Fathers and sons – it’s an ongoing theme in the chuckwagon racing world. If you view the list of entrants in the GMC Rangeland Derby over the years, you’ll find the same surnames over and over again as generations of fathers and sons make their mark.
Troy Flad learned to race chucks from one of the best – his father Herman, who won at the Stampede in 1980. In the last six or seven races of Herman’s career, Troy recalls that it seemed like almost every event the two ended up racing each other. “I loved competing with my dad. The crowds would go wild,” he remembers.
Winning against his father for the first time, he says, was “huge, because he’s your mentor.” On Herman’s side, Troy speculates, “There were probably two feelings – a bit of excitement and a bit of disappointment. At the end of the day, I suspect the excitement outweighed the disappointment.”
According to Gary Gorst, who raced against his father, Art, and whose son Logan is now a top runner, the father in him trumped the competitor when Logan finally prevailed over him in a race. He says the two of them have different styles, but train together in the spring and always consult with each other.
“He’s beaten me enough that I have to have my game face on so I can beat him,” he chuckles.
Tune in tonight to catch the father and son action between five father/son pairs: Buddy Bensmiller’s last race before retirement in heat 1 and his son Kurt in heat 4; Ray Mitsuing in heat 1 and Devin in heat 3; Brian Laboucane in heat 3 with his son Logan right after in heat 4; Kelly Sutherland in heat 5 and his son Mark in heat 7; and the Gorsts with Gary in heat 9 and Logan in heat 3.
May the best man win!