KENNEDY CLINCHES EDMONTON TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP
EDMONTON, AB. (September 30) – Race fans at tracks in Alberta and Saskatchewan were witness to one of the most exciting and intense point chases in the short six year history of the $100,000 Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series. Edson, Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy grabbed the 2006 Series crown and also took the Castrol Raceway track championship. “Previously the Castrol Raceway champion was the Series champion,” explains tour announcer Gord Craig, “for the first time ever the Series went on five major road trips. Half of the 2006 season was spent away from home base (Edmonton).” Kennedy was the dominant driver on the road with five Feature wins. Three-time NPP Champion Trevor Emond was dominant at home winning four Feature events. The Leduc, Alberta driver finished the season just seven points shy of claiming his fourth straight Castrol Raceway track championship. “I missed one race in Edmonton (engine),” says a disappointed Emond, “looking back, all I had to do was show up for points. The outcome would have been different.” Emond has been one of the most dominant drivers since joining the NPP Late Model Series back in 2003. “Winning three titles in a row and now a second against some of the best drivers on dirt, I’m pretty proud of my accomplishments in this class.” New NPP Champion Dwight Kennedy is used to close finishes. Kennedy won the 2001 NPP Championship by just 11 points and has finished in the top four in Championship points since then. “My crew was just awesome for me this year,” says Kennedy, “you couldn’t ask for a better bunch. They helped the #81 Dodge win two in a row on the Canada Day long weekend and win on two race tracks we’ve never competed on before (Lethbridge and Drayton Valley). Trevor put together a string of championships now here’s hoping we can do the same.” Darrell Midgley finished the NPP Late Model season in third position. It was the second time in three seasons that the Sidney, British Columbia driver has finished third in the standings. Midgley feels he could have been this year’s champion if it weren’t for two disappointing races. “The season opener in Rimbey and the July 1st race in Edmonton are the only races this year that we did not place in the top 10 in a Feature. I was leading the race and spun (in Rimbey) and got black flagged in Edmonton,” says Midgley shaking his head, “where would I be right now with those extra 70 or 80 extra points? But I can’t really dwell on that right now I’m just happy we moved up in the standings after where we finished last year (7th).” The Series cannot grow with out new drivers. Altario Alberta’s Kevin Clark is the NPP Series Rookie of the year. “Figuring out the car set up was huge for me,” says Clark, “picking up my first ever heat race win at the last race of the year and finishing the Feature in the top ten several times (four) against these drivers was a huge confidence builder. I’m definitely looking forward to next year.” The NPP Late Model Series competed at a record six race tracks in 2006. Planning has already begun for expansion of the Series to at least three more race tracks in 2007. Officials with the Series are also looking into the possibility of television coverage as a way at to bring Canada’s richest Late Model Stock Car touring Series into the homes of racefans.