By: Justin Felisko
April 08, 2017
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational Friday night at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Marchi one ride away from historic 600 mark (4-8-17)
It came down to his fingertips, but even Guilherme Marchi’s fingers are some of the strongest in the PBR.
The 2008 World Champion rode Embers for 83.5 points and career ride 599 Friday night.
“My goodness, I had to fight for 8 seconds,” Marchi said. “This feels amazing. The pressure right now on my shoulders – I am feeling it on both shoulders, but I am proud to put big numbers up like this in the PBR against this competition and caliber of bulls.”
Marchi will look to become the first rider in PBR history to reach 600 rides on the Built Ford Tough Series on Saturday night when he takes on Shocker (4-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Fans can watch Round 2 exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Not only is Shocker undefeated at the BFTS level, but he is also 13-0 at all levels of competition.
“That bull is kind of hard to ride,” Marchi said. “I saw last week that bull with Mike (Lee). He kind of kick not too much with Mike, but I think I am ready for him. I am focused and have been fast in the chute. I am trying to do everything better.”
The 34-year-old finished Round 1 tied for eighth place.
Marchi said his family in Brazil, including his mother, Marcia, have been following his march to 600 on PBR LIVE.
“My number one fans are my mother, dad, brother and sisters. My kids,” Marchi said.
He also knows he has a ton of fans here in Billings.
“I am excited to get it done this week too,” Marchi concluded. “All of the fans are waiting for it. My family. My kids. Me. I want to take all of the pressure off my shoulders and just ride good.”
Lawrence wins steak for his roommates
Stetson Lawrence told his roommates, J.W. Harris and Cody Campbell, that if he won the round on Friday night he would go buy his buddies supper.
Well, there is a steakhouse in Billings getting a nice payday from Lawrence, who normally enjoys a nice, big medium-rare filet for dinner.
Lawrence won Round 1 – his first BFTS round victory since last October – by riding American Sniper for 88 points.
“I have been smiling since Wednesday when I got the email saying I had that bull,” Lawrence said. “He is just a freaking, good bull.”
Lawrence not only earned 100 points toward the world standings, but he also won a $1,000 bonus check from Tire-Rama for covering Friday night’s bonus bull.
“I imagine I will go buy some steaks for the roomies,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence moved from 25th in the world standings to 23rd with the round victory and has a rematch against Sledge Hamma in Round 2.
Sledge Hamma bucked off the 28-year-old in 5.49 seconds in Glendale, Arizona.
“I was too focused on my free arm,” Lawrence said. “I was keeping that down and my feet came up. I lost my feet. I will balance it out and make it work.
“I am psyched about getting another shot.”
Teel becomes first man to ride Mystikal
Cody Teel took another step forward in his rookie development by becoming the first rider to reach the 8-second mark on Mystikal when he rode the Gene Owen and Jane Clark bovine athlete for 87 points.
Mystikal had bucked off nine in a row on the Built Ford Tough Series and 19 overall.
“That bull leaves funky every time with the gate and usually hips himself,” Teel said. “I just got a clean go at him and that is a big plus. He looked left and went right. He is just a good, solid bull after the first couple of rounds.”
Teel placed second in the round for 60 world points.
Rounding out the Top 5 was J.B. Mauney (86.75 points on Tequila Sunrise), Gage Gay (86.5 points on Crazy Days) and Silvano Alves (86.5 points on The Hulk).
Mauney and Derek Kolbaba (86.25 points on Sully) were the only two riders ranked inside the Top 10 of the world standings to earn a qualified ride in Round 1.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido (riding arm) is not competing in Billings this weekend.
Mystikal was only marked 42.25 points, but the 5-year-old has been a consistent championship round or 15/15 Bucking Battle bull all season long.
Teel said he knew he had the bull to potentially win the round on.
“It kind of lays it all out there for you,” Teel said. “You have a chance to win the round or be close if you do your job. You are going to be a hero or a zero. It kind of simplifies things. Sometimes it is almost a little more relaxing, honestly.”
Teel will try to add to his weekend total in Round 2 against Wired Crazy (7-4, BFTS).
The 24-year-old is looking to win his second BFTS event in only his sixth appearance at the PBR’s highest level of competition.
“I am getting into the routine of things, but you have to go at it with 110 percent every weekend. You can’t let up because once you do you end up on your back pretty quick.”
There were no significant injuries in Round 1, but Cody Nance was unable to compete after getting stranded in Nashville because of flight cancellations.
The No. 14 ranked bull rider in the world standings expects to make it to Billings on Saturday in time for Round 2.
It was a tough break for Nance after the Paris, Tennessee, bull rider was coming off a second-place finish last weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“If I can get there tomorrow then I’ll be in good shape still,” Nance said via text message.
No. 3 Chase Outlaw also had flight troubles trying to fly out of Arkansas on Thursday, but was able to eventually get to Billings on Friday at 5 p.m.
Outlaw was bucked off by High Chaparral in 4.29 seconds in Round 1.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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