Chad Fike Opens Up Stampede 2019 With The Top Time

Chad Fike - Tops All On Opening Night In Calgary
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Stampede 2019 kicked off on Friday night in Calgary with the 97th running of the Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby. It was a cool night for racing and running times were slower, but some great races were witnessed by a large opening night crowd. Kurt Bensmiller came into this year’s event as the defending champion, but upon the night’s conclusion, it was Chad Fike, driving La Maison Simons outfit, who opened up Stampede 2019 with the top time of 1:18.06.

Coming off barrel number 4 in the 3rd heat, Fike won the day money by just 25 one-hundredths of a second over Chance Bensmiller.  Defending champion Kurt Bensmiller grabbed third place on the night with Vern Nolin and rookie driver Danny Ringuette rounding out the top five on opening night.Its the first time Chad Fike has won day money at the Calgary Stampede.

The Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy, symbolic of the Calgary Stampede aggregate winner will be declared after 8 nights on Friday, July 12, 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 13 will go into the championship final heat. The winner of the championship final heat will be declared the 2019 Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby Champion.

Live coverage of day 2 of the 2019 GMC Rangeland Derby can be heard starting at 7:30 on Saturday, July 6, 2019 on Rural Radio on SiriusXM Channel 147 Satellite Radio, Country 99 in Bonnyville, Real Country 910am 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