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Two Bit Ranch wins championship title in 37th annual Rubber Check Race

Two Bit Ranch wins championship title in 37th annual Rubber Check Race

Two Bit Ranch wins championship title in 37th annual Rubber Check Race

Ashlee Miller reaches the baton out to teammate Ashlee Gompert in their first heat of the night.

Hoots and hollers bellowed from the packed grandstand on the final night of the Scotts Bluff County Fair as record-holder Kyle Westover pushed Chastin Hill across the finish line in a wheelbarrow to secure Two Bit Ranch’s third Rubber Check Race championship in a row.

Two Bit Ranch raced against The Flower Den in the championship run on Saturday night, Aug. 1, beating them with a time of 1:25:53.

It was cowboys versus cowgirls on horseback. Brothers Garret and Heath Gray were up against Ashlee Miller and Ashlee Gompert. At the handoff between the first and second lap, the Flower Den had the lead, but Gray caught up and dismounted only milliseconds behind Gompert.

The two competitors kicked up dirt as they ran to the starting line where their teammates were waiting on ATVs. Hill sped off with Two Bit Ranch’s baton just as Gompert shoved Flower Den’s baton down Corbin Batt’s shirt.

Batt raced off after Hill, only inches behind him the entire lap-and-a-half ride. However, it was the wheelbarrow leg of the race that pulled Two Bit Ranch ahead for the win. Record-holder Westover is tough to beat. Westover wheeled Hill across the finish line just three seconds before Greg Gompert and Batt rolled in right behind them.

The Gray brothers came out to cheer on and greet their teammates who appeared to have won the race. Moments later, the judges confirmed their third consecutive win.

“A great way to bring in the 20s,” said Garret Gray. “The roarin’ 20s are back.”

Even though Two Bit Ranch came in with two championships under their belt, there was some concern for this year’s race. Hill’s four-wheeler that he typically uses for racing blew up the weekend before the big day. In their first few heats, Hill used a friend’s ATV, but it wasn’t as fast, and his teammates had to make up for it. For the final run, Hill used his cousin’s four-wheeler, since he was also in the Rubber Check Race, but did not make it to the championship heat.

Steve Flower, who has been announcing for the Rubber Check Race for the past 24 years, attributes this team’s success to their competitiveness.

“They got the best wheelbarrow pusher—he’s a record-holder. And the Gray boys are good cowboys. They’re mounted good and athletic guys,” said Flower. “It makes them really competitive.”

The night was a thriller, stuffed with grit, mishaps, cheering, dancing, and of course, racing. For Flower, who will be retiring from announcing the race after this year, the race was as exciting as ever.

“It’s been a lot of fun over the years. I’ve always enjoyed announcing,” he said. “I’ve had the best seat in the house for a long time.”

The final standings for the 37th Annual Scotts Bluff County Rubber Check Race are as follows:

1. Two Bit Ranch (1:25:53)

2. Flower Den (1:28:90)

3. Ox Ranch (1:23:50)

4. Libsack Construction (1:24:69)

5. Nine Mile Livestock & Performance Horses (1:23:10)

6. Pester Land and Cattle (1:24:59)

7. Western Hay Service (1:24:53)

8. Wright-Jobman Trucking, LLC (1:30:72)

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Reporter

Olivia Wieseler is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9051 or by emailing oliva.wieseler@starherald.com.

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