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Posted By admin on May 20, 2023

The two bookends of the 2023 WPCA Pro Tour feature 2 of the highest profile shows in chuckwagon racing.  On May 31st the Grande Prairie Stompede will launch the WPCA race season and on August 27th the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino World Finals will end it.  In between, the 2023 WPCA Pro Tour will consist of over 300 individual races, races that generate points for the season standings and points for the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino Winners’ Zone Series.

The Winners Zone Series was formed in 2019, the same year the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino first held the WPCA World Finals.  The term Winners’ Zone however, not only refers to the championship series in chuckwagon racing, it is actually a loyalty program within the casino itself that rewards members and offers exclusive contests and promotions.

Developing a series within the WPCA Pro Tour had a key motivating factor.  With the World Champion Driver determined based on total season points and not a championship dash, organizers wanted to create a format that would add excitement to the World Finals and showcase the last race of the season.  If 2019 and 2022 are any indication, a last race of the season championship dash definitely creates excitement for fans and people within the sport.  Kurt Bensmiller and Kris Molle are two drivers who have recorded wins in the series format.

In 2019, Kurt Bensmiller dominated the racetrack with show wins in Medicine Hat and Strathmore.  His left wheel horse “LUTESIFER” was recognized as the Equine Outfit of Excellence Champion Left Wheeler both at the Calgary Stampede and the WPCA Pro Tour.  Bensmiller was crowned the World Champion and to close out the 2019 season he won the inaugural Century Downs Winners’ Zone Championship Dash.

In 2022, Kris Molle won the Winners’ Zone Title and similar to Kurt Bensmiller, Molle was a force to contend with on the racetrack.  The Chauvin, Alberta driver won the 2022 Calgary Stampede and the WPCA show in Medicine Hat. He was the Century Downs Aggregate Champion and his Right Leader “BREEZE” was the Equine Outfit of Excellence Champion Right Leader at the Calgary Stampede and the WPCA Pro Tour.



Starting at the Grande Prairie Stompede, points are accumulated throughout the season to create the WPCA Pro Tour Standings.  The top 12 drivers in the standings after the WPCA show in Rocky Mountain House will qualify for the playoff round during the Century Downs World Finals. These 12 drivers will compete for their normal race points and also compete against each other specifically under a separate point system over the first four days at the finals. Of those 12 drivers, the 4 drivers with the most playoff points will race in the $75,000.00 Dash for Cash in the last race of the year.

The Winners’ Zone format is similar to the Tour Final that was once held during the Strathmore Stampede 10-15 years ago.  During that period, the top 8 drivers after the show prior to Strathmore would qualify for the tour playoff round.  When discussing ideas about a format for Century Downs, the WPCA decided to bring back the playoff model and increase the eligible drivers from the top 8 to the top 12.


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