It’s undeniable. Kurt Bensmiller is the hottest chuckwagon driver in the land.
Friday night, the Dewberry, Alta., native bagged his third consecutive aggregate title.
High River. Then Ponoka.
And now the GMC Rangeland Derby.
Bensmiller, through Day 8 at the Calgary Stampede grounds, posted a total time of 8:36.03, better than any of the other 35 pilots.
As aggregate champ, Bensmiller picked up the Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy and a 2017 GMC Sierra 3500 truck.
Settled, too, are Saturday’s semifinal contestants.
Bensmiller and next seven fastest drivers this week (in order) – Logan Gorst, Obrey Motowylo, Chad Harden, Chanse Vigen, Troy Dorchester, Kirk Sutherland, Evan Salmond – race in two showdowns.
From that, the fastest four gents get together Sunday night in the Dash for Cash. Winner’s take – $100,000.
Bensmiller well knows. He won the grand prize in 2014 and 2015.
Kelly Sutherland, racing in his 45th and final Stampede, finished ninth in the aggregate standings, which made his shot at a 13th championship an impossibility.
Friday’s fastest times belonged John Walters (1:11.42), Colt Cosgrave (1:11.69), Mark Sutherland (1:11.85), Kris Molle (1:12.00), Layne MacGillivray (1:12.23).