EDMONTON, AB – Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race teams have been waiting patiently for the 2014 race season to start. Barring any last minute hiccups to the weather forecast, the green flag will drop this Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. Last weekend’s scheduled season opener at Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey was rained out. This is the second consecutive year that the NPP Late Model Series official season opener has been delayed due to weather. Despite the delay, this weekend’s ‘re-scheduled’ opener in Edmonton is not the latest that a NPP Series race season has started. That dubious honor took place last year. Thanks to five consecutive rainouts, the 2013 season officially started on July 19th. “It was rainout, after rainout, after rainout,” exclaims NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my twenty-plus years of announcing races.”

(photo: STPracing Memories)

Looking back over the past 14 seasons of NPP Late Model Series competition, only 5 race seasons have started off without any weather related complications. “I had a driver joke with me the other day that we should schedule our season openers in Arizona.” With scheduled events in Arizona not on the horizon anytime soon, dealing with inclement weather will unfortunately be that constant thorn in the side of race schedule organizers. “We are not the only ones that have been dealing with the weather. Oval officials at Castrol Raceway have been dealing with it as well.” Out of the four scheduled oval events for 2014, just two have been completed. “Hopefully we can get a great show in for the race fans this weekend without any weather issues.”

(photo: STPracing Memories)

The Edmonton oval track is celebrating its 24th consecutive year of operation this season. “Castrol Raceway has a special promotion for this Saturday nights oval event,” exclaims Craig, “its four for forty fan appreciation night.” Four tickets, four hotdogs and four pops for forty dollars. “That’s cheaper than going to a movie.” The NPP Late Model Series will be joined by Castrol Raceway’s open wheel Sprint Car and Mini Stock classes. Spectator gates open at 4:00pm with racing starting at 6:00pm.

2014* ? ? ? ? ? ? (June 7th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2013* Kevin Wheeler (July19th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2012 Chris Beaulieu (May 12th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2011* Mike Tom (June 4th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2010* Bruce Broughton (May 15th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2009* Darrell Midgley (May 16th -Lethbridge, Alberta)
2008* Dwight Kennedy (May 17th – Okotoks, Alberta)
2007* Jason Beaulieu (May 19th – Drumheller, Alberta)
2006* Trevor Emond (May 13th – Rimbey, Alberta)
2005 Jason Beaulieu (May 7th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2004 Trevor Emond (May 8th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2003* Feature cancelled – snow (May 17th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2002 Larry Simpson (May 11th – Edmonton, Alberta)
2001 Larry Simpson (May 19th – Edmonton, Alberta)

*denotes delayed start to race season due to weather.