By: Justin Felisko
March 05, 2016
THE AK-CHIN INVITATIONAL: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Phoenix with the Ak-Chin Invitational. Don’t forget to set your lineups for Ultimate PBR Fantasy, and if you haven’t already, sign up now for your chance to win.
TIER A: Consistent Fabiano
Fabiano Vieira will attempt to become the third consecutive rider to make the 8-second mark on Springer Mountain (1-2, BFTS). Vieira has posted at least one qualified ride in every BFTS event other than the season opener in Chicago.
Joao Ricardo Vieira continues to knock down ride after ride, including two away from his hand last week at Iron Cowboy. The No. 3 rider in the world standings still leads the Built Ford Tough Series with 19 qualified rides. Vieira has a Round 1 date against Soldier’s Pride (8-2, BFTS).
Wallace de Oliveira has a good opportunity to end his streak of four consecutive buckoffs when he faces Hy Test (16-15, BFTS). Hy Test has helped carry riders to a round win four times in his career.
Paulo Lima has gone three weeks without posting more than one qualified ride in an event. Lima has drawn True Grit (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
According to the PBR competition department, J.B. Mauney is not competing this weekend because of a personal matter.
TIER B: Proctor enters Phoenix on a tear
Shane Proctor’s rise to the No. 1 world ranking has been a result of not only winning two of the past three events, but also by rarely hitting the ground. Proctor has ridden seven of his last 10 for an average score of 85.75 points. In other words, keep rolling out the Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider.
Proctor has drawn Chin Check Charlie for Round 1 (0-0, BFTS).
2004 World Champion Mike Lee highlights the set of rematches in the first round as he will attempt to post his third consecutive ride aboard Jack Daniel’s After Party (46-23, BFTS).
Lee previously has ridden the bull for 86.75 points at the 2014 Built Ford Tough Series event in Oklahoma City. Lee also placed second in Round 2 of the 2012 Bass Pro Shops Chute Out in San Antonio with an 89-point ride on After Party.
Robson Palermo has one of the stronger matchups of Round 1 with a meeting against Redneck (4-8, BFTS). Every rider with a qualified ride on Redneck has been scored 86 points or higher.
Lachlan Richardson is three for his last six and takes on McIntyre Transports Back Jackin (4-7, BFTS). Back Jackin has been ridden in all four of his outs this season, including for 87.25 points last week by Iron Cowboy Shane Proctor.
Mason Lowe has bucked off nine consecutive bulls and has a tough draw in Round 1 against Backfire (6-0, BFTS). Backfire bucked off Kasey Hayes in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2.97 seconds.
TIER C: Can Alves and Davis capitalize on rematches
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and Cooper Davis have drawn familiar foes in Round 1 as they try to break out of their respective slumps.
Alves faces Woody, who he rode for 87.75 points at the 2013 Sacramento Invitational. Alves has only three rides in his last 16 attempts. During THE AMERICAN, Alves chatted briefly with PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert about what he did wrong during his Round 1 buckoff at Iron Cowboy.
Meanwhile, Davis has bucked off five consecutive bulls. He previously rodeMortimer for 88.25 points to win Round 3 of the Anaheim Invitational this season.
This week’s sleeper pick is Stetson Lawrence. The 27-year-old nearly won THE AMERICAN last Sunday before losing his rope at 7.03 seconds and has a relatively good draw in Round 1 against Set ‘em Up Joe (12-5, BFTS).
Also keep an eye on Douglas Duncan. The 28-year-old has drawn Wilbur in Round 1. Wilbur has been ridden in three consecutive outs at all levels. Duncan also has a rematch against Crazy Horse in Round 2. The Alvin, Texas, bull rider lasted 6.15 seconds on Julio Moreno’s bull in New York.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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