PUEBLO, Colo. – Gage Gay continues to take advantage of his opportunities at the BlueDEF Velocity Tour level.
For the second time this season, Gay won a BlueDEF Velocity Tour event to earn an alternate spot on the BFTS after being cut from the PBR’s primary tour in February.
Gay won the BlueDEF event in Omaha, Nebraska, two weeks ago to earn an alternate spot for this weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series DeWalt Guaranteed Tough Invitational in Nampa, Idaho.
The 20-year-old rode Kimball’s Corner for 89 points and Arrow Truck Sales Hot Iron for 85 points in Omaha to clinch an automatic berth for a BFTS event.
Gay is currently 45th in the world standings, but he is only 142.5 points out of the 30th position. Even more so, Gay trails Mason Lowe, the current holder of the last alternate position in this week’s draw by 47.5 points.
Gay has drawn Toby (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
Robson Aragao heads into the DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational currently holding the No. 30 and last guaranteed spot in a BFTS draw over Lowe by 95 points.
Aragao will face I’m Next (0-0, BFTS) on Saturday night.
There are six additional alternates in this week’s draw beyond Gay and Lowe chasing a Top-30 spot and a potential BFTS victory.
No. 31 Claudio Crisostomo (-17.5 points), No. 32 Sean Willingham (-22), No. 33 Douglas Duncan (-23.75) No. 34 Bryan Titman (-42.5 points), No. 35 Lachlan Richardson (-77.5) and No. 36 Alexandre Cardozo (-92.5).
In other words, the bottom half of the standings continues to be as close as the first few weeks of the season.
Aaron Roy is competing in Nampa courtesy of his fourth injury exemption. He has one more exemption following this weekend before being subject to the BFTS cutline.
The 27-year-old is 52nd in the world standings and is 167.5 points behind Aragao.
Roy faces Long Haired Outlaw (1-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Markus Mariluch, who went 0-for-2 in Seattle, will take on Say I Won’t Playboy (9-3, BFTS) as he tries to register his first qualified ride of 2015 since returning from his 2014 torn biceps. Billings is the second of his eight guaranteed BFTS events.
Cates missed just one event (Seattle Invitational), and he will look to end a streak of eight overall buckoffs when he takes on Strung Out (0-0, BFTS).
Nance returns after missing the last two BFTS events and he will go head-to-head with Slash (0-0, BFTS). Prior to taking the last four weeks off, the Paris, Tennessee, bull rider had ridden three of his last four.
There are two rematches in the first round on Saturday night: Brady Sims vs. Hang Time (12-1, BFTS) and Kasey Hayes vs. Cowtown Slinger.
Hang Time bucked off Sims in 4.35 seconds at the 2014 Built Ford Tough World Finals, while Cowtown Slinger (18-11, BFTS) dumped Hayes in 7.29 seconds at the 2014 Ty Murray Invitational.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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