By: Justin Felisko
March 08, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Stormy Wing has no plans of giving up his Built Ford Tough Series draw spot any time soon, and he sure as hell won’t go down without a fight.
Wing won’t go down without a fight; Little Rock draw notes (3-8-17)
Wing heads into this weekend’s Bad Boy Mower’s Showdown sitting 32nd in the world standings following a season-best 2-for-3 showing at the Jacksonville Invitational.
The 27-year-old doesn’t pay much attention to the BFTS cutline, but he understands the importance of taking care business inside the arena this weekend to avoid being relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour level.
“It is just you,” Wing said. “You are fighting it. Someone said the other day, ‘I am not living it. I don’t eat it and sleep it.’ I love (bull riding) more than anything. That is something no one can take away from me.”
Wing is 62.5 points ahead of No. 36 Sonny Schafferrius, who is competing as an alternate in Little Rock.
Schaferrius is still in search of his first career ride and is 0-for-8 on the BFTS. He takes on Church Bells (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1.
Wing knows it all starts and ends with him this weekend.
He has drawn Havoc (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night.
“I know I can do it,” Wing said. “I am one of the best in the world. It ain’t even about a World Championship any more. I just want to show up and do my best for that time being. They can’t take that away from me ever. I just love it.”
Fans can watch all of the action Friday night on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Fellow BFTS regular Stetson Lawrence is also getting close to the cutline. Lawrence is 33rd in the world standings, only 45 points ahead of Schaferrius.
No. 81 Fraser Babbington is down to his final BFTS exemption and he is 106.36 points behind No. 35 Troy Wilkinson.
Babbington has a Round 1 meeting with Cajun Heat (0-0, BFTS).
No. 118 Paulo Lima (one exemption remaining) still remains outside the Top 35.
Meanwhile, Emilio Resende is returning to the Built Ford Tough Series after his third-place finish in Hampton, Virginia, bumped him to 34th in the world standings.
Resende has earned 110 points at the last two Velocity Tour events, including 80 points for his Worcester, Massachusetts, victory.
He will take on High Test (3-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Joao Ricardo Vieira is set to return to competition after missing Jacksonville because of a shoulder separation.
Vieira has drawn Pill Pusher (3-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Robson Palermo (left knee) and Wallace de Oliveira (ankle) are not competing in Arkansas after sustaining injuries last weekend.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Jess Lockwood (groin), No. 24 Gage Gay (clavicle injury), No. 29 Nevada Newman (shoulder surgery), No. 126 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg) are also still out.
Lockwood said he is two weeks ahead of schedule with his rehab, and said it looks like he will be returning for his home state event in Billings, Montana, on April 7-9.
“I’m riding in Billings no matter what,” Lockwood said in a text message
Byrne said his recovery is going well and that he is leaning toward a return to action in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on March 17-19.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido will look to win his fourth event in five weeks and gets things started against Floyd 345 (1-0, BFTS).
No. 47 Jay Miller is this week’s Velocity Tour invite and has drawn Bushwacked (1-0, BFTS). Miller is in the draw because of his victory in Dayton, Ohio.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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