.  "If I can keep the tires on the car and stay out of trouble this weekend things should go pretty good."  The Chilly Willy 150 at Tucson Speedway is the first race of Midgley's 'off-season' schedule for 2017 in the United States.  Midgley plans on competing in several Spears Southwest Super Late Model race events in California next month. "We plan to run a few more races this year in the Team NPP car than we have the past few years."  Midgley also plans on running the full NPP Late Model Series schedule which begins in May and running several pavement Late Model events at Western Speedway in Victoria, British Columbia.

MIDGLEY: FINISHES IN TUCSON
February 2015 - finished 22nd (Chilly Willy)
November 2015 - finished 8th (Turkey Shoot)
February 2016 - finished 24th (Chilly Willy)
October 2016 - finished 13th (regular track night)
November 2016 - finished 11th (Turkey Shoot)
February 2017 - ????? (Chilly Willy)



Classes racing:
Super Late Models
Trucks
Modifieds
Hobby Stocks
Bombers

> FRIDAY, February 3rd
1:00pm - Practice 1: 3rd fastest 16.112seconds (-0.199) +24Celcius/Few clouds
2:30pm - Practice 2: 15th fastest 16.275seconds (-0.539) +25Celcius/Few clouds
5:00pm - Qualified 7th - 15.685 (-0.272) +18Celcius/Mostly cloudy

>> WATCH LIVE (CLICK HERE) <<

> SATURDAY, February 4th
Midgley finished 10th at the 2017 Chilly Willy 150.

SPECTATOR ADMISSION
$13.00 General
$11.00 Senior or Military
$8.00 Youth (11 - 16)
FREE (children 10 and under)
$32.00 Family Pack (2 Adults / 2 Youth)

—————————————————————

TENTH IN TUCSON FOR MIDGLEY
TUCSON, AZ (February 4) - Darrell Midgley kicked off his 2017 race season Saturday night in Arizona with a strong 10th place finish at the 4th annual Chilly Willy 150 Super Late Model race.  "Very pleased with the outcome," exclaims Midgley, "some really good teams racing here this weekend." Half the field qualified under 16 seconds on the 3/8 mile oval track.  Midgley, the only Canadian in the field qualified 7th, running a 15.685 lap time (-0.272).  Garrett Evans from Wenatchee, Washington qualified number one with a 15.413.  As the green flag flew, Tucson Speedway set a track record with 37 Super Late Models on the track at once.  "Anytime you are going to start over 30 cars stuff is going to happen."  Racing was three and sometimes four wide early in the race.  The first caution flag flew for a single car spin on lap 26.  The Sidney, British Columbia driver had a front row seat for this incident.  "Driver spun down the back stretch right in front of me but there was plenty of time to react."  Other then fender rubs and bumper taps, drivers behaved for much of the race.  Midgley started 7th but fell back to 12th by lap 50.  "We tried to save the tires early.  That was the plan.  We had some tires in the end and it worked out for us."  Lap 114 saw the first Chilly Willy crash of the entire weekend.  A single car spin with hard contact into the wall.  The driver was uninjured however the red flag was displayed due to the time needed for cleanup.  With just 15 laps to go Midgley watched as a multi-car crash unfolded in front of him.  "They wrecked right in front of us.  I think someone may have lost an engine.  I had a little bit time to react [to the crash] which was good."  Unfortunately it was bad timing for race leader Taylor Riddle who had nowhere to go.  Several spinning cars came down directly into his path.  The quest for back-to-back Chilly Willy Championships for the Naches, Washington driver came to a crashing end.  On the restart, the race night could just have easily come to an end for Midgley.  "I had a good run on the restart but guys started wrecking in front of us.  Had to slam on the brakes hard."  Midgley was part of a five-car incident.  His Northern Provincial Pipelines/Alien Chassis #81 Dodge only received a slight front bumper scuff.  One car however had to be towed from the track.  Only 21 cars would finish the 2017 Chilly Willy 150.  In an exciting race that took over two hours to complete, Owen Riddle from Naches, Washington grabbed the checkered flag with NASCAR Truck Series Rookie Noah Gragson from Las Vegas, Nevada finishing second and Littleton, Colorado's Kyle Ray finished third.  Midgley crossed the finish line in 10th for his best ever Chilly Willy finish.  "Yes we used the rear tires up again.  I think everyone was down tires in the end.  That was a long time to be in the car."  His previous best Chilly Willy finish was 22nd back in 2015.  Midgley has a few weeks off before his next race on the his 2017 'off-season' schedule.  Midgley and Team NPP head to Irwindale Speedway in California for a Spears Super Late Model Series event on March 25th.

2017 CHILLY WILLY 150
Tucson, Arizona

> Saturday, February 4th, 2017

1.(10) #10 Owen Riddle - Naches, Washington
2.(8)  #18 Noah Gragson - Las Vegas, Nevada
3.(9)  #58 Kyle Ray - Littleton, Colorado
4.(5)  # 9 Ron Norman - Davenport, Iowa
5.(12) #12 Bruce Yackey - Greely, Colorado
6.(13) #34 Rudy Vanderwal - LaSalle, Colorado
7.(20) #26 Dylan Jones - Tucson, Arizona
8.(18) #46 John Newhouse - Twin Falls, Idaho
9.(27) #20 Brandon Schilling - Tucson, Arizona
10.(7) #81 Darrell Midgley - Sidney, British Columbia
11.(24)#25 Brandon Farrington - Tucson, Arizona
12.(32)# 6 Dane Jorgenson - Sierra Vista, Arizona
13.(11)#52 Brittney Zamora - Kennewick, Washington
14.(34)#23 Curtis Lansing - Tucson, Arizona
15.(22)#29 Keith Lopez - Tucson, Arizona
16.(14)#22 Paul Banghart - Tucson, Arizona
17.(29)#91 Chris Atkinson - Cheyenne, Wyoming
18.(4) #32 Brett Yackey - Greely, Colorado
19.(33)#47 Cassie Gannis - Phoenix, Arizona
20.(21)#39 Brian Harrington Jr. - Tucson, Arizona
21.(2) #50 Trevor Huddleston - Aguura Hills, California
22.(3) #15 Taylor Riddle - Naches, Washington
23.(16)#51 Sean Bray - Tucson, Arizona
24.(17)#14 Vanessa Robinson - La Cruces, New Mexico
25.(6) #12 Scott Franchimone - Ontario, California
26.(1) #64 Garrett Evans - Wenatchee, Washington
27.(30)#09 Thane Alderman - Las Vegas, Nevada
28.(35)#27 Bobby Hillis Jr. - Scottsdale, Arizona
29.(23)#07 Chuck Wares - Vail, Arizona
30.(26)#16 Dustin Jones - Tucson, Arizona
31.(25)#71 Ron Searle Jr. - Tucson, Arizona
32.(36)# 5 Trent Phillips - Hemingford, Nebraska
33.(15)#80 Victor Pfluger - Morristown, Arizona
34.(37)# 4 Ricky Bogart - Phoenix, Arizona
35.(31)#13 Ned Champine - Benson, Arizona
36.(28)#31 Daryl Fischer - Tucson, Arizona
37.(19)# 8 Mariah McGriff - Vail, Arizona

—————————————————————

TESTING TIME NEARS
EDMONTON, AB (February 16) - The 2017 season of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series begins in less than 100 days.  Before the season starts, two Alberta tracks are opening their doors for pre-season test and tune.  Drayton Valley Speedway has scheduled a one-day test and tune on their oval track for Saturday, April 29th.  Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey has a two-day test and tune on Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th.  For the first time in 26 years, Castrol Raceway has opted out of hosting an oval test and tune. A last minute addition to the Edmonton schedule is still a possibility.


MIDGLEY: 2009, 2015, 2016 NPP SERIES CHAMPION

Last month, the NPP Late Model Series released its tentative race schedule. The 17th consecutive season of race action is set to begin on Friday, May 26th at Central Alberta Raceway. Sidney, British Columbia's Darrell Midgley is the defending season champion and is looking to become the first driver in NPP Series history to win four championships.

2017 NPP LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE (tentative)
Saturday, April 29th - Drayton Valley Speedway test and tune
Saturday, May 6th - Central Alberta Raceways
test and tune
Sunday, May 7th - Central Alberta Raceways
test and tune
Friday, May 26th - Central Alberta Raceways
Saturday, May 27th - Central Alberta Raceways
Friday, July 21st - Castrol Raceway
Saturday, July 22nd - Castrol Raceway
Saturday, August 26th - Drayton Valley Speedway
Sunday, August 27th - Drayton Valley Speedway
Friday, September 22nd - Central Alberta Raceways
Saturday, September 23rd - Central Alberta Raceways

—————————————————————

DJ AT DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 22) - DJ Kennington has the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.  The St. Thomas, Ontario driver is looking to become the first Canadian to race in the Daytona 500 since 1988.  "Everybody has put in a huge effort so far to get to this point," exclaims the two-time NASCAR Canada Pinty's Series Champion, "I'm just taking it all in right now."  Dawsonville, Georgia's Chase Elliot, son of 1988 NASCAR Champion Bill Elliot, claimed pole position during qualifying this past weekend. "There are 42 drivers here in Daytona trying to qualify," adds Kennington,  "I'm extremely fortunate to be one of them."  With Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualifying second, the Thursday night Duel races will determine the final 38 starting spots for this Sunday's Great American Race.  Kennington has been happy with his performance so far in the Lordco Auto Parts/Castrol #96 Toyota.  "We're up against teams with multi-million dollar budgets.  To be 38th fastest in a brand new car from Gaunt Brothers Racing says a lot. We're driving against the best in the world." 


KENNINGTON AND 7X NASCAR CHAMPION JIMMY JOHNSON
...................................................................... (Photo: Gaunt Brothers Racing)

This is Kennington's second start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  With major sponsorhip from Alberta companies Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. and Clark Construction, Kennington finished 35th in his Cup Series debut at Phoenix Raceway last November.  "Definitely looking forward to Thursday morning," says Kennington, "we'll be on the track for some practice sessions in preparation for the Thursday night duals."  Kennington is scheduled to compete in the second Can-Am Duel race (starts 19th / 60laps).  "We're one step closer to running the Daytona 500.  A good finish (in the Duel) and we're in."  Kennington needs to finish ahead of Maryland's Timmy Hill (starts 21st) to punch his ticket to Sundays big race and become just the 8th Canadian to start a Daytona 500 race.  Trevor Boys was the last Canadian to race in the Daytona 500.  The Calgary, Alberta driver finished 19th on February 14th, 1988.  There wasn't much press coverage for Boys on his top 20 finish.  The Canadian media were a little more focused on the 1988 Winter Olympics which was being held in Calgary during this time.


DJ'S DAYTONA SPEEDWEEK
....................(all times Eastern)
> Thursday, February 23rd
Noon - Practice (Cancelled due to rain)
Start of Duel races will most likely be delayed.
7:00pm - 60 lap/150mile Can-Am Duel 1**
9:00pm - 60 lap/150mile Can-Am Duel 2
**
**finish order from both Duels sets the 3rd through 40th starting positions.

> Friday, February 24th
1:00pm - Practice
3:00pm - Practice

> Saturday, February 25th
12:30pm - Final Practice

> Sunday, February 26th
2:00pm - DAYTONA 500

—————————————————————

UPDATE: - St. Thomas, Ontario's DJ Kennington finished 14th in the Can-Am Duel #2 Thursday night and will start 28th in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Kennington becomes just the 8th Canadian to qualify for the Daytona 500. The last Canadian to race in the Daytona 500 was Calgary, Alberta's Trevor Boys in 1988.

—————————————————————

UPDATE: - With 72 laps to go DJ Kennington got caught up in a multi-car crash at Daytona International Speedway. Kennington was running 22nd when Jimmy Johnson (running 3rd) was tagged from behind causing a chain reaction crash that collected/damaged 16 cars. Kennington slammed the back end of Johnsons spinning race car. The first Canadian to run the Daytona 500 since 1988 would be credited with a 36th place finish. The race won by Kurt Busch.

—————————————————————

DJ DOES CANADA PROUD
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 27) - For the first time in a long time, race fans in Canada had some 'on-track' Canadian content to cheer for in the Great American Race.  Douglas James Kennington and the Gaunt Brothers Racing team were living the dream at the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday and Canadian race fans were living vicariously through them.  "Making the race was huge," says the St. Thomas, Ontario driver, "I've been watching this race on TV with my dad since I was a kid and to be a part of it was a dream come true for sure."  Although he was disappointed with his 36th place finish, Kennington and his team held their heads high after the race.  "It was a great race car. Very proud of my team and what we accomplished.  We set out last week to make the big race and we did it."  Kennington was the first Canadian to race the Daytona 500 since 1988. 


DJ AT DAYTONA

Behind the wheel of his Lordco Auto Parts/Castrol Canada #96 Toyota, the two-time NASCAR Canada Pinty's Series Champion ran a conservative race at first.  "I was learning lots every lap out there.  These 'cup' cars are so much different than the race cars I've driven in the past."  Starting 28th, Kennington ran near the back of the pack for the first 75 laps.  "I know I put a lot of pressure on myself.  I felt we had the whole country behind us.  There came a time in the race where I was done sitting back."  Just past the halfway point, Kennington began his march to the front.  He briefly found himself in the top 20.  "My main goal was to not make any rookie mistakes that would cost other drivers a chance to finish the race."  Ironically it was mistakes by other drivers that cost Kennington a chance at a good finish in Daytona. 


RACE ENDING CRASH FOR KENNINGTON

"I've run the crash through my mind a thousand times since Sunday," sighs Kennington, "I pride myself at finishing races but what happened to me was just super speedway racing."  On lap 128 of the 200 lap race, Kennington was running 22nd when seven-time NASCAR Champion Jimmy Johnson (running 3rd) was tagged from behind causing a chain reaction crash that collected and damaged 16 cars.  Kennington's car was one of them as he slammed the back end of Johnsons spinning race car.  Kenningtons day was done as was Johnsons, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick, just to name a few.  "It's too bad we didn't get to finish the race." The Gaunt Brothers Racing team has already announced they plan to run a limited 2017 season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. GBR has hinted at a return to Daytona on July 1st for the Coke Zero 400 and also two race dates at Talladega Super Speedway on May 7th and October 15th. These dates do not conflict with any Canadian race dates that Kennington is already scheduled to run in 2017.

————————————————

SPRING RACING IS HERE
IRWINDALE, CA (March 21) - After his 10th place finish at Arizona's Tucson Speedway last month, Darrell Midgley and Team NPP continue their 'south-of-the-border' race schedule this weekend.  The three-time champion of the NPP Late Model Series is at Southern California's Irwindale Speedway for the 2017 season opener of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.  "These are the best touring cars and Late Model teams in the region," says the Sidney, British Columbia driver, "I know there are several teams from Las Vegas and Arizona making the trip.  It's a good group of cars and drivers for sure."  This is Midgley's second visit to the 1/2 mile oval track located just a short 25 minute drive from downtown Los Angeles.  "It would be nice to run down here more often but it's not feasible at this point.  Most of the teams here are into this full-time with a full-time crew.  We're the visitors.  We're playing in their backyard." 


MIDGLEY IS BACK IN THE GOLDEN STATE

In his Irwindale Speedway debut at the Spring Classic race back in April of 2015, Midgley drove the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Alien Chassis #81 Dodge to a third place finish.  "That was a pretty good debut here," exclaims Midgley, "everything fell into place towards the end of the race.  Finishing on the podium was a bonus."  For this year's Irwindale Speedway race, Midgley was the first driver to officially register.  "We really have been running well.  We've been backing up our qualifying runs by performing well during the race.  To get a top 10 finish at Irwindale this weekend will be good."  The Sidney, British Columbia driver did not compete at Irwindale Speedway last year but had fantastic finishes at two other California tracks.  Midgley grabbed a 5th and a 6th place finish in the Spring races at Madera Speedway and All American Speedway (Roseville, CA).  Midgley will be part of Irwindale Speedway track history this weekend.  The facility is hosting two touring Series for the very first time.  Along with the 2017 season opener of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, the NASCAR K & N Pro Series West Series is holding race number three of their 2017 season.     

Classes racing:
NASCAR K & N Series (twin 100 lap races)
SPEARS Southwest Tour Series (100 laps)

>Friday, March 24
4:30pm - Practice 1
7:30pm - Practice 2
 
>Saturday, March 25th
1:00pm - Practice 3
5:00pm - Qualifying
7:00pm - Racing begins

—————————————————————

UPDATE: (March 25 at 10:18pm) Darrell Midgley was off the pace Saturday afternoon and qualified 21st (out of 23 drivers) for the Saturday night season opener of the SPEARS Manufacturing Southwest Tour Series. The first half of the 100 lap race at Irwindale Speedway ran caution free. On Lap 47, Midgley drove his Team NPP #81 Dodge to the pits for quick adjustments. Four cars then got together on the track. The race was red flagged to allow for track crews to clean up the debris. Midgley would be scored in the 17th position for the restart. The Sidney, British Columiba driver would be stuck in this spot until lap 97. With just three laps to go, the driver he'd been chasing since lap 80 spun down the back straight bringing out the final caution of the race. Midgley crossed the finish line 16th in Southern California. Bobby Hodges of Carson City, Nevada was the race winner.

—————————————————————

SPRING SPRUNG IN CALIFORNIA
IRWINDALE, CA (March 26) - Not the weekend Darrell Midgley and Team NPP wanted in Southern California on the weekend.  Midgley drove the Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd./Alien Chassis #81 Dodge to a 16th place finish at Irwindale Speedway Saturday night.  "We got a little faster as the night went on but it was too little too late," sighs the Sidney, British Columbia driver, "the good news is that the car is in one piece."  The Friday and Saturday afternoon practice sessions were an exercise in frustration for Midgley.  "We couldn't get better with our lap times at all.  We did all sorts of changes to the car (chassis and shocks) but it just didn't make any major differences on the track."  Things went from bad to worse for Midgley rolling through inspection prior to qualifying.  "We failed tech.  The car was too low."  Ironically it was failing tech that led them to the reason for their ill handling race car.  "We wasted two-days of practice here running around the track on a bad spring."  Midgley qualified 21st out of 23 cars entered into the 2017 season opener of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.  "We changed the right front spring and then immediately went out and qualified."


At the drop of the green Midgley dropped from his 21st starting position to 22nd. "The car was just awful at the beginning of the race.  We didn't have time to make any major changes."  On Lap 47 of the caution free race, Midgley decided to pit for a quick chassis adjustment.  "At this point I really wasn't worried about track position."  As Midgley returned to the track the yellow flag was being displayed for a multi-car crash.  "I probably would have been in that one," admits Midgley, "it was near the back of the pack."  The yellow flag was then replaced by a red flag to allow crews to clean-up all the debris on the race track. Midgley would be scored in the 17th position for the restart. The Sidney, British Columiba driver would be stuck in this spot until lap 97. With just three laps to go, San Diego, California's Matthew Meech, the driver Midgley had been chasing for more than 20 laps spun down the back straight. This was the final caution of the race. Midgley crossed the finish line 16th. Bobby Hodges of Carson City, Nevada was the race winner.


SPEARS MANUFACTURING 100
> Saturday, March 25th
1. #89 Bobby Hodges - Carson City, Nevada
2. #43 Derek Thorn - Bakersfield, California
3. # 4 Willie Allen - Bon Aqua, Tennessee
4. # 2 Craig Raudman - Cottonwood, California
5. #21 Blaine Rocha - Oakdale, California
6. #90 Toni McCray - Highland, California
7. #48 Ricky Schlick - Claremont, California
8. #05 Eric Schmidt - Roseville, California
9. #54 Donny St. Ours - Upland, California
10.#16 Jacob Gomes - Manteca, California
11.#77 Toby Becker - Highland, Washington
12.#66 Jeff Bischofberger - Long Beach, California
13.#50 Trevor Huddleston - Agoura Hills, California
14.#37 Keith Spangler - Porter Ranch, California
15.#51 Carlos Viera - Livingston, California
16.#81 Darrell Midgley - Victoria, British Columbia
17.#64 Matthew Meech - San Diego, California
18.#33 Cale Kanke - Frazier Park, California
19.#26 Christian McGhee - Claremont, California
20.#18 Jack Wood - Loomis, California
21.#36 Luke Hall - Eureka, California
22.#24 Scott Sanchez - Bakersfield, California
23.#14 Chris Clyne - Las Vegas, Nevada

—————————————————————

MELT DOWN
DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (April 3) - Race teams have the opportunity to be on the oval track in less than thirty days.  Drayton Valley Speedway opens its doors to all competitors for a spring test and tune on Saturday, April 29th.  "We're counting down the days," exclaims track president Brandon Murray, "really looking forward to this year."  Murray and his crew brought the race facility back to life in 2016.  "We definitely learned a lot last year.  This track (formerly Rapid Fire Motorsports Park) was closed for ten years."  Drayton Valley Speedway hosted 14 race dates last year and has expanded its race schedule in 2017. 


TWO EVENTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN RUN AT DRAYTON VALLEY SPEEDWAY IN 2017
................................................................................................................... (photo: Drayton Valley Speedway)

"We are in this for the long haul.  Last year we got the track up and running.  This year we've added some extra race dates.  Several facility improvements are in the works as well."  Ironically the Drayton Valley Speedway test and tune later this month is not the first event of the 2017 season.  "We've held two events here already this year."  Back in February Murray carved out a slalom course for race teams to navigate.  "It was a bit of an experiment but for the most part it worked.  It was a very sloppy at times.  The teams that came out had a lot of fun.  If we do this event again we'll probably change the time of year." 


SPRING 2017: TURN ONE AND TWO AT DRAYTON VALLEY SPEEDWAY
......................................................... (photo: Drayton Valley Speedway)

Right now at Drayton Valley Speedway there is a lot of standing water in the pit area from snow melt.  The oval track itself is in very good shape.  "If it weren't for the pits, we probably could have cars on the track next weekend.  The facility is drying out nicely." The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series races at Drayton Valley Speedway in August.  The NPP Series last competed in Drayton Valley back in 2006.

2017 EVENT SCHEDULE
February 11---- Winter Slalom
March 11------- Winter Slalom (rescheduled to March 25th)
April 29-------- Oval Test n Tune
May 6/7---------Oval Opener (Race #1 & 2)
May 27/28------ Mud Bogs / Tough Trucks
June 10/11------ Oval (Race #3 &4)
July 1/2---------- Mud Bogs / Tough Trucks
July 23----------- Oval - 2017 Platinum Cup (Race #5)
July 29/30------- Oval (Race #6 &7)
August 26/27---- Oval (Race #8 &9)
Sept. 16/17------ Oval (Race #10 &11)
Sept. 23/24------ Mud Bogs/Tough Trucks / Demo Derby
October 14/15--- Oval (Race #12 &13)

—————————————————————

SCHEDULE PRIORITIES
VICTORIA, BC (April 12) - The three-time season champion of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will not be racing at All American Speedway this weekend.  Darrell Midgley originally planned on competing at the Roseville, California track in the Team NPP #81 Dodge, however another motorsport event, closer to home, took priority.  "It's our season opening weekend at Western Speedway."  Midgley is the promoter of the Victoria, British Columbia race facility.  "This is one of our biggest season opening weekends ever so the decision (to miss the Roseville race) was pretty easy to make."  For the second year in a row Western Speedway's season opening weekend is a two-day event.  "There is a 200 lap Enduro race Friday night.  We've got all the guns blazing Saturday night including figure 8 racing and a demo derby."  Western Speedway is celebrating its 63 anniversary in 2017 and is currently Western Canada's oldest speedway.  The Sidney, British Columbia driver admits that planning a spring and summer schedule get a little complicated when the local race season in his home province begins. "My general manager (Daryl Crocker) is also my son-in-law who just so happens to be my crew chief when I go racing."  Once the Western Speedway season opener is complete, Midgley will briefly replace his promoter hat with a helmet. 


MIDGLEY COMPETES IN WASHINGTON THE END OF APRIL

"We are racing in Wenatchee (Washington) the end of the month."  The Wenatchee Valley Super Oval hosts the Northwest Super Late Model Series on Saturday, April 29th. "I'll be racing the Northern Provincial Pipelines/Alien Chassis #81 Dodge." Midgley begins the 2017 defense of his NPP Late Model Series title on May 26th and 27th at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey.  



---------------- Victoria, British Columbia
- 2017 SEASON OPENING WEEKEND
>
FRIDAY, April 14th
200 LAP ENDURO
Classes racing: Claimer Cars / 4 cylinder Hornets
--
5:30pm - Spectator Gates
7:00pm - Racing

--
Spectator Admission:
$10.00 - General
$5.00 - Children (age 7 - 12)
$5.00 - Military
$25.00 - Family Pass (2 Adults/4 children)



> SATURDAY, April 15th
SLEGG BUILDING MATERIALS NIGHT OF MAYHEM
On the track:
Bombers, Claimer Cars
Figure 8 racing
30' tall Dragon car shredder
Bus Racing / Trailer racing
Demo Derby
--
4:30pm - Spectator Gates
5:30pm - Qualifying
6:30pm - Racing/Mayham
Fireworks after the event

--
Spectator Admission:
$22.50 - Adults
$20.00 - Youth (age 13 - 18) Seniors / Military
$14.00 - Children (age 7 - 12)
$65.00 - Family Pass (2 Adults/4 children)

 

—————————————————

TRACKING THE TRACKS
EDMONTON, AB (April 26) - Race teams in the province of Alberta have emerged from their winter slumber and so have the race tracks.  Three facilities the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series are scheduled to compete at in 2017 are almost ready to go.  Unfortunately several April snow storms have been hampering facility preparations by track officials.  Despite the additional moisture and standing water from the melting snow, there has been no talk of any postponements by track officials at this point.  Drayton Valley Speedway is the first track to open its doors in 2017.  A test and tune is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th.  Crews will be out this weekend upgrading the old bleachers but also installing new bleachers to expand the seating capacity on the oval.


DRAYTON VALLEY SPEEDWAY

In Rimbey, track officials are desperately needing some co-operation from the weather.  The massive dump of snow from the spring storms has melted leaving pools of standing water in its wake.  Central Alberta Raceway has scheduled a two-day oval test and tune weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th.


CENTRAL ALBERTA RACEWAYS on Wednesday, April 26th

For the first time in 26 years, Castrol Raceway has not scheduled a test and tune on its oval track.  The first schedule Edmonton oval event is their 2017 season opener on Saturday, May 27th. The 17th consecutive season of the NPP Late Model Series begins on Friday and Saturday, May 26th and 27th at Central Alberta Raceways.


CASTROL RACEWAY on Wednesday April 26th

—————————————————

WEEKEND IN WENATCHEE
WENATCHEE, WA (April 28) - Darrell Midgley and Team Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. are competing at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval facility this weekend.  The Washington State track is hosting the 3rd annual Leonard Evans Memorial 150 featuring the Northwest Super Late Model Series.  Midgley, the three-time NPP Late Model Series champion, finished 11th in his last appearance in Washington back in 2015.  "We've only raced here a few times (four) over the years," admits the driver of the NPP/Alien Chassis #81 Dodge,  "This is a fast 1/4 mile track.  I do know that things happen fast and mistakes will cost you." 

The Sidney, British Columbia driver is coming off a 16th place finish at Irwindale Speedway back on March 25th.  "Several of the teams that were at the California race are here.  It's a big event and that brings out many of the top teams."  Over 30 teams have registered for this weekend's race.  For the first time in several events Midgley won't be the only Canadian team in the pits.  "I know that Brandon (Carlson) is here from the island.  There are a few other Canadian teams that have made the haul down here as well."  The Wenatchee Super Oval will be open for a few hours of practice laps Friday night.  Three short 20 minute practice sessions are scheduled for Super Late Model drivers Saturday afternoon before qualifying.  The 150 lap race will be run Saturday night.

DARRELL MIDGLEY: WENATCHEE SUPER OVAL FINISHES
11th - April 26th, 2015 (Northwest** Super Late Model Series)
18th - April 26th, 2014 (Northwest** Super Late Model Series)
17th - August 10th, 1996 (NASCAR Auto Zone Northwest Series)
19th - April 28th, 1990 (NASCAR Winston Northwest Tour)

**formally the Tri-Track Super Late Model Series

WATCH RACE LIVE (HERE)


Classes racing:
Bandeleros
Street Stocks
Legends
Super Late Models

> SATURDAY, APRIL 29th
2:00pm - Practice #1
3:00pm - Practice #2
4:00pm - Practice #3
5:15pm - Midgley Qualified 14th (13.017 / -0.382) /// Carlson Qualified 19th (13.119 / -0.484)
7:00pm - Racing
  

SPECTATOR ADMISSION
$20.00 General
$18.00 Senior
$18.00 Youth (age 13 - 18)
$8.00 Child (age 6 - 12)
or $50.00 Family Pass

—————————————————

UPDATE: (April 29th at 11:55pm) Midgley qualified 14th (out of 24 cars) for the Saturday night running of the 3rd annual Leonard Evans Memorial 150 at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval. At the drop of the green Midgley gained several spots however his early gains were interupted by several caution flags for spins. On Lap 45 Midgley managed to avoid a multi-car crash. Unfortunately another driver, trying to avoid this same incident, plowed into the side of Midgley's #81 Dodge. The damage to Midgley's car was too great to continue. His night ended early. The Sidney, British Columbia driver was credited with a 19th place finish. Brandon Carlson was the top finishing Canadian in this event. The Victoria, BC driver began experiencing fuel problems with his #14 Chevrolet late in the race. With just 40 laps to go, Carlson headed for the pits. In a race with plenty of attrition, Carlson, who qualified 19th earlier in the day, was credited with a 13th place finish.

 —————————————————————
 —————————————————————