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Kurt Bensmiller Wins Second Career Ponoka Stampede Championship


2017 Ponoka Stampede Champions
Versatile Energy Services Ltd./ATB Financial Outfit

L-R: Outrider Shawn Calf Robe, Driver Kurt Bensmiller, Outrider Rory Gervais
TrailBlazer RV Centre's Kim Graham Presenting, Roadtrek Motorhomes Steve MacDonald Presenting,
Ponoka Stampede President Blair Vold, Ponoka Stampede Chuckwagon Director Rick Wierzba
Photo By Billy Melville

In a highly anticipated $50,000.00 Tommy Dorchester Championship final heat at the Ponoka Stampede, Gary Gorst, Kurt Bensmiller, Layne MacGillivray and Evan Salmond survived the semi-final round and would run for the championship at one of chuckwagon racing’s most prestigious events on the WPCA Pro Tour – the Ponoka Stampede. Rains fell just prior the final performance but nothing dampened the enthusiasm of the event. On one of the most exciting race nights of the year, Kurt Bensmiller - driving the Versatile Energy Services Ltd./ATB Financial outfit, and along with outriders Rory Gervais and Shawn Calf Robe collected the first place winner’s cheque and the 2017 Ponoka Stampede Championship.

In a penalty free championship final heat, Bensmiller captured his second career Ponoka Stampede crown with a penalty free run of 1:17.25 from barrel position number 1. Evan Salmond placed second in the heat from barrel position number 4, 85 one-hundredths of a second behind champion Kurt Bensmiller, followed by Layne MacGillivray from barrel position 2, while 2017 Saskatoon Champion Gary Gorst had to settle for fourth place from barrel position 3. It’s the second consecutive win for Kurt Benmiller who won Guy Weadick Days last weekend in High River, Alberta.

As far as day results go, Jason Glass, driving the Birchcliff Energy outfit, grabbed the day money after posting the fast time of the day with a 1:17.11 from barrel number one in the opening heat. 2017 Ponoka Stampede Champion Kurt Bensmiller placed second, with Mike Vigen, Evan Salmond and Dustin Gorst filling out the top five on the night.

The WPCA Pro Tour will now take a break for the Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby from July 7-16, 2017. Kirk Sutherland is the defending champion, and races will run each night at 8:00pm Mountain time. Live coverage of the GMC Rangeland Derby can be heard starting at 7:30 on Friday, July 7, 2017 on Rural Radio on SiriusXM Channel 147, Country 99 at 99.7 FM out of Bonnyville, and AM 700 The Light out of Calgary. Television coverage can be seen live on CBC and Sportsnet One all ten nights starting at 8:00pm.

Billy Melville


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