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Vern Nolin Opens Up The 2019 Season With The Top Time

Vern Nolin - Big Day Money Run On Opening Night Of The Grande Prairie Stompede Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The start of the 2019 chuckwagon season kicked off on Wednesday night with the 42nd running of the Grande Prairie Stompede. Evan Salmond came into this year’s event as the defending Grande Prairie Stompede Champion, and Kurt Bensmiller came into the 2019 season as the reigning World Champion Chuckwagon Driver.

Weather conditions were hot under mostly skies, racetrack conditions were very good, and some spectacular chuckwagon races were seen by the Grande Prairie fans on opening night of the professional chuckwagon season. When the night wrapped up it was 2018 Ponoka Stampede Champion Vern Nolin who opened up the 2019 season with the fast time of the night with a fast run of 1:14.68.

Coming off barrel number 4 in heat number 9, Nolin, driving the Crowbourne Capital Corp. outfit placed first overall for the day by 47 one-hundredths of a second over Kurt Bensmiller who placed 2nd overall for the night. Doug Irvine was third, Jason Glass placed fourth, while Mark Sutherland, Codey McCurrach and Luke Tournier all split fifth place on the night.

The top wagon in the aggregate after Saturday's run will receive the Ralph Vigen Memorial Award and the use of a new GMC Truck for one year. The top 4 drivers in the aggregate after Saturday night will go into the championship final heat on Sunday where the winner will receive a $25,000.00 winner’s cheque and the Grande Prairie Stompede Championship.

Day two of the Grande Prairie Stompede can be heard live Thursday night, May 30, 2019 on Rural Radio on SiriusXM Channel 147 Satellite Radio, Country 99 in Bonnyville, and Real Country 910 starting at 9:30pm Eastern, 8:30pm Central, 7:30pm Mountain Time. As well, fans can watch the races live on the FLO RODEO streaming platform.

Billy Melville

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