When most people think of sports in Edmonton, AB, they most likely think of hockey, with the Oilers and Wayne Gretzky coming to mind. But once a year, the Dodge WPCA tour visits Edmonton for the 2009 Dodge World Chuckwagon Championship. Among those participating was World Financial Group (WFG)-sponsored chuckwagon driver Buddy Bensmiller.
Day one of the final meet of the season saw Buddy and the WFG tarp racing against Mike Vigen, Tyler Helmig and Rae Croteau, Jr. Buddy’s team of horses was very anxious to start their fifth heat race. So anxious, in fact, that they drew a false start penalty. But when everyone realigned for a proper start, Buddy found himself at the finish line second with a time of 1:24. However, his false start added an additional second for a total finish of 1:25 and only 6 points.
On the second day of racing, Buddy’s horses were calmer. Facing off against the same three teams in the fifth heat, the “Dewberry Rocket” crossed the finish line third with a time of 1:23.22. However, first place finisher Rae Croteau, Jr. had a Wheel Knocked Barrel penalty. With five seconds added to Croteau’s time, Buddy finished second and gained 22 points.
Racing on day three had the WFG-tarped wagon finishing fourth on the track with a time of 1:24.49 and only 5 points in the fifth heat. But the first place finisher, Tyler Helmig, had a wheel knock one of his barrels, resulting in a five second penalty. That bumped Tyler to last place and raised Buddy’s finish to third.
Day four saw Buddy again in the fifth heat racing against Mike, Tyler and Rae. Buddy drove the WFG tarp across the finish line in fourth with a time of 1:29.15 and 12 points. But Buddy had a cleaner race than Rae, who earned both a false start and a failure to stop at the bottom barrel penalties. As a result, Buddy officially ended in third place.
The 2009 Dodge Chuckwagon Championship came to a close on September 5. In a change of pace, Buddy raced in the first heat opposite Barry Hodgson, Hugh Sinclair and Dave Bensmiller, Buddy’s son. In a race for time and not points, Buddy finished third with a time of 1:23.15. (Dave came in fourth, in case you’re curious.)
For the Edmonton meet, Buddy finished in the 29th spot out of 36 teams. His totals were 7:05.01 and 45 points. For the 2009 season, our WFG-sponsored team finished 21st with 895 points. We at World Financial Group congratulate Buddy for an exciting 2009 WPCA season and wish him all the best in his future chuckwagon racing adventures.