Jason Glass broke his own track record on Tuesday to continue his comeback at the 2015 GMC Rangeland Derby.
Glass won the final heat in one minute, 8.75 seconds to jump to seventh place from 16.
On Sunday, his trip in 1:09.38 broke the previous record that he held of 1:09.87, set in 2013.
When the dust cleared on Tuesday, Mike Vigen’s took over the aggregate lead from Kurt Bensmiller and Obrey Motowylo fell out of contention after a costly collision with Cody McCurrach in the second last heat.
Vigen was right behind Glass in Heat 9 with a 1:09.72 and leads the aggregate race with a time of 5:56.81. Bensmiller is second at 5:57.11 and Vern Nolin third at 5:57.89. Rounding out the top eight in order are Colt Cosgrave, Jamie Laboucane, Logan Gorst, Glass and Kelly Sutherland, who is competing in his second last Stampede before he retires after the 2016 event when he hits 65.
Glass is on the comeback after taking five seconds in penalties when he took out a barrel on Saturday. He regrouped and set a track record on Sunday with a 1:09.38 and did it again on Tuesday.
“After that barrel I realized I had to go real fast to have a chance to get back in there,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple good nights and we’re back in the hunt. There’s still three huge races left before the semifinals. I have to focus on (Wednesday) night but tonight felt really good.”
Bensmiller ran a 1:11.90 off the fourth barrel in the final heat with his first penalty second — for starting ahead of the horn.
Motowylo, who entered Day 5 in second place was fined $5,000 and assessed 21 seconds in penalties when he ran into McCurrach coming off the No. 2 barrel. Motowylo lost 20 seconds for causing interference in the infield and one more second for having a late outrider. His time when it was all added up was 1:38.66 with an aggregate of 6.25.26.
The top eight after Friday’s racing move into Saturday’s semifinal. The top four go for the $100,000 prize to close out the Stampede on Sunday night.
The challenge for all the drivers each night is to not mess up and take a penalty to knock themselves out of the running for a top-eight spot come Friday. Motowylo couldn’t escape Tuesday without that happening.
“You have to be on your game every single night,” Gorst said prior to Tuesday’s racing.
“The challenge is all six horses you are using have to be on their game and your outriders have to be on their game. It’s a big team effort. You cannot take a night off.”
NOTABLE … Wayne Knight picked up another five second penalty for running over No. 2 barrel and has 47 in total after five races … 2009 champion Chad Harden is also having a Stampede to forget. He also knocked down the No. 2 barrel for five penalty seconds and a time of 1:17.73 in the third heat, giving him 21 total penalties through five nights … Kris Molle had a 1:09.65 time spoiled by seven penalty seconds because of three outrider violations in Heat 5. It would have been the first sub-1:10 time of the night.