NORTH VS SOUTH BATTLE DECIDES CHAMPIONSHIP
EDMONTON, AB – The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series wraps up its 8th season of race action this Saturday night at Castrol Raceway. “All race teams will be bringing their ‘A’ game to the track,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “no position in the point standings is safe and that includes drivers who are running at the front.” The battle for the 2008 NPP Late Model Series Championship and the prize money that comes with it is now a classic match-up between Northern and Southern Alberta. Edson Alberta’s Dwight Kennedy has a 59 point lead over Okotoks Alberta’s Brian McCaughan. “If we can keep the consistency going we should be there at the end,” says Kennedy who has a win, two seconds and a fifth in the last five Feature events in his #81 Lucas Oil Dodge, “we’re going to race clean and not bump to pass like some of the guys behind me.” Kennedy has been in tight point battles before winning the 2001 NPP Series Championship by just 11 points and the 2006 NPP Series Championship by a mere 6 points. “Close point battles make for great racing,” adds Kennedy, “and we are ready for a battle this Saturday night.”
Brian McCaughan hopes to become the first ever Southern Alberta driver to win a NPP Season Championship and the first ever rookie driver to do so. “It’s all about the luck right now,” says McCaughan, “we just need one more race like the one we ran in Edmonton two weeks ago [win] and that’s all we can do.” McCaughan became the first ever Rookie driver to lead the NPP Point standings when he took over top spot from Kennedy on the August long weekend at his home track of Rocky Mountain Raceway Park south of Calgary. Kennedy wrestled back the point lead at his home track of Castrol Raceway in Edmonton three weeks later. “Its going to be a hard fought race in Edmonton,” adds the driver of the avenuebuilt.com #42 Chevrolet, “but in this class, they always are.”
Sitting third in the NPP Series points chase is Stony Plain Alberta’s Mike Tom. “We’re pretty much locked down in third right now,” says the drivers of the #55 Hinton Oilfield Services Chevrolet, “we’ve overcome a lot of adversity this year and that only motivates us to finish the season well. Wrapping up the year with a victory would be a pretty nice touch for the team.”
Tom sat 16th in the NPP points chase the beginning of June after losing two motors early in the season. He fought his way back into the top ten by the end of June and into the top three in the standings the end of August. Tom finished second in NPP Series points in 2005. Much of the focus may be on the top three drivers heading into the last race of the 2008 season but there are close battles for position elsewhere in the standings. Defending NPP Series Champion Jason Beaulieu of Campbell River BC sits fourth in points in his All Weather Windows #46 Dodge just 9 points ahead of Whitecourt Alberta’s Paul Grundberg in his Carlan Services #12 Pontiac.
Both Beaulieu and Grundberg briefly held the NPP Series point lead early in the season. The NPP Series points chase is extremely tight from 6th position down to 10th. Just 7 points separates Whitecourt’s Kevin Wheeler and Sidney BC’s Darrell Midgley (7th and 8th in points). Fifteen points separates Sherwood Park Alberta’s Curtis Moore (9th) and Seba Beach Alberta’s Dan Stewart (10th). With the $100,000 NPP Late Model Series point fund still to be decided, the final race of 2008 will be one of the most intense races of the season.
2008 CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT IN EDMONTON
>Saturday, September 20th
Racing is scheduled to start at 6:00pm