CALGARY, AB -- Rick Fraser looks back at the other racers as he leads the race in heat one on day five of Calgary Stampede's GMC Rangeland Derby, on July 13, 2016. Fraser finished this race in last after a interference penalty. -- (Crystal Schick/Postmedia)
Bounce-back night for Grande Prairie driver at Rangeland Derby
Rick Fraser knows his rebound was a big one.
“I went from the outhouse to the penthouse,” Fraser said after posting the fastest time on Night 6 of the Rangeland derby.
It was just three nights earlier that Fraser was forced to take a no time when his wagon upended and sent him rolling onto the track.
He would have had another day-money run the very next night after the mishap but a one-second penalty left him in fourth.
“The horses have been running really hard all summer,” the Grande Prairie driver said.
“If it wasn’t for pilot error, we’d be sitting higher in the standings.
“But then again, if the rabbit hadn’t stopped to take a dump, the coyote wouldn’t have caught him, either.”
Fraser, who quickly rebuilt his wagon after Sunday’s spill, noticed his axle was bent.
“The guys at Warwick stayed after work on their own time to get it straightened out, so I really owe them,” the 56-year-old said.
Three of the horses that pulled Fraser’s crippled rig three-quarters of the way around the track on the weekend were back on Wednesday’s hook.
SNAKES AND LADDERS
High River’s Jason Glass (Birchcliff Energy) was second-quickest on the night and held onto top spot in the aggregate standings with two nights of qualifying remaining … Mitch Sutherland (Manteo Group of Companies Ltd.) used the night’s fourth-fastest run to leap three spots into fifth place … Mike Vigen (Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino), who had a couple of strong two- and three-wide runs this week, clipped his bottom No. 4 barrel and tumbled from 19th to 26th in the standings. His son Chanse (The Mavericks) also crunched the bottom can and remained 32nd in the show.
Logan Gorst needed a double-sided coin in the worst way.
Two years ago a simple coin flip cost the young Meadow Lake, Sask., driver a game-changing horse.
“Dad (Gary) had knee surgery so he couldn’t go by any new horses off the racetrack,” Gorst said. “So he asked me, ‘Could you buy me some horses?’
“I ended getting some shipped up from Cleveland and Minnesota. And the one horse had won 13 races made $210,000, and he has the big, thick build.
“When I got ’em home, I stopped at dad’s place and said ‘OK, how are we going to split these up?’ He said flip a coin and you get first pick. I was after Ask Eddie and so was he.”
He had wife Shalyn flip the coin.
“I should have cheated,” Logan said. “I lost, so he picked Ask Eddie and he’s on that big outfit of his.
“We laugh about it now but I sure wish that horse was in my barn, I’m not going to lie.”
Gorst credited his tarp sponsor, PCL Construction, for helping him go down the road and keep him competitive at his sixth Rangeland Derby.
The 34-year-old is sitting 12th, with Gary perched one spot above him, in the aggregate standings after Wednesday’s run.
Younger brother Dustin is sharing the demonstration duties with Dave Galloway.
The 30-year-old is also outriding for five wagons.
“It’s a good opportunity to showcase myself,” Dustin said of the demo drive. “And be back at the barns (for tours) where hopefully some future sponsors come aboard – for everybody, not just myself.”
The youngest Gorst is 20th in the WPCA standings.
“We slipped a bit in Ponoka but I’m proud of where I’m sitting for a second-year guy and being able to be competitive with the big boys.”
ON THE AIR
Catch all the action on Sportsnet One, Shaw TV and on radio at AM700 The Light and 147 RURAL Radio on satellite (WPCA crew) and AM910 (CPCA crew).