CPCA Canada Cup undergoes facelift

by Phil Ambroziak

The Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) wants to give back to both its members and its fans.

That’s why the group has decided to introduce changes to its annual Canada Cup event. Since its inception three years ago, the Canada Cup took place over a series of races leading up to the finals in Meadow Lake. Now, however, the entire event will be staged here July 27-29.

“We’ve decided to introduce these changes for a couple of reasons,” explained CPCA marketing manager Bryan Hebson. “It will allow us to ensure everyone goes home with a little something and it will help raise the profile of the CPCA.”

This statement was echoed by CPCA president Ray Mitsuing.

“In the past, a lot of the prize money would go to the same top teams throughout the season,” Mitsuing said. “Now, at this event, it will be spread across the board.”

The Canada Cup format change will see the top drivers of the CPCA SIGA Pro Tour take on the role of team captains. In a draft format, they will pick their teams the Thursday night prior to the event.

Each captain will choose a point wagon from each heat to construct their team and team members will be awarded points based on their results within their own heat.

“The original goal was to try to build the Meadow Lake show, but it was hard to follow from a fan’s perspective – just having the finals here really didn’t hold any pizzaz,” Hebson said.

The changes, Hebson reiterated, will ensure money is awarded to team members whether they place first, second or third. He believes it could result in some decent payoffs for competitors considering $20,000 will be on the line.

“Some of it is new money, but for the most part we’ve just moved some money around,” Hebson noted.

While each team will have its own sponsor, the title sponsor for the 2012 CPCA Canada Cup is Eagle Creek GM.

“The biggest thing for us is our desire to profile Meadow Lake and make this a big show,” Hebson said. “We’re also working with Eagle Creek GM on promotions to ensure fans have a chance to win some prizes too.”

“Without the sponsors from Meadow Lake, the Canada Cup would not be a possibility,” Mitsuing added.

The upcoming CPCA season will also include some changes.

Mitsuing said the May 31 to June 3 weekend remains open in case the big event in North Battleford the weekend before needs to be postponed.

Meanwhile, Dewberry is once again part of the circuit after a two-year hiatus while newcomer Frog Lake will be hosting its first event at Dewberry in an effort to take advantage of that community’s chuckwagon facilities. The traditional event in Turtleford has been moved to later in the season because of a scheduling conflict.

“We have more race dates than ever before – it will be a full schedule depending on the weather,” Mitsuing concluded.

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