RED FLAG CONTINUES
EDSON, AB – Team Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. remains parked thanks to Coronavirus. More than three months has passed since Team NPP’s last on-track appearance. Darrell Midgley drove the #81 Dodge to a 4th place finish at Tucson Speedway back on March 14th. Jason Frost and Lane Zerbin have yet to turn a wheel in 2020. “Car is ready to go,” exclaims Zerbin, “it was all ready to go for this season and then the pandemic put a halt on everything.” Zerbin admits it might be tough to race the NPP/Alien Race Cars #81 Modified in the United States this year. “I think there is a slight chance but it’s all about this pandemic. If it calms down maybe we’ll go to Vegas (in the fall). For now it’s just going to be the odd go-cart race at Western Speedway.” With many people getting laid off due to Coronavirus, Zerbin has been extremely busy. “Thankful to be working during this time.” Zerbin is employed at a Victoria, BC plumbing company. “We actually got busier because people were at home and wanted to have some plumbing work and upgrades done.”
Jason Frost has not escaped the slowdown. The driver of the Team NPP #81 Late Model owns The Keg Restaurant in Victoria and Saanich, British Columbia. “The entire Keg Restaurant chain (temporarily) closed on March 17th.” At this point in time the magnitude of the Coronavirus was uncertain. “Business owners were thinking it was going to be a short shutdown,” admits Frost, “the plan was to close for two weeks let it all blow over, don’t contribute to the spread (of the virus) and then we’d all reopen safely.” The shutdown lasted just over two months. “We opened up on May 25th but it’s a new world out there. We are around 50% occupancy but are making things work.” With the restaurant business in recovery mode, Frost often thinks about going back to the track. “Locally some teams have started to test (at Western Speedway). We’ll probably try to test in the next few weeks but I don’t know a schedule as far as a racing is concerned.” Frost remains hopeful that there will be a few nights of racing at Western Speedway this summer including the annual Canada 200 event.
Darrell Midgley is the only Team NPP driver to see on-track action in 2020. Midgley’s most recent event was a March 14th event at Tucson Speedway (finished 4th). “We got home and the world came to a stop.” Midgley is the promoter of Western Speedway. His track has yet to host an event in 2020 which has been open to spectators. “It’s open for car clubs right now (no spectators) but its limited to 50 people and that includes competitors and staff.” Looking ahead Midgley is still crunching numbers in an effort to salvage the race season. “As far as anything for fans we have nothing planned at this point.” Midgley says the shutdown due to Coronavirus has been troublesome. Plans to compete at South Sound Speedway in Washington State on July 4th have been scrapped due to the border closure. He hints his fall and winter schedule for 2020 and 2021 in the United States is already in question. “It takes a lot of money to travel to Tucson. I don’t really know at this time what’s going to happen.”