Local race car driver wins despite challenging conditions

Chris Beaulieu had a perfect night at the 2012 season opener of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series in Rimbey, Alta.

Chris Beaulieu, son of 2007 NPP Late Model Series Champion Jason Beaulieu, had a perfect night at the 2012 season opener of the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series in Rimbey, Alta.

After winning his qualifying heat, Beaulieu overcame tricky track conditions May 12 at Castrol Raceway and drove the Team Beaulieu #90 Dodge to victory.

“This was my first real race of the year,” Beaulieu said.

“To get the win feels pretty good right now.”

This is the second consecutive NPP Series Feature event win for Beaulieu.

The Campbell River driver also went on to victory lane in Lethbridge at the final NPP Series race event of the 2011 season.

“I know my dad will be behind the wheel of this car more than me this season but right now I don’t think I want to let him drive it,” Beaulieu said.

“This was fun tonight.”

Saturday night’s feature event had three different race leaders.

Pole sitter and two-time NPP Series Champion Dwight Kennedy finished fifth in the Integra Tire #81 Dodge.

NPP Series drivers, teams and race fans endured several delays Saturday night as Castrol Raceway track officials were forced to water the 3/8mile clay oval track to keep the dust down.

The dry slick conditions did play into the hands of Whitecourt, Alberta’s Kevin Wheeler.

Wheeler grabbed the race lead from pole sitter Kennedy with eight laps to go.

Wheeler lost the lead to Beaulieu with three laps remaining.