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Canada: NPP to race for Gold Cup in Edmonton

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

From NPP

The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series, which has been plagued with bad weather at all scheduled events this year, finally hopes to get the 2013 race season underway.

This Friday and Saturday night, Canada's oldest, most prestigious Sprint Car race rumbles into Castrol Raceway.

First competed in Edmonton (Speedway Park) back in 1954, the Gold Cup features some of the best open wheel drivers in Western Canada and the United States.

For the fifteenth consecutive year, the NPP Late Model will be the support class at the 2013 Gold Cup.

"We made our official Edmonton debut back at the 1999 Gold Cup," explains NPP Series’ announcer Gord Craig, "the Gold Cup race has always had special meaning to the drivers of our Series."

Two-time NPP Series Champion, Dwight Kennedy won the first ever NPP Late Model Feature race in Edmonton in his familiar NPP No. 81 Dodge at the 1999 Gold Cup.

"I actually forgot about that," admits the Edson, Alberta driver, "we've run so many races over the years they all start to blend together." Kennedy finished 3rd and 6th at last year's two-day Gold Cup race weekend. "I know it's been a few years since we won at a Gold Cup race in Edmonton. Hopefully we'll have a good weekend."

Kennedy swept the NPP Series Features at the 1997 Gold Cup race.

Defending NPP Series Champion, Kevin Wheeler is looking to start off the 2013 season on a strong note.

"We've had a pretty good run the past few years at season opening races," says the Whitecourt, Alberta driver, "we just got to win the darn thing."

At the most recent NPP Series season opening races Wheeler has finished fourth [2010], third [2011] and second [2012].

"Could this be the year we win one [in Edmonton]. That would be awesome."

Wheeler finished fifth and third at last year's Gold Cup race weekend in his KW Mechanical No. 3 Dodge. His best Gold Cup finish was a second back in 2010.

"We're ready to get this season going and defend the title!"

Castrol Raceway - Edmonton, Alberta

Friday, July 19th
4:00pm - Spectator Gates Open
5:30pm - Sprint Car Qualifying
- Racing after qualifying

Saturday, July 20th
4:00pm - Spectator Gates Open
5:30pm - Sprint Car Qualifying
- Racing after qualifying

Classes competing (both nights):
'360' Sprint Cars
NPP Late Model Series
Mini Stocks