Vern Nolin wins 2012 CPCA title

by Phil Ambroziak

Rapid View’s Vern Nolin is once again a champion.

Nolin secured the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) Canadian Championship for the second time in his racing career this past weekend with a victory in the CPCA finals held in Lloydminster. The Rapid View Rocket, as he is often referred to by fans of the sport, claimed the title when he outlasted fellow drivers BJ Carey, Devin Mitsuing and Neal Walgenbach in the championship dash Aug. 26.

“Everyone is excited,” Nolin said. “This was our goal from the beginning of the year and we got it done.”

In spite of his victory, Nolin was not the first driver to cross the finish line in Sunday’s final heat. Carey, coming off the number two barrel, actually crossed the finish line first, followed by Nolin, Mitsuing and then Walgenbach. However, Carey was assessed a late outrider penalty and Nolin was crowned the champion. Nolin was also crowned the Lloydminster Aggregate Champion and CPCA High Point Champion, wrapping up the season with a total of 611 points.

“I’m very excited about everything,” Nolin continued. “We led the association (in points) most of the year, and I’m happy I was able to stay on top. The outfit stayed healthy, so we’re all pretty happy.”

Carey, in only his sixth season, placed second in the overall 2012 aggregate with 599 points, followed by Devin Mitsuing with 596.5, Ross Knight (with driver Walgenbach) 584.5 and Brian Laboucane with 580.5 points. Other local favourites include Ray Mitsuing in seventh place with 568 points, Shane Nolin in eighth with 565 and Layne Bremner in ninth with 559.5 points.

While final numbers may have been slightly different if it weren’t for the cancellation of various CPCA events throughout the season because of inclement weather, Nolin doesn’t necessarily agree. He said he doesn’t think there would have been too much of a difference in the final standings if all races had taken place as planned.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s just one of those things that happens,” he said.

As for the fact it was Carey who actually crossed the finish line first in Sunday’s dash, Nolin said the result was carefully reviewed by CPCA officials in attendance.

“In the dash heat, BJ had a late outrider, which resulted in a penalty,” he said. “When they review those heats, they make sure they get everything right.

Aside from BJ’s late outrider, it was a good, clean heat.”

As for next season, Nolin reiterated his feeling of excitement.

“The horses will have the winter to rest up, and in the next few months I will go horse shopping again,” he said. “Every year, our barn gets deeper and deeper.”

Nolin also won the CPCA title in 2009.

The CPCA finals were originally scheduled to take place Aug. 22-26, but Friday’s (Aug. 24) action was cancelled because of extreme weather.
Aggregate results from four days of racing saw Nolin place first with a time of 4:06.60 followed by Shane Nolin at 4:07.60, Devin Mitsuing at 4:07.90, Ross Knight at 4:08.30 and Carey with a time of 4:08.61.


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