BEAULIEU WRAPS UP CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON WITH A VICTORY
EDMONTON, AB – The $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wrapped up its 7th season of race action on September 22nd. Heading into the final race at Castrol Raceway there was no mystery as to who would be the 2007 Champion. Jason Beaulieu clinched that honor while sitting in the pits two weeks ago (September 8th) after a freak hailstorm cancelled the Edmonton race event. With a championship secured, the Campbell River BC driver refused to coast at the last race of the year. “There was a little pressure coming into the final race,” says Beaulieu, “we wanted to finish the year with a win and we did. Dwight (Kennedy) and I were tied up with 5 wins on the season so it was nice to win the tie breaker too.” Kennedy, the defending season champion, finished the Feature in third which allowed him to clinch second in the point standings. “Jason had everything going right for him tonight,” indicates the Edson Alberta driver, “he got pole position too. What are you gonna do. Next year can’t come soon enough.” Beaulieu’s 6th Feature win of the season was maybe his toughest of the year as he was challenged hard by Spruce Grove’s Bruce Broughton for a good portion of the race. For Broughton it was his second consecutive podium finish. “It’s too bad the seasons over,” says the Spruce Grove Alberta driver, “finishing second here and a third in Lethbridge on the September long weekend is a great way to wrap up the year…..but I wouldn’t mind a few more races right now.” Broughton finished the season 12th in the point standings. “Not as good as last year (6th),” sighs Broughton, “the car let us down a few times in the Features this year but when the car was running strong we were right there.” Broughton had ten heat race victories this season. The last Feature event of 2007 also saw the biggest crash of the season. Seven cars tangled on the opening lap. Five cars were able to continue but for Darin Borysko (Edson) and Arvid Fonstad (Entwistle) their night was over. “I got spun going into turn one,” says Borysko, “and the next thing I know is two yellow cars are slamming into me.” Kevin Wheeler’s race car suffered heavy front end damage but was able to continue. Kevin Clark, last years rookie of the year was also involved in the opening lap crash. “I got clipped pretty good,” says the Altario, Alberta driver, “guys were trying to grab a couple extra spots on the first lap. We just had a tire go down from the contact. It sure could have been a lot worse.” Clark entered race action third in points with just a 24 point lead over Darrell Midgley. Midgley, from Sidney, BC, was knocked out of the race when he spun on lap ten and then was struck hard by Whitecourt’s Pat Fines. Midgley’s misfortune guaranteed Clark a third place finish in the standings. Paul Grundberg moved up to fourth while Midgley went to fifth. Grundberg, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, becomes the second highest finishing rookie driver with his 4th place finish in the points chase.