by Phil Ambroziak

The King family of Meadow Lake has long been associated with the sport of hockey. However, this past weekend, Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) driver DJ King, along with Chantal, and their children, Jacob and Drew, were in attendance for the CPCA’s annual awards banquet in Lloydminster where they were presented with the Kevan Mayan Sr. Memorial Award, which recognizes the CPCA’s family of the year.

“It’s always an honour to win an award no matter what it’s for, but the award for being family of the year is extra special,” King said. “We are committed as a family to the sport – not just to my outfit, but to the sport of chuckwagon racing overall.”

The award, which honours families that provide an outstanding contribution to the chuckwagon racing way of life, was presented to King and his family by CPCA president Dennis Ringuette. According to King, it’s just second nature for him and his family to go above and beyond to help the sport thrive.

“My whole family has been involved with chuckwagon racing for a long time and we all do what we can,” he added. “The sport of chuckwagon racing is always in need of new drivers, and we do our part to help the sport to grow. We put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work, and while we’ve helped get a few outfits going, there’s always so much more that could be done to help everyone excel in the association.”

King went on to note, in addition to his immediate family, everyone involved in the CPCA – from fellow drivers, outriders, to barn hands and everyone else involved behind the scenes – are considered family.

“When you travel up and down the road as much as we do, everyone becomes family,” he said. “None of us would ever make it down the road if it wasn’t for the help of our family, friends and sponsors.”

In addition to the Kevan Mayan Sr. Memorial Award, Saturday’s banquet also saw King receive the Bruce Bremner Award for having the most consistent barrelling outfit that held or took the rail last season without any driver penalties.

“Credit for that award can go to our other family members – the ones with four legs,” King said. “We treat our animals as though they were our kids, and all the training that went in during the springtime paid off. They’re the ones who make my job look easy.”

The 2020 racing season will mark King’s sixth with the CPCA.

“Time has been flying by for sure,” he said. “My goal from day one was to get better and better with each passing year, and I’ve been able to do that. I’ve improved in the standings each season and, hopefully, I’ll one day get to the top.”