EMOND EYES FOURTH TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER BIG WIN
EDMONTON, AB. – Nineteen of twenty-three registered race teams in the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series took to the Castrol Raceway oval track Saturday night. For the fourth time this season a familiar name took the checkered flag in Edmonton. Three-time NPP Series and Castrol Raceway track champion Trevor Emond got by his father Gerry (Edmonton), Jeff Grundberg (Whitecourt) and Dan Stewart (Seba Beach) during the first half of the Feature then set his sights on the race leader, four-time Castrol Raceway track champion Kelvin Bell (Hardisty). As race fans prepared themselves for an exciting five lap dash to the finish, Bell’s driveshaft fell off ending his night. The Leduc Alberta driver took advantage of Bell’s misfortune cruised to victory. “I may not win the NPP Series this year,” indicates Emond, “but taking a track championship would cap things off nicely.” Emond entered the race only 47 points behind Dwight Kennedy in the Castrol Raceway standings. With the victory, Emond moves to within six points of the Edson Alberta driver with just one race to go. Kennedy struggled in his heat races Saturday night but finished the Feature in the top 10. “Starting at the back (of the Feature) didn’t help me tonight but we made our way up to sixth so I’m fairly happy with that”, says Dwight Kennedy, “one race to go, I want both of them (Series and track championship).” Darrel Midgley finished second in the Feature. “It’s nice to be on the podium again,” says the Sidney, BC driver, “but it would have been even better to be able to get the win and the extra points cause’ I’m really needing them now.” With one Feature win in 2006 and now three consecutive podium finishes, Midgley can’t help but look ahead to the last race of the season. “I can’t win the Series Championship now, might as well go for the track championship and finish second in the Series,” smiles Midgley, “it’s pretty simple what we have to do right now. Beat Trevor and Dwight by two or three spots and get the extra points.” Midgley sits just twelve points behind Emond in the Castrol Raceway standings and twenty-three points in NPP Series standings. One driver that could put a wrench into Midgley’s plans is Kevin Wheeler. The former Alberta Outlaw Modified racer had his first ever Castrol Raceway podium finish in a Late Model Saturday night finishing third. Wheeler showed up halfway through the 2006 season and already is challenging the front runners. “We’ve had a great run the last two months,” indicates the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, “without my crew, I wouldn’t be anywhere especially tonight (Saturday). I kinda smacked it up in the heats but they put it back together and got me going. Coming from sixteenth to third in the Feature, that was awesome!” Wheeler purchased the entire racing operation from Cody Graber after the Canada Day long weekend. Wheeler grabbed his first ever heat victory in Drayton Valley on August 20th. “I scored a Feature event win in one of my last Modified races here (Castrol Raceway – July 22nd). It would be awesome to grab a big win in this Late Model stock car to wrap up the season, then begin preparations for 2007.” Only one event remains in 2006 for competitors and race teams in the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model class. It’s the closest points chase in NPP Series history. The last time the chase was this close was back in 2001 when Dwight Kennedy grabbed his last track/series championship by just 11 points.
CASTROL RACEWAY – Saturday, September 23rd
Racing @ 6:00PM