PUEBLO, Colo. – A month after placing 11th in his first Built Ford Tough Series event since 2012, Bonner Bolton claimed the BlueDEF Velocity Tour victory on Saturday night in Bakersfield, California, to get another step closer toward qualifying for the BFTS in 2015.
“Oh, it means everything,” Bolton said. “I came here a year before last and thankfully captured the event title that year, so I had a really good vibe coming in this year.”
The 27-year-old rode Boo-Ray for an event-high 89.5 points in the championship round to finish 2-for-2 at the Rabobank Arena with 174 points and pick up his first victory since winning the Touring Pro Division event in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, on Oct. 4.
Bolton rode Blizzard for 84.5 points and the first qualified ride of the night in Round 1 to enter the championship round sitting tied for third in the event average with Ben Jones, who rode Slam Dunk for 84.5 points in the first round.
Dallee Mason (173 points) placed second in the event by becoming the first rider to conquer Mr. Mustachio when he rode Jeff Robinson’s bull for 89 points in the championship round. Mr. Mustachio had yet to be ridden in 10-plus career outs.
Mason rode What Up for 84 points in the first round.
Paulo Lima (172 points) finished third overall by riding King Buck for 86.5 points in the championship round and his Round 1 re-ride bull, Storm Warning, for 85.5 points.
Jones and Robson Aragao tied for fourth-place with 170 points. Aragao was the first to cover two bulls in Bakersfield when he rode Wilbur for 86.5 points in the championship. Aragao rode Rein Check for 83.5 points in the first round.
Jones picked up an 85.5-point ride on Oreo Blast in the championship round.
Reese Cates won Round 1 with 86 points aboard on Merlot Man to enter the 10-man championship round in the top spot in the aggregate. However, the El Dorado, Arkansas, native was jerked down by Nefarious at the 7.75-second mark on the final ride attempt of the evening and finished in sixth place overall.
Last week’s BlueDEF Velocity Tour winner Kaique Pacheco was bucked off by Full Tilt in Round 1, while there were a total of 18 qualified rides on Saturday night.
Bolton made his BFTS debut at the Portland, Oregon, event in 2012 and competed in six total BFTS events that season. The Gardendale, Texas, bull rider had yet to make it back on tour until the last regular-season event this year in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he went 2-for-3.
The BlueDEF Velocity Tour returns to action on Jan. 10-11 in Laredo, Texas.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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