Colorado driver wins Saratoga chariot races again in 2013 |

Colorado driver wins Saratoga chariot races again in 2013

Story by Ella Marie Hayes | Saratoga, Wyo.
Photos Courtesy of Noel V. Hayes, Jr.
Sortin Notty driven by Lara Gilliam, the only female driver of the day, pulls ahead of the Just For Fun team driven by Clancy Henderson during the 33rd Annual Donald E. Erickson Memorial Chariot Races.

Wade Swingle of Brighton, Colo., and his team, Dueces Wild, had the best combined time for the weekend, to win the Interstate Racing Association Traveling Trophy, and the Dave Pennock “Good Times” Trophy, for the second year in a row at the 33rd Annual Donald E. Erickson Memorial Chariot Races at Buck Springs east of Saratoga, Wyo.

Swingle’s team clocked 22.80 seconds on Saturday and 22.08 seconds on Sunday for a combined time of 44.88 and improved his time by 57 seconds this year. Last year, Swingle’s team clocked 45.45 seconds to win first place.

Jim Stoker, owner of Homestead Log Homes, won the Norm Epler Memorial Award. Driver Clancy Henderson had a time of 22.73 with the HLH Buildings team. The trophy for the race picked at random on Sunday, was a hand blown glass chariot team, donated by Patty Lufkin.

First Division Winners were: 1st Place — Deuces Wild, Driver Wade Swingle, (44.88). 2nd Place — Just Off Brothers, Driver Roy Morgan (45.35); 3rd Place — HLH Builders, Driver Clancy Henderson, (45.78); 4th Place — Pines Bar, Driver Jim Stoker, (46.17).

Second Division Winners: 1st Place — Gilliam’s Pretty Pennies, Driver Lara Gilliam, (46.57); 2nd Place — Homestead Log Homes, Driver Jim Stoker, (46:61); 3rd Place — Eisele Quarter Horses and Dale, Driver Roy Morgan, (46.66); 4th Place — Sortin Notty, Driver Lara Gilliam, (46.69).

Third Division Winners: 1st Place — Bailey’s Boys, Driver, Mike Johnson, (46.81); 2nd Place — Roy’s Valentine, Driver James Olguin, (47.06); 3rd Place — Mike and Peggy, Driver Mike Johnson, (47.19); 4th Place — Johnson, Driver Mike Johnson, (47.41).

Fourth Division Winners: 1st Place — Just for Fun, Driver Clancy Henderson, (47:71); 2nd Place — Lady and the Tramp, Driver David Walker, (49:38); 3rd Place — Hayburner Express, Driver Bobby Bergeson, (49.46); 4th Place — Cream of the Crop, Driver David Walker, (49.85).

Cash awards were $400 for 1st place in each division; $300 for 2nd place in each division; $200 for 3rd place; $100 for 4th place. Jackets from Pepsi of Rawlins, Wyo., were also awarded to winners in each division. All ties received equal awards.

Division Sponsors were Jason and Leigh Taylor; 5N Ranch/Blackhawk Gallery; Smith Beverages; and Saratoga Forest Management. Carbon County Visitors Council provided Cash Awards for each race. Around $8,000 was given out over the course of the weekend.

Numerous other local businesses and county residents also gave time and donations. Many volunteers put in long hours and hard work to help ensure a safe and fun-filled time for participants and spectators alike.

The chariot race participants are not the only winners. Calcutta winners, Platte Valley high school students receiving Lions Club scholarships, area residents who need help with vision and eye glass expenses, and the local Boy Scout troop also benefit from the funds raised.

With the mild weather, most spectators seemed to like the chance to be outdoors to enjoy the excitement and cure their cabin fever. Once again the Saratoga Lions Club and Chariot Race activities provided another great weekend of fun, food and camaraderie in the “Good Times” Valley. ❖