RED FLAG FOR SEASON OPENER
EDMONTON, AB – Due to an anticipated low car count, officials with the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series are pushing back the start of the 2017 race season. “We were scheduled to begin our season in Rimbey this weekend,” says NPP Series announcer Gord Craig, “that’s not going to be happening now.” Craig admits that only four teams would be showing up for May 26th/27th event at Central Alberta Raceways. “If we had four cars show up and one has mechanical problems what then? It’s pretty hard to put on a proper show for race fans when there are only three cars on the track.”
This is the second year in a row that NPP Series officials have been faced with a low car count. “We had five NPP Series race teams at last year’s season opener. The racing was fantastic but the lack of cars really stood out.” There was a time when car counts in the NPP Late Model Series was never an issue.
“We used to have eighteen to twenty teams in the pits for all of our race events. The times have certainly changed.” The state of Alberta economy the past few years is getting part of the blame for the recent lower car counts. “The economy is showing some signs of improvement however the expected car count bump for this season is just not happening.” The NPP Late Model Series is not the only racing division in Alberta that has seen a dramatic decline in its car count. “We’re hearing that a few race events this year around the province have had classes with only two or three cars racing. It’s not good.” The July 21st/22nd Gold Cup race in Edmonton is the next race on the 2017 NPP Series schedule. “We were hoping to schedule a race at Sangudo Speedway in June but that will not be taking place because track officials there are delaying the start to their race season to July.” NPP Series officials have approximately two months to work things out. Two lengthy streaks, spanning almost two decades, are in jeopardy of coming to an end. The NPP Late Model Series has run 16 consecutive seasons since its first official season back in 2001. The NPP Late Model made its official Edmonton debut at the 1999 Gold Cup and has been the support class at Canada’s oldest Sprint Car race for 18 consecutive seasons.
2017 NPP LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE
Friday, May 26 Central Alberta Raceways – Rimbey Saturday, May 27 Central Alberta Raceways – Rimbey Sat/Sun, June 24/25?? ?Sangudo Speedway – Sangudo, Alberta?
Friday, July 21 Castrol Raceway – Edmonton
Saturday, July 22 Castrol Raceway – Edmonton
Saturday, August 26 Drayton Valley Speedway – Drayton Valley
Sunday, August 27 Drayton Valley Speedway – Drayton Valley
Friday, September 22 Central Alberta Raceways – Rimbey
Sunday, September 23 Central Alberta Raceways – Rimbey