It was a highly anticipated final day at the Grande Prairie Stompede with $35,000.00 and the 2022 Grande Prairie Stompede Championship on the line. In what was truly an exciting chuckwagon race, Doug Irvine – driving the Swab Pro (2018) Ltd. Outfit, and along with outriders Rory Gervais and Tyson Whitehead, captured the first show of the 2022 WPCA race season. Its the first time Doug Irvine has won the Grande Prairie Stompede Championship, and the first WPCA show championship win for outrider Tyson Whitehead.
In what was a truly exciting chuckwagon race that saw three of the four wagons run three abreast all around the racetrack and finish within a half a second of each other, Irvine captured the Grande Prairie crown with a penalty free run of 1:18:33 after coming off barrel position number 2 in the championship death final. Kirk Sutherland from barrel position number 1 placed second in the heat, just 5 one-hundredths of a second behind the winner Irvine. Chad Fike finished in third place from barrel position number 3, followed Kale Lajeunesse who placed a distant fourth in the heat from barrel number 4.
As far as day results go, Kris Molle driving the Hansen Ford outfit had the fast time on the night with a 1:17.47 and was the only driver to crack the 1:18.00 barrier on the night. Cody Ridsdale had the second fastest time on the night, three-quarters of a second behind Molle, with 2022 Grande Prairie Champion Doug Irvine placing third, with Kirk Sutherland and Obrey Motowylo splitting fourth and fifth on the final night.
The WPCA Pro Tour presented by GMC will move on to Bonnyville, Alberta for the running of the Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championship starting on Thursday, June 2 and running through to Sunday, June 5, 2022. Kurt Bensmiller is the defending champion, and live coverage can be heard starting Thursday night, June 2, 2019 on Real Country 910 starting at 9:30pm Eastern, 8:30pm Central, 7:30pm Mountain Time.
Rookie Driver Cruise Bensmiller Wins First Career Day Money
It was a wet and cool night in Grande Prairie, Alberta, but it was a great night for rookie drivers as Night 4 of the Grande Prairie Stompede wound up on Saturday night. It was also the final night for the drivers to try and qualify for Sunday’s $35,000.00 Championship Final Heat and a shot at the 2022 Grande Prairie Stompede Championship. When the aggregate times were calculated Kirk Sutherland, Doug Irvine, Chad Fike and rookie driver Kale Lajeunesse will be the four drivers bidding for the championship.
Kirk Sutherland, driving the Hansen Ford outfit, qualified for Sunday’s final in first place overall with a four-day combined time of 5:11.59 and will receive the Ralph Vigen Memorial Award for having the best overall aggregate time, and a year’s use of a brand new GMC Truck compliments of Summit Fleet. Doug Irvine jumped from 7th place at the start of the day and qualified for Sunday’s championship final in second place overall. Chad Fike qualifyed in third place overall, with rookie driver Kale Lajeunesse jumping from 6th place overall into the fourth and final place in Sunday’s championship final. Ross Knight missed out of the final four, finishing fifth overall and missing the championship final by just 41 one-hundredths of a second. For Kale Lajeunesse, who is competing on a permit with the WPCA in 2022, it will be the first time the rookie driver has ever qualified for a championship final heat.
On the night, rookie driver Cruise Bensmiller was the day money winner from barrel one in the first heat. Bensmiller’s Farm Boys Oilfield Services Inc. outfit placed first on the day by 51 one-hundredths of a second over Chanse Vigen, with Kirk Sutherland, Kurt Bensmiller and Doug Irvine filling out the top five on the night.