It was somewhat of an unexpected lineup for the $50,000 Tommy Dorchester Dash for Cash final at the Ponoka Stampede as John Walters, Tim Haroldson, Troy Dorchester and Roger Moore survived the semifinal round and would run for the championship at one of chuckwagon racing’s most prestigious events.
It was the first time for all of the drivers in the Ponoka Stampede final. It was an exciting race, and when times were tabulated, Troy Dorchester — driving the Lafarge Canada Ltd./Team Rig & Supply outfit — and along with outriders Chance Flad and Eddie Melville, who collected the $30,000 cheque, a new GMC Sierra pickup truck and the 2012 Ponoka Stampede championship.
Coming off of barrel position number 3 in the sudden death final, Dorchester captured the Ponoka crown — in the race named in honour of his grandfather — with a run of 1:14.33. Tim Haroldson placed second from barrel position number 2 just 11 one-hundredths of a second behind Dorchester, followed by John Walters and Roger Moore from barrel positions 1 and 4 respectively in a penalty-free championship final.
It is the first victory for Troy Dorchester since winning the WPCA GMC Tour Championship way back in 1999, and also marks the first time in history three generations of one family has outrode, and won, for three generations of another family. Outrider Eddie Melville’s grandfather, Orville Strandquist, and uncle, Ron Strandquist, chased home Troy Dorchester’s grandfather, Tom Dorchester, and father, Garry Dorchester, to Calgary Stampede championships in 1970 and 1968 respectively.
Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association president Rick Wierzba felt there was much excitement in the stands to see Dorchester take the prize.
“The big highlight of the year is Troy Dorchester winning the Dash for Cash,” he stated.
As far as day results go, rookie driver Chanse Vigen won his first career WPCA day money after posting the fast time of the week with a 1:13.90, and won the day money by 18 one-hundredths of a second over Luke Tournier, Dorchester posting the third best time on the night, followed by Tim Haroldson and Kirk Sutherland who rounded out the top five.
By Billy Melville