By: Justin Felisko
October 23, 2016
TUCSON, Ariz. – Here are three things we learned from the Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride, presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community, this weekend at the Tucson Convention Center.
All it took was one week for Kaique Pacheco to regain the world No. 1 ranking for the ninth time this season.
Pacheco capped off a 3-for-3 weekend of perfection with a career-high 90.25 points on Crazy Horse to finish second overall and earn 390 points toward the world standings.
The 22-year-old moved 222.83 points ahead of previous world No. 1 Cooper Davis, who finished 0-for-2, heading into the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2-6 in Las Vegas.
“I have a lot of confidence right now,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “There is a lot of confidence right now. I need to stay on all of my bulls at the Finals. With the help of God, I can ride every bull.”
The ride was Pacheco’s first 90-point ride since riding Compact for 90 points last year in Tucson. He previously rode Crazy Horse for 88.5 points to win the Charlotte Invitational last month.
Pacheco also won the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, giving him 10 round wins this year. Seven of his round wins have come since the Built Ford Tough Series resumed in August.
“I am very happy to have rode for 90 points tonight. I rode him to the right. There was a chance he could go left. He can go either way.”
He began his weekend with an 81.5-point ride on Johnny Bones Jones before really turning things on Sunday afternoon. Pacheco placed third in Round 2 for 50 world points by riding Just Juan for 86.75 points and his ride on Crazy Horse helped him finish second in the event average behind winner Chase Outlaw for 240 world points.
Pacheco leads No. 3 J.B. Mauney, who finished ninth in Tucson, by 677.83 points in the world standings.
The bullseye will now be on Pacheco as the second-year pro attempts to hold off Davis, Mauney and at least 13 additional riders still mathematically alive in the 2016 world title race.
There is a chance that a rider outside of the Top 16 could re-enter the world title picture if they earn enough points at the 2016 BlueDEF Tour Finals next weekend.
None of that matters to Pacheco.
He could care less if he is No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 in the world standings as long as he is standing on top of the shark cage inside T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 6 as the 2016 World Champion.
“No. I don’t care if I am first, second, third,” Pacheco said. “I need to keep riding my bulls and cover them at the Finals.”
Pacheco won’t be competing at the BlueDEF Finals, so he is six rides away at the World Finals from possibly becoming the 16th different World Champion in the PBR’s 23 seasons.
“This is the dream of all cowboys,” Pacheco said. “To be a world champ. When I was young, I watched all of the videos of World Champions. My dream has been to come here and win the World Championship.”
Outlaw wins first event since Sept. 2014
Chase Outlaw’s mental toughness and perseverance in 2016 finally paid off in the win column.
The 24-year-old has had to bounce back from back-to-back reconstructive shoulder surgeries on each of his shoulders in a span of six months, as well as a separated right shoulder in his first BFTS back from surgery in August, this season.
The two major surgeries and separated shoulder haven’t stopped Outlaw, though.
Outlaw went 3-for-3 to win his first BFTS event since winning the Nashville 2014 event, but this weekend was another reminder of just how hard he has worked to get back to his previous form.
“I had it between the ears this weekend to get it done and do whatever it takes,” Outlaw said. “That is what I did.”
Outlaw, who won seven non-BFTS events during the summer break, clinched his first BFTS victory since the surgeries with an 89.25-point walk-off ride on Chantilly Lace in the championship round.
“The short round-bulls have handed it to me the past few weeks,” Outlaw said. “It was good to finish it off. I had been wanting to get on that bull all year and I love to cap off a win on especially one of Chad Berger’s bulls.”
He previously rode Pistol Pete for 86.5 points in Round 1 and Jump Around for 86 points in Round 2 to enter the championship round leading the event.
Outlaw is up to 23rd in the world standings after earning 542.5 points in Tucson. This weekend was only his sixth BFTS event of 2016 because of his of injuries.
“There is no better time of year than to be hotter than a firecracker,” Outlaw said. “I am glad we finished it here.”
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves continued his recent surge, going 3-for-3 to finish in third place. He has ridden nine of his last 12. Alves earned 215 world points and is 20th in the world standings.
Guilherme Marchi (3-for-3, 140 world points) and Stetson Lawrence (3-for-3, 115 world points) rounded out the Top 5.
There were a total of 42 qualified rides over the course of the two-day event.
Bubble Watch: Valdiviezo and Newman stay above the cutline for now
Jorge Valdiviezo shook his head on Sunday afternoon and could only wonder what this weekend meant for his pursuit of qualifying for the World Finals.
Valdiviezo went 2-for-3 in Tucson, but only earned five points toward the world standings.
The 27-year-old began the event with rides aboard Reaganator (83.5 points) and Crackerjack (81 points), but didn’t place high enough in Round 1 or 2 to earn any points toward the world standings.
Still, he was in position to possibly win the event in the championship round before Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe dislodged him from his bull rope in 6.79 seconds.
Valdiviezo shook his head in disappointment after signing autographs for some fans inside the Tucson Convention Center.
“I didn’t do my job in the short round,” Valdiviezo said. “We will see now.”
The No. 35 rider in the world standings is holding onto the final spot to qualify for the World Finals, but he is ineligible to compete at the BlueDEF Tour Finals because of his lack of points in the BlueDEF standings.
He leads No. 36 Fraser Babbington by 10 points. Babbington is eligible to compete at the BlueDEF Finals.
No. 34 Kasey Hayes leads Babbington by 67.83 points and is in the same boat as Valdiviezo. Hayes went 1-for-2 in Tucson with 82.75 points on Sir Mix A Lot.
One rider that helped his case, even slimly, was Nevada Newman.
Newman earned 55 points toward the world standings with his 10th-place finish. The No. 33 ranked rider is now 112.5 points above the cutline and is competing at the BlueDEF Finals.
The 24-year-old wishes he could have had another shot at Billy Bat Skat in the championship round, but his 2-for-3 performance may be just enough to get him to his first World Finals.
Newman rode Back in Black for 86 points in Round 1, where he earned 45 of his 55 world points, and built off that ride with an 83.5-point effort on Ice Cold in Round 2.
Tucson is Newman’s first two-ride showing since his BFTS debut in St. Louis is February.
“It’s been a long time,” Newman said. “This is awesome. I could feel myself making third and fourth efforts. Before I wasn’t. If I got a little tipped out, I was checking out. I don’t know why.”
Newman credited part of his success to two-time World Champion Justin McBride.
“Another thing that helped me was I watched the TV broadcast last week and Justin said I need to bring my arm more (in front of my head) instead of across my body.”
Newman, who is 18th in the BlueDEF Tour standings, is excited about the opportunity to go win the 2016 BlueDEF title next weekend and earn himself a trip to the World Finals.
“I feel I am confident again,” Newman concluded. “Like the old Nevada Newman. The Nevada Newman that came through the BlueDEF Tour and at the first event. It sucks it took me all year to figure it out, but it works.”
Matt Triplett’s pursuit of cracking the Top 35 came up short, and he will now be shifting his focus to the BlueDEF Tour Finals as well. Triplett went 1-for-3 for 22.5 world points and is 207.5 points behind the Top 35.
No. 50 Reese Cates went 0-for-2 in Tucson and will need to use the BlueDEF route to qualify for the World Finals.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Ty Pozzobon did not compete in the championship round because of a wrist injury sustained in Round 1. He is questionable for Las Vegas.
Mason Lowe did not compete in the championship round after sustaining bruises and abrasions of his left ankle when he was stepped on in Round 2. He is probable for Las Vegas.
Reese Cates sprained his left knee (MCL) when he was thrown from his second-
Luis Blanco did not compete on Sunday because of a shoulder injury. He is questionable for Las Vegas.
Stormy Wing did not compete Sunday after bruising his right calf when he was stepped on after being thrown from his first round bull. He is probable for Las Vegas.
Marco Eguchi was out Sunday because of a hip pointer he sustained in Round 1. He is probable
for Las Vegas.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.