The 2009 World Professional Chuckwagon Association season visited High River, AB over Father’s Day weekend. And there seemed nothing more fitting than World Financial Group-sponsored chuckwagon driver Buddy Bensmiller, a father of three WPCA drivers, taking the reigns at the North American Chuckwagon Championship. Although Buddy didn’t take on his sons in High River, he was in good company racing opposite Rick Fraser, Cliff Cunningham and Jason Johnstone all four days.
Day one featured a strong start by Buddy after the horn, but he finished behind Rick and Cliff for third place. His time of 1:18.43 was good enough for 27 points in the daily standings. Also, Buddy had a clean race with no penalties of demerits.
Those penalties would show themselves on day two. Buddy, racing the WFG tarp, had a time of 1:19.44, which was third across the finish line. However, Rick, Cliff and Jason all had penalties in this heat: Rick’s wagon was outside the chalk line, Cliff had an outrider missing the barrel and Jason’s wagon wheel knocked a barrel over. As a result, Buddy was elevated to first for that heat with 22 points in the standings.
Day three, though, was the “Dewberry Rocket’s” chance to blast off. Once again racing in the fifth heat, Buddy and Rick were neck and neck (or is that horse and horse?) all the way to the wire. But the man with the World Financial Group wagon finished first with a time of 1:18.56 and no penalties. This earned Buddy 21 more points in the standings.
And on Father’s Day itself, Buddy started strong but finished third behind Rick and Jason with a 1:18.72 result. He did earn 37 points in the standings, which was the second highest in that heat. At the end of the NACC, Buddy finished 15th overall with 107 points and a total time of 5:15.15. Interesting finish time, isn’t it?
Next up for Buddy and the WFG tarp is the Ponoka Stampede starting on June 26. Videos of Buddy’s races can be seen in the video section of wpca.com. Also, Buddy is featured this week in the “Racing 101” section showing us how to build a harness for his horses. You’d be surprised as to what it takes to build a harness!