A legend in his own right, Louis Johner is turning back the clock at Westerner Days.
The long-time North American Pony Chuckwagon driver won in Red Deer in both 1980 and 1990 and has now found his way out front once again.
Johner, 70, in his Wei’s Western Wear chuckwagon pulled away from the pack on Thursday in the first heat, cruising to a time of 1:16.
He leads on aggregate after two days with a total time of 2:32. The next closest competitor is Lee Adamson in the A-1 Rentals – Camrose/Wetaskiwin with a two-day total time of 2:35.
Six drivers raced a 1:17 including Linda Shippelt-Hubl (heat 1), Brian Cardinal and Brent Lang (heat 3) as well as Kevin Desjarlais.
Heat four on day two had the third and four fastest times of the night, with Dale Young and Neil Salmond both coming across the line in 1:17.
The top 10 times on Thursday came mostly from the first six heats after some harsh winds, lightning and rain caused some trouble in the second half of the show.
The 19th annual North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships continue Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. with the final day of competition Sunday at 2 p.m.