EMOND WINS BACK TO BACK NPP FEATURES
EDMONTON, AB. – Rain is normally frowned upon at any race event in North America but at Castrol Raceway Saturday night it got a rare ‘thumb’s up’ from several NPP Late Model drivers. Leduc Alberta’s Trevor Emond thinks the light rain was a big factor in helping him win his second straight feature event of the season. “The #71 car was unreal tonight, the rain helped me out more than I thought it would,” says the current point leader, “it made the track nice and tacky so the horsepower of this ‘Shark’ engine could do its stuff.” The defending champion and current point leader dominated the entire field in the 25 lap feature. Emond, who started from near the back of the pack at the green flag, had a margin of victory of 10 seconds by the time the checkered flag flew. Light rain showers changed the entire race night. Track conditions for the first set of heat races were extremely dusty with many drivers indicating they had a hard time seeing who was in front of them. Several called the conditions downright dangerous. The water truck was called in to give the track a spray then shortly after the rain began to fall. The extra moisture delayed the start of the second set of heat races by only 10 minutes. That brief delay was worth it for the competitors and race fans in the stands. Lap times and top speeds increased immediately, not only for all the NPP Late Model competitors, but for the other classes competing at Castrol Raceway. The dusty conditions were quickly forgotten and the disapproval of early track conditions quickly turned to praise. “It’s a good track, way better than last year,“ say’s Dan Stewart who had his best Late Model finish ever placing second in the feature. The Seba Beach resident now sits third in points in the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipeline Late Model Series standings moving past Edson Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy. “I hope my wife and I can carry this momentum to the next race.” (Kelly Stewart will be driving the #19 at the next event.) Sedgewick, Alberta driver Tim Beausoliel finished third in the feature. “The track tonight was impressive once there was some moisture on the surface. It’s the best I’ve seen in years.” Beausoliel’s third place finish gave him an impressive jump up in the NPP point standings. The number #18 moved from 12th up to 5th place which is well within striking distance of point leader Trevor Emond. For the second race in a row, Edson, Alberta’s Shawn Kennedy finished in the top 5 in a Feature event. Shawn Kennedy remains second in the standings just 33 points behind Emond. Disappointment however was clearly etched on the faces of several Late Model drivers Saturday night. Entwistle Alberta’s Arvid Fonstad and Sydney British Columbia’s Darrell Midgley were on the front row of the Feature event when they got together heading into the first corner. The crash took out both drivers plus it collected Salmon Arm BC driver Mike Tom. Midgley and Fonstad did not want to talk about the opening lap crash but Tom was ready to speak out. “We were looking good tonight, we had the set up going, the car was running really good, the track was real fast but these guys were beating on each other before the green flag and then wrecked in turn one.” Tom is off to his worse season start in his 10 years of racing. “I’m very frustrated right now. They were trying to kill each other, but they killed me instead.” Mike Tom was one of the top drivers in the series in 2005. With back to back DNF’s to start 2006, Tom hopes this nightmare soon comes to an end.