NOTE: Race was called by track officials on Thursday, June 7th. All photos were taken on Saturday afternoon June 9th and added to June 7th story.
RIMBEY, AB. – The first ever two-day show of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series at Central Alberta Raceways, scheduled for June 8th and 9th, has been cancelled due to an unfavorable weekend weather forecast. Track officials were already pumping water from the Oval track after several storm cells moved through the Rimbey, Alberta region earlier this week. “The decision to cancel this race is tough on everyone,” says race director Dale Barr, “it is unfortunate because this was going to be one of the biggest ever oval race weekends for Central Alberta Raceways.”
Although the race facility basked under sunny conditions for much of Thursday, the current weather forecast calls for rain showers to return to the area Friday and the entire weekend. “We were out at the track site this morning [Thursday] and agreed that with the current facility conditions and the forecast it was best for everyone that we cancel. We were expecting a number of travelling teams from all over Alberta and British Columbia. Taking into consideration the distances that most of these teams were going to have to travel [to get here] definitely was a factor in our decision to cancel.” The NPP Late Model Series was scheduled to race on Friday and Saturday night. This weekends event at Central Alberta Raceways was also to feature the debut of the IMCA Modified touring Series. “It’s disappointing for race fans. It’s disappointing for race teams and their crews,'” adds Barr, “our staff and volunteers were really looking forward to this weekend’s race.”
Current point leader in the NPP Late Model Series Chris Beaulieu understands the hard decision the race track had to make. “It’s been a few years since I’ve raced in Rimbey,” says the Campbell River, British Columbia driver, “to travel there (over 20 hours) and then having the good chance of standing in the rain is not my idea of fun. They made the right call.” In his last Feature event at Central Alberta Raceways on July 26th 2008, Beaulieu finished third. Ironically this race was also the last time the NPP Late Model Series competed in Rimbey, Alberta. The 2009 and 2010 NPP Series events, which also were scheduled in June, were both rained out.
UPDATE: Central Alberta Raceway officials are pleased to announce that the NPP Late Model Series has been added to the next scheduled event in Rimbey on Saturday, June 23rd.