By: Justin Felisko
July 31, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Stormy Wing has been living in North Carolina for most of the summer since the Built Ford Tough Series went on break following Last Cowboy Standing.
Not only has that enabled Wing to live closer to his daughter, Suede Marie, but it also has resulted in him being a short drive away from J.B. Mauney’sranch in Statesville, North Carolina.
Wing has been able to help out Mauney around the ranch since the two-time World Champion underwent season-ending surgery earlier this month. Prior to heading to Big Sky, Montana, for the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event, Wing stopped by Mauney’s ranch to feed the animals while J.B. and his wife, Samantha, were out of town.
The 28-year-old has made it a habit this year to train on a Buckrite bucking machine – a powered drop barrel – and he has been able to continue his ritual at Mauney’s.
“I go over there twice a day, and I will jump on there every once in a while,” Wing said. “I don’t want to tell everyone my secrets though.”
Whatever the secret is, Wing should keep it up.
The No. 8 rider in the world standings continued his sensational season this past weekend in Big Sky with back-to-back 90-point rides on Friday night.
Wing began the PBR Big Sky event with a 90.5-point ride on Red Dawn to win Round 1 before riding $5,000 bonus bull Red Sails In The Sunset for 90 points.
Mauney previously rode Red Dawn for 90.25 points to win Round 4 at the 2016 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals.
“J.B. never does (give me advice) unless I ask him,” Wing said. “I called him Friday to see how things were going and about Red Dawn. He told me he would be good either way. He told me to bear down.”
Friday was just the second time in his career that Wing posted multiple 90-point rides at an event at any level of PBR competition.
“We are the rankest bull riders in the world for a reason because we know how to do and make those countermoves that no one else can do,” Wing said. “That is because we have done it in our mind and slowed it down and worked on it every day to get to that point.”
Wing last eclipsed 90 points twice was in 2009 at the Touring Pro Division event in Monroe, Louisiana, with 90-point rides on Little Bit and Alligator Chomp.
The Dalhart, Texas, cowboy finished seventh in the event after bucking off Lil Hank in 4.49 seconds and Beaver Creek Beau in 1.51 seconds on Saturday night.
Wing has spent lots of time this season working on the Buckrite, which is made by Ian McPeak, and has continued to make sure he is fine-tuning his skills.
Along with keeping his body loose throughout the week, Wing is able to use the Buckrite to continue to visualize the moves he needs to make later in the week once he arrives at the arena or fix any mistakes he may notice in his riding.
“It is just like a drop barrel, but it is motorized so no one has to run it,” Wing said. “You just hit a button and turn it on yourself. It is the basics. Up and down and you can ride it for hours. You are just fine-tuning the basics. You just ride it front to back. If you do that, them son of a guns can do backflips out there and you should be in the middle.”
Reigning World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser did nearly everything but flip over when Wing rode the D&H Cattle Company for 95.25 points in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
It was highest-scored ride of Wing’s career and was the beginning of his sensational turnaround season.
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis said Saturday afternoon Wing is riding better than anyone this season.
“He has been one of the best guys going since March,” Davis said.
Wing is only 1,370 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido, and Wing will be looking to channel his own Mauney-style World Championship comeback when the BFTS resumes on Aug. 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The eight-year pro is 12-for-40 (30 percent) with two victories and five Top-10 finishes through 15 BFTS events and he is on pace to finish inside the Top 10 of the world standings for the first time in his career.
Most of all, Wing is enjoying his first real push at a world title.
“It is a weight off my shoulders,” Wing said. “It is something I knew I could always do. I just had my head up my ass. I need to stay in the game and finish. That is all I can say. I am going to keep showing up and try to stay focused positive. Do things right and let my riding do the talking.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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