Mark Sutherland Opens Up Stampede 2018 With A Day Money Run

Mark Sutherland - Tops All On Opening Night In Calgary
Photo By Shellie Scott

Stampede 2018 kicked off on Friday night in Calgary with the 96th running of the Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby. It was a hot night for racing and racetrack conditions were very fast. Kurt Bensmiller came into this year’s event as the defending champion, but upon the night’s conclusion, it was Mark Sutherland, driving Air Canada/Tourism Arizona outfit, who opened up Stampede 2018 with the top time of 1:11.13.

Coming off barrel number 2 in the 5th heat, Sutherland won the day money by just 9 one-hundredths of a second over injured driver Mike Vigen’s outfit driven by his son Chanse Vigen.  Vern Nolin grabbed third place on the night with Kris Molle and defending champion Kurt Bensmiller rounding out the top five on opening night.

The Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy, symbolic of the Calgary Stampede aggregate winner will be declared after 8 nights on Friday, July 13, and the top 8 in the aggregate on that day will go into “Semi Final Saturday.” The top 4 times from the two semi-final heats on semi on Saturday on July 14 will go into the winner-take-all championship final heat. The winner of the final heat will be declared the 2018 Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby Champion.

Live coverage of day 2 of the 2018 GMC Rangeland Derby can be heard starting at 7:30 on Saturday, July 7, 2018 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 on SHAW TV starting at 11:00, and live on CBC and Sportsnet One all ten nights starting at 8:00pm.

Billy Melville