CLARK WINS BCR BATTLE
LETHBRIDGE, AB. – Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series competitors displayed a wide range of emotions during and after Saturday night’s event at Bridge County Raceway. It was jubilation for Altario, Alberta’s Kevin Clark winning his first NPP Feature in Lethbridge. Clark celebrated in victory lane with second place Darin Borysko and third place Calvin Robinson.
“I had to hang onto the car the entire night,” says Clark who has run a limited season in 2011, “turns one and two were ok but I could hardly get around turn three and four.” Clark inherited the lead from Kevin Wheeler who suffered engine failure on lap 13. “I had nothing for Wheeler tonight,” admits Clark, “I’m just amazed at how well he ran here tonight. Its really too bad about the motor. This was his race.” A dejected Wheeler tried to remain positive about the cards dealt to him. “The car was running so good tonight. I felt a bit of vibration in the ‘A’ Dash but didn’t think it could be the motor. She won’t even turn over now.” Wheeler started from the number four position and quickly moved to the front to challenge pole sitter Kelvin Bell. Wheeler would take over the lead on a back straight pass on lap 7. Bell would spin in turn four trying to grab back the lead from Wheeler. Wheeler would retire from the race several laps later with his blown motor. “This is one that got away,” sighs Wheeler, “it was tough to watch the rest of the race from the infield that’s four sure.” Saturday nights Feature in Lethbridge saw six yellow flags, one red flag and one black flag.
The red flag was thrown on lap 8 for two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy. The driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge slammed the front straight wall and briefly climbed the catch fence before returning to the racing surface and coming to a stop in turn 1. Kennedy would be uninjured. This was Kennedy’s second incident of the Feature. The Edson, Alberta driver tore the front nose cone off his car after getting into the back of Calvin Robinson who suddenly slowed on the opening lap. Ironically lap one was not a good lap for Kennedy’s daughter Crystal. While under caution for the incident involving her father, the driver of the Edson Top Choice Autobody #88 Dodge was squeezed into the front straight wall by Whitecourt, Alberta’s Rod Wilde. Wilde was issued a black flag for the incident. Kennedy would watch the remainder of the race in the infield from her damaged car. Current point leader Mike Tom and Kelvin Bell would tangle with five laps to go. No yellow flag was thrown for this incident. Bell would finish the night in fourth while Tom crossed the finish line in fifth.
NPP RACE NOTES
– Mike Tom’s lead in the standings increased by just a single point to 71 over second place Kevin Wheeler. Tom’s magic number to clinch the 2011 NPP Championship now sits at 145.
– Darin Borysko’s second place finish Saturday night moved him into third in the NPP Series Championship point standings. Borysko previous season best was 10th in the 2007.
– despite being knocked out of the race on the first lap, Crystal Kennedy hung on to fifth place in the NPP Series point standings.
– Dodge swept the podium in Lethbridge. The last time a Dodge won a NPP Feature was in September of 2009.
– Rookie of the Year contender Kary Rogers had fuel pump problems the entire night.