Well it is hard to believe that the 2018 Chuckwagon Season has come to a close. I want to start out by saying that just because the season is done doesn’t mean the articles and hopefully even some interviews/videos will be. I feel it is extremely important to allow our loyal Chuckwagon fans to stay engaged to the drivers and outriders throughout the off season. Please continue to check back to the CPCA website and to our social media sites for more to come.
The CPCA finals in Lloydminster definitely did not disappoint. We started off with a Gala on Tuesday evening hosted by Women of the Wagons and Lloydminster Exhibition. It was an amazing turnout and approximately $30,000 was raised which will be divided between Stollery Hospital in Edmonton, AB and the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, Sk and to local charities.
Wednesday morning we kicked off Wagon Week with a pancake breakfast at MLA Colleen Young’s Office followed by 8 exciting heats Wednesday night. Top day money on Wednesday went to Kris Molle to help secure his number one spot in the standings.
Thursday morning we woke up to a terrible haze from the B.C. fires and at 11:30 a.m. the streets of Lloydminster were dark and all the signs and street lights were on. It made some wonder if we would be able to race but by 2:00 p.m. it had really cleared up and it was business as usual. Once again on Thursday night Kris Molle captured another day money while rookie driver Dale Mitsuing took third to keep himself amongst the top four.
Friday morning a group of drivers and outriders went to the Dr. Cooke senior centre to have some coffee and visit with some of our loyal chuckwagon fans who listen to us on the radio. It is days like this that we get to see that there is more to a wagon driver/outrider and that giving back to the communities we visit is something everyone enjoys. The night of racing saw Jamie Laboucane take top day money with Chance Bensmiller getting fifth, Kris Molle getting seventh, BJ Carey getting eighth and Todd Baptiste ended up twelfth after being assessed a 1 sec penalty for false start and Dale Mitsuing hit a barrel to knock him way down on the day and in the aggregate.
Saturday morning some of the drivers and outriders treated the fans by cooking pancake breakfast along with Big Brother/Big Sisters at CPCA major sponsor Denham Chrysler dealership. With just one night of points left everyone had to go for first to see who would make that prestigious Final Four. When Dale Mitsuing had his back against the and was off barrel 1 he knew he had to throw a big run. He ended the with a third day money and was tenth in the average. Todd Baptiste also did all he could do ending the day fourth and was fourth in the aggregate. Kris Molle was third in the aggregate, Jamie Laboucane was sixth, Chance Bensmiller was eleventh and BJ Carey who was making a last big push to crack the top four ended up fifth in the average. Dallas Dyck took top day money to solidify winning the show with a four day aggregate of 05:15.40.
Once the dust was settled on Saturday Night the standings went like this: 1st Kris Molle at 1103, 2nd Jamie Laboucane at 1091.5, 3rd Todd Baptiste at 1060 and 4th Dale Mitsuing at 1055.5. Just on the outside looking in but having his best year to date was Chance Bensmiller in 5th with 1044.5 and right behind him was BJ Carey 1040. Kris Molle got first pick of the barrels and took the number 1, while Jamie Laboucane picked number 2, Todd Baptiste selected 3 and that left Dale Mitsuing with number 4. Kris came out of the barrels and stole the rail with Dale Mitsuing came flying off the number 4 and was right beside him. Jamie turned well and ended up getting strung out wide and Todd Baptiste tucked in behind hoping for a hole and a charge down the home stretch but in a well driven heat there was no hole to be had and by the third turn it was evident to see the race was on the front end between Kris Molle and Rookie Driver Dale Mitsuing. Dale’s horses found another gear on the home stretch and took the win along with outriders Dale Mitsuing and Tyson Whitehead. Dale Mitsuing made history by being the first Rookie Driver to ever race for a Canadian Champion and then to top it off he has become your 2018 Champ.
Kris Molle won the High Point award for having the most points at the end of the season. Logan Pethick won the Top Outrider award, with Tyler Mckenzie taking second and Tyson Whitehead rounding out the top 3. We had two very amazing outriders retire on Sunday, that being Aric Pare and Sandy Mckenzie. They will be missed on the racetrack but just like anyone who steps away from the sport they will always be a part of our Chuckwagon Family. Best of luck to both of them guys.
For now I am signing off but like I said in the beginning I plan to give our fans some really cool stories and insights about our CPCA Chuckwagon Drivers and Outriders over the next 9 months until we hit the track again.
“On the Road with Wendy”