Ray Adamson understands what it takes to win championships.
Although the veteran driver from Camrose had enough breathing room to make a mistake during the final heat of the North American Pony Chuckwagon championships Sunday evening at the Westerner that wasn’t the way he does things.
“I could have taken a barrel and still won, but that’s not what I was looking for,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about the win (in the heat), I wanted to get in there and stay there not take any chances.”
He did just that.
Coming out of the third barrel the 68-year-old Adamson, who has been driving chuckwagons for close to 50 years, calmly circled the barrels and nestled himself into third spot. He made sure he didn’t get in any trouble before making a slight charge down the stretch.
Adamson finished the run in one minute 18.53 seconds which gave him and his Alexander First Nations sponsored wagon a five-day total of 6:27.56, well ahead of Marvin Hubl of Alhambra, who finished at 6:32.20 following a time of 1:18.34 on the Allan Dale Industries wagon.
It was Adamson’s third North American title to go with nine second-place finishes.
“This is always one of the better shows in the province and I had a lot of luck with me,” he said.
“I won four of the out five days . . . that doesn’t happen often.”
Keith Wood of Saddle Lake won the Dash For Cash Sunday, taking the heat in 1:18.06 , which put $2,500 in his pocket. He finished in third place in the standings on the Uncle Ben’s RV outfit at 6:33.47. A five-second interference penalty Saturday cost Wood any chance of winning his record-tying seventh championship.
But while Wood won the big cheque of the evening, that didn’t concern Adamson.
“I wasn’t thinking of the money. We all got something, but that’s not everything.”
Sunday’s victory is just part of a strong season by Adamson, who leads the tour standings after 11 of 20 shows.
“I can’t say enough about my outfit, they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. We’ve done well all season, I haven’t finished below third yet.”
Chris Spreen of Whitecourt finished fourth in the final heat at 1:19.03 and was fourth overall on his Trojan Safety Services rig at 6:34.06.
Albert Whiskeyjack of St. Brides, who was on the Wildred Whiskeyjack wagon was fifth at 6:35.05 after driving the Cherry Hill Auctions wagon to a 1:18.24.
Dale Young of Olds, who was driving the Carmen Currah’s Bettenson’s and Sons Sand and Gravel outfit, finished with the low time of the day — a 1:17.91 — to take sixth place at 6:35.55.
Gary Salmond of Edson placed seventh and Rene Salmond of Niton Junction eighth.
Gary Salmond came in with a 1:19.15 on his Border Paving rig to finish at 6:36.55 and Rene Salmond had a 1:19.85 and finished at 6:39.24 on is Pidhirney’s Trucking wagon.
Ken Madden of Saddle Lake and Jim Lang of Edson rounded out the top 10.
Madden drove the Randy’s Oilfield Services wagon to a 1:20.16 to come in at 6:39.38 while Lang and the Kellough Enterprises wagon finished at 1:20.17 for a clocking of 6:39.39.
• Randall Becker of Fort Assiniboine and the Swan Energy wagon won the best dressed award . . . Tracey Stott of Olds won the consolation Dash For Cash nipping Colby Arcand of Morinville and the Wallace’s Septic Tank wagon at the wire to win $1,000 . . . The winner of the 12 heats not involved in the two Dash For Cash heats won $167.