Night 1 of the season showcase WPCA Dodge Pro Tour Championship in Strathmore featured the elite 8 drivers on the WPCA Dodge Pro Tour at this point of the season. These eight drivers go into a playoff system among themselves that sees the first place wagon of the elite 8 receiving eight points on each night plus the aggregate, and the eighth place wagon receiving one point. After four nights of competition, the top four in the playoff points system compete in a winner take all, sudden death championship final heat to determine the 2011 WPCA Dodge Pro Tour Champion. Top chuckwagon in the aggregate amongst all 36 competing wagons after 4 days wins the Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede Championship.
Kelly Sutherland leads the playoff point pool by taking the top time among the 8 playoff contestants. Coming off barrel number 2 in heat 9, Sutherland, driving the Strathmore Station & Travel Lodge outfit took the top time of the elite 8 with a 1:15.01. He was closely followed by Mark Sutherland in second place, with Grant Profit, Kirk Sutherland and Doug Irvine rounding out the top five in the playoff pool after night one.
As far as the Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede Championship, Luke Tournier, driving the Friends of Heritage Park outfit took the top time of the night from barrel number 2 in heat 6 posting a penalty free run of 1:14.29, 72 one-hundreds of a second over Kelly Sutherland who placed second for the night. Codey McCurrach, Rae Croteau Jr. and Mark Sutherland rounded out the top 5 overall for the night. Kurt Bensmiller, fresh off a big win at the Capital EX Chuckwagon Derby in Edmonton, injured his elbow earlier in the day and was unable to drive. His father Buddy Bensmiller acted as his replacement driver.
The top 4 point earners in the playoff pool will compete in Monday’s sudden death championship final heat for the 2011 WPCA Dodge Pro Tour Championship. Racing from Strathmore can be heard live starting at 7:15pm Friday through Sunday and 5:45pm on Monday on Classic Country AM1060 out of Calgary, 890AM CJDC out of Dawson Creek and 99.7 FM The Wolf out of Bonnyville.
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WPCA Elite 8 Drivers Final Playoff Point Standings
Rank Driver Tour Total
1 Kelly Sutherland 8
2 Mark Sutherland 7
3 Grant Profit 6
4 Kirk Sutherland 5
5 Doug Irvine 4
6 Troy Dorchester 3
7 Layne MacGilIivray 2
8 Jason Glass 1
Day 1 Results
Rank Driver Sponsor Total Time
1 Luke Tournier Friends of Heritage Park 1:14.29
2 Kelly Sutherland Strathmore Station & Travel Lodge 1:15.01
3 Codey McCurrach Strathmore Sobeys 1:15.25
4 Rae Croteau Jr. TOMCO Group of Companies 1:15.27
5 Mark Sutherland Friends of Sutherland Racing 1:15.35
6 Tim Haroldson Val’s Drilling 1:15.36
7 Jason Johnstone Rigfuel Oilfield Refueling 1:15.46
8 Grant Profit Ja-Co Welding & Consulting Ltd. 1:15.63
9 Kirk Sutherland EMCO Corporation 1:15.65
10 Barry Hodgson Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. 1:15.67