Injuries Open Door for Bubble Riders in Tucson

PUEBLO, Colo. – Lachlan Richardson, Dave Mason, Luis Blanco and Tyler Harr were able to breathe a sigh of relief – at least for a couple of minutes – this week after being informed by the PBR competition department that they were in the draw for this weekend’s Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride Built Ford Tough Series event in Tucson, Arizona.

All four riders are competing because of injuries that are preventing No. 7 Nathan Schaper (left groin), No. 10 Guilherme Marchi (torn ligaments in his left knee), No. 13 Silvano Alves (left hip) and No. 28 Chase Outlaw (left arm) from attempting to ride in Tucson.

Therefore, the riders ranked 37-40 in the world standings will have another opportunity in the BFTS regular season finale to earn enough points to qualify for the World Finals.

Mason, Blanco and Harr are all looking to qualify for the first time in their careers.

No. 36 Michael Lane currently holds the final qualification spot in the world standings with this weekend’s event and the BlueDEF Velocity Tour Finals in two weeks remaining before the regular season is over.

Lane leads Richardson by just 15.83 points and Mason by 23.33 points. Even placing fifth in a round could bump Richardson and Mason ahead of Lane.

Meanwhile, Harr is only 80.83 points behind Lane.

Things only get cloudier on the bubble with the return of Bonner Bolton in Tucson.

Bolton has been out since breaking his right clavicle attempting to ride Buckle Up in August.

The rookie was 31st in the world standings at the time of the injury and has fallen to 35th, but he is only 25 points ahead of Lane.

Here is a look at Round 1 matchups for the bubble riders:

No. 31 Brady Sims vs. Mr. Nightlinger (0-0, BFTS)

No. 32 Alexandre Cardozo vs. Boo-Ray (8-5, BFTS)

No. 33 Robson Palermo vs. Smoke Wagon (3-1, BFTS)

No. 34 Douglas Duncan vs. For Play (0-0, BFTS)

No. 35 Bonner Bolton vs. Painkiller (0-0, BFTS)

No. 36 Michael Lane vs. Jiggs (0-0, BFTS)

No. 37 Lachlan Richardson vs. Outside The Box (3-0, BFTS)

No. 38 Dave Mason vs. Muddy Smile (3-4, BFTS)

No. 39 Luis Blanco vs. Circus Mouse (0-0, BFTS)

No. 40 Tyler Harr vs. Rum Stinger (0-0, BFTS)

Palermo was bucked off by Smoke Wagon in 7.5 seconds at Last Cowboy Standing in May.

World leader J.B. Mauney has drawn Big Naughty (0-1, BFTS) in Round 1, while No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira will face Midnight Train (0-0, BFTS).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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