Dirt thicker than blood in Dash for Cash

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Mitch Sutherland is in his rookie season on the WPCA and was the only Sutherland not to qualify for the Tommy Dorchester $50

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

For the members of the Sutherland chuckwagon racing family, dirt seems to run thicker than blood.

For the first time in the history of the Tommy Dorchester Dash for Cash $50,000 race, three members of the same family competed in the final four-team heat for all the marbles.

Chuckwagon legend Kelly Sutherland won the race by just one one-hundredth of a second.

After a clean start by Kelly, his son Mark, brother Kirk and Grant Profit the four took off down the track at full speed.

With the power of four thoroughbred horses, teams raced around the track battling for the coveted inside position.

At the final turn toward the homestretch, the friendly family competition heightened. Kelly, a seven-time Ponoka Stampede champion, had a slight lead on Mark, but he was not letting up at all.

It was neck and neck across the finish line with Mark and Kelly, and after a 10-minute break to inspect the photo finish, it was announced that Kelly had won the race with a time of 1:13:89 seconds — which seemed to be a disappointment to the 7,000 plus in attendance on July 3.

It seemed to be a friendly rivalry between Kelly and Mark, who placed first and second.

“He still has a lot more to learn,” said Kelly during an on-field interview with Les McIntyre following the race.

With only 1.83 seconds between first and last place, it was a race of inches where every move mattered.

With the win, Kelly ties former chuckwagon superstar Ralph Vigen for the most championships won at the Ponoka Stampede at eight apiece.

The WPCA Dodge Pro Tour will now take a break for the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby from July 8 to 17, where Kelly is the current defending champion.

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