Tourn-ing his season around

SCOTT FISHER

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

PONOKA -- Two things have become abundantly clear.

One, Luke Tournier will not be making hotel reservation for Bashaw later this fall.

And two, there's simply no one who can touch him off Barrels 3 and 4.

The bottom six drivers on the WPCA Dodge Pro Tour will head to Bashaw after the season to try to earn their spot on next year's circuit.

And while no one expected Tournier to be anywhere near the bottom of the standings, two weeks ago the veteran driver was sitting 34th.

But he caught fire at the right time and, with two straight day-money runs at the Ponoka Stampede, vaulted all the way to 10th after last night.

He also won last week's North American Chuckwagon Championship in High River.

Tournier laughs when told he can cancel any plans to visit fellow driver Reg Johnstone's home town.

As for the invincible part, he won't bite.

"Anybody can be beat," he said, although no one has been able to do it the last four trips off the short barrels.

"I'm happy with the way they're working. That's it."

The Duck Lake, Sask., driver will be even happier if gets one more big run from his outfit in tonight's Tommy Dorchester $50,000 Dash For Cash.

Tournier (Glencoe Resources) will be up against Doug Irvine (B & R Eckels Transport Ltd.), Rae Croteau Jr. (Montana Tractors/Lakeview Equipment Sales) and Hugh Sinclair (Geometric Pipeline Solutions).

Sinclair posted the fastest time of the night (1:13.75) to qualify for the dash, knocking Codey McCurrach to the crying hole in fifth.

"You look at guys like McCurrach," Tournier said.

"I'm proud of those guys.

"It's getting tough over here. Guys can run from anywhere and it keeps you honest, that's for sure."

He continues to tinker with the remainder of his barn in search of a long barrel outfit that can rival his all-star hook.

If he finds one, he could walk away with the big cheque from Calgary's Rangeland Derby for the third time in four years.

"It's going good," he said.

"I think we got a fifth off the two barrel.

"We had an outrider (penalty) situation one night, but I don't think we've been outside the top five in running time.

"I'm confident with this horse I've got in there now. It took us a long time.

"I have a lot of nice horses but I had to go through them."

Tournier said it took a while for his barn to shake the injury bug.

"I've got three nice wheel teams and I'm confident with all of them," he said.

"But they've had some nagging, little injuries so I haven't been able to use them. The leaders are coming around, too. It's just a matter of getting consistent with them.

"When we went to Grande Prairie, I didn't put them in the races because I didn't trust them. Now, I've been using them and they've been working like a charm."


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