EMOND GRABS FEATURE, MIDGLEY WINS SEASON
EDMONTON, AB – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series crowned its 2009 Season Champion Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. Sidney, British Columbia’s Darrell Midgley won his first ever championship on the dirt with a second place finish in Saturday nights Feature race. “We really got a handle on the car set up this year,” says the driver of the Lucas Oil #14 Dodge, “it sure showed on the race track. We won two races and ran extremely consistent in the others and that allowed us to finish at the top. Its very tough to win a race in this series.” The Lucas Oil #14 Dodge finished on the podium nine times this season which included four second place finishes.
Midgley, who finished seventh in the NPP points chase last year, is only the second British Columbia driver to claim the season championship in the Alberta-based racing series. Campbell River BC’s Jason Beaulieu won the NPP crown in 2007. It would be point leader Midgley and Beaulieu (second in points) who sat on the front row to start the final Feature of the 2009 season. The two drivers would exchange the lead several times during the first ten laps.
However a broken axle, just before the mid-point of the race, would dash Beaulieu’s drive for his fifth Feature win of the year. Beaulieu would finish twelfth but still ended up retaining second place in the 2009 NPP Series Championship point’s chase. With Midgley the race leader, three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond and two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy made it a three-car battle for the lead in the remaining 13 laps.
A hard charging Emond took over the race lead with 10 laps to go and wrapped up 2009 with his third Feature win of the season. Emond would also hold onto fourth place in the NPP Series Championship point’s chase. “Nice to race at home,” indicates the driver of the Glentel Wireless #17 Chevrolet, “between traveling and battling engine problems and the weather, it’s nice to cap off the season with a win.” Edson, Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy finished the Feature in third and also wrapped up the season in third place in the point standings. “We were chasing the car set up for most of the season,” says the driver of the #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “but we always raced good enough to stay within striking distance of the point leaders.”
Kennedy was never out of the top five in points all season. “It is nice to have three Dodges finishing one, two and three in the points.” Rounding out the top five in Saturday nights finish, Altario, Alberta’s Kevin Clark finished fourth and Whitecourt, Alberta’s Paul Grundberg finished fifth.
– only three NPP Features were won from the pole position in 2009.
– the #17 Glentel Wireless Chevrolet finished on the podium 7 times this season.
– the #14 Lucas Oil Dodge finished on the podium 9 times this season.
– Kevin Clark’s fourth place finish was his fifth top five finish of this season. Clark finished the NPP season in fifth place in his #5 Clark Construction Dodge.
– Curtis Moore was the hardest charging driver in the Saturday night Feature. Moore piloted his Air Power Systems #80 Dodge from the 16th starting spot and finished 8th on the dry slick race track.
– Dwight Kennedy wrapped up the season with back to back podium finishes in his #81 Lucas Oil Dodge.
– with just five laps to go, Mike Tom had a water pump problems in his Hinton Oilfield Services #55 Chevrolet which cost him a top five finish in the 2009 NPP Championship points chase.
– Rookie of the Year contender Blair Snow runs his first ‘A’ Dash event in an NPP Late Model and finishes 11th.