TUCSON, AZ – The 2015 champion of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series kicks off his 2016 race season in Arizona this weekend. Darrell Midgley competes in the 3rd annual Chilly Willy Super Late Model race at Tucson Speedway on Friday and Saturday. Midgley will be driving the Northern Provincial Pipelines #81 Dodge. Below normal temperatures have greeted race teams and fans in Tucson, Arizona for the two-day show. “It really is the Chilly Willy,” exclaims the Sidney, British Columbia driver, “it’s cold down here. The temperature was below freezing this morning (Thursday).” Despite the cooler than normal temperatures in the Arizona desert, close to 50 teams are on the property for this year’s big race. “Track promoters have increased the purse so it’s no surprise that more teams are here to race.” Along with the $10,000US to win and the Cactus trophies for podium finishers, drivers will run 150 laps instead of 100. At last year’s Chilly Willy 100, Midgley had just moved into the top 10 near the midway point of the race, only to be spun by another competitor. Midgley was credited with a 23rd place finish when the checkered flag flew.
“I was pretty happy with this race despite where we finished. I was really pleased when we ran here late last year.” Midgley lead almost 50 laps of the Turkey Shoot 125 event back in November. “We took the lead early and stayed in front almost to the halfway point of the race. We probably would have won it if it weren’t for that flat tire.” Midgley wound up 8th. “This track eats the tires as we found out. We are going work on the balance of the car so we can be there at the end this time.” Like last year, the Chilly Willy Super Late Model race is a two-day show. “I’m not going to worry about the big race yet,” adds Midgley, “we need to get through Friday first. The goal is to qualify well and also get a good starting spot in the heat race.” Darrell Midgley will not be the only Canadian in the field. Jason Frost will be Midgley’s team mate this weekend. The Victoria, British Columbia driver will also be behind the wheel of a Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. sponsored entry. “Jason’s a good driver,” says Midgley, “he filled in for me a few times last year on the pavement when I was racing in the NPP Series.”
> FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
SLM Practice 1 (Midgley – 8th fastest: 16.194seconds / Frost – 20th:16.429) SLM Practice 2 (Midgley – 14th fastest: 16.265 / Frost – 19th:16.431)
SLM Qualifying (Midgley – 18th fastest: 16.054 / Frost – 29th:16.471)
SLM Heat 2 (Midgley – 4th / Frost – 5th)
> SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
Midgley starts the Chilly Willy in the 18th spot. Frost, in his first ever visit to Tuscson Speedway, starts 22nd.