For a brief moment Saturday it appeared as if Keith Wood was going to remain in contention for his record-tying seventh North American Pony Chuckwagon championship.
But seconds later the veteran driver from Saddle Lake had his hopes all but dashed when he was assessed a five-second interference penalty, which moved him from second to fourth place heading into tonight’s fifth and final day of the championships at the Westerner.
Wood had the day’s best running time of one minute 17.46 seconds. But following the miscue his Uncle Ben’s RV outfit sits with a total time of 5:15.41.
Ray Adamson of Camrose has all but wrapped up his third championship, unless he runs into penalty trouble tonight.
Adamson was second to Wood in running time Saturday with a time of 1:17.54 on his Alexander First Nations wagon, which left him with a total time of 5:09.03.
Marvin Hubl of Alhambra took advantage of Wood’s mistake and moved his Allan Dale Industries rig into second place with a time of 5:13.86 after a running time of 1:18.08.
Chris Spreen of Whitecourt slid into third place with a time of 5:15.03 after recording a time of 1:18.27 on the Trojan Safety Services wagon.
Albert Whiskeyjack of St. Brides, who’s driving Wilfred Whiskeyjack’s Cherry Hill Auctions rig, is fifth at 5:16.81 after a 1:19.38 clocking.
Sixth-place is held down by Gary Salmond of Edson with a time of 5:17.40 on the Border Paving wagon after a time of 1:18.72.
Dale Young of Olds, driving the Carmen Currah wagon, clocked a time of 1:18.63 which left the Bettenson’s and Sons Sand and Gravel wagon in seventh place at 5:17.64.
Ken Madden of Saddle Lake and Jim Lang of Killam are tied for eighth at 5:19.22.
Lang drove his Kellough Enterprises wagon to a 1:19.00 while Madden had a time of 1:19.52 on the Randy’s Oilfield outfit.
Rene Salmond of Niton Junction is 10th at 5:29.39 after a 1:19.48 on the Pidhirney’s Trucking outfit.
Action tonight begins at 6:30 p.m.