By: Justin Felisko
September 15, 2018
PUEBLO, Colo. – Kaique Pacheco’s dominating 3-for-4 showing at the PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, has provided the world leader the prime opportunity to prove he has learned from his previous World Championship shortcomings.
Pacheco’s current 826.67-point lead atop the world standings is the second-largest lead in the world standings he has ever had during the second half of a PBR premier series season.
In fact, Pacheco held an 875.33-point lead as of October 7, 2016, before eventual World Champion Cooper Davis began his come-from-behind march for the 2016 world title.
Pacheco was unable to keep his foot on the gas enough that year.
In 2015, Pacheco could not keep pace with two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney’s ferocious second-half run to his second title.
Now we will see if he can finish the deal this time around, or if another rider can pull off a come-from-behind rally as well.
There is still plenty of time for the world standings to be shaken up with six regular-season events remaining and the 2018 PBR World Finals.
2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood was 655 points out of the No. 1 ranking at the end of the regular season before clinching his gold buckle.
Pacheco has 3,815 world points this year, which is only 490 points shy of what last year’s world No. 1 Derek Kolbaba took into the 2017 PBR World Finals. It is also a little over 1,000 points away from Lockwood’s final 2017 total.
Here are the last three World Champions and their final world point totals: 2015 J.B. Mauney (6,105), 2016 Cooper Davis (5,930) and 2017 Jess Lockwood (4,862.5).
In 2016, Pacheco finished second to Davis with 5,441.58 points.
There are 4,500 points available for one rider until the PBR World Finals begin on Nov. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
One rider can earn a maximum of 3,300 points at the World Finals.
Not only did Pacheco earn an impressive 700 points toward the world standings in Springfield, which is the second-most he has earned this year at one event, but he did so in a rare kind of fashion.
Pacheco won two of the four rounds in Springfield with his 88-point ride on Pennywise in Round 3 and 91-point ride on Uncle Gangster in Round 1.
It is only the second time in Pacheco’s career that he has won two rounds at a premier series event, excluding his performances at PBR Majors.
The last time Pacheco won two rounds came during his infamous first career victory in 2015.
It was in St. Louis that year where Pacheco went 3-for-4 with two round wins to edge out a perfect Stetson Lawrence for the event win.
Pacheco’s 91-point ride on Friday in Springfield was also the second highest score of his career. He rode SweetPro’s Bruiser for 92.75 points during his victory at Last Cowboy Standing a few months ago in Las Vegas.
The 2015 Rookie of the Year has drawn Acting Crazy (21-8, PBR UTB) for Round 1 on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
World Champion Bull Updates
Speaking of Bruiser.
Reigning and two-time World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser will possibly make his second half debut in Austin, Texas, in two weeks, according to stock contractor H.D. Page.
Bruiser has already qualified for the World Championship race with 10 outs, and he is leading the World Champion Bull race with a 46.28-point average.
Meanwhile, stock contractor Julio Moreno said fans will not see Spotted Demon until the regular season finale in Nampa, Idaho.
Moreno’s plan is for Spotted Demon to buck two times that weekend and qualify himself for the World Championship by reaching the 8-out minimum.
Spotted Demon is the No. 2 bull with a 45.04-point average.
Big Black has begun to move up the bull rankings following impressive outs against two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney. The No. 1 bull in the ABBI standings was marked a career-best 46 points in Springfield for his 7.31-second buckoff.
Big Black is 7-1 on the premier series with a 44.44-point average bull score, which is fourth among bulls with the necessary eight outs.
Stock contractor Kenny McElroy said Big Black will likely next buck in Fairfax, Virginia.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.