PUEBLO, Colo. – With three days remaining until the Built Ford Tough World Finals begins inside the Thomas & Mack Center, PBR.com takes a look at the riders who are still mathematically alive in the race for the 2015 World Championship.
No. 3 Kaique Pacheco
World Championships: 0
Best World Finals Finish: N/A (First-time qualifier)
2015 BFTS Stats:
Riding Percentage: 47.22 percent
Top Ride: 90 points on Compact in Tucson, Arizona.
Wins: 3 (St. Louis; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina)
15/15 Bucking Battle Victories: 0
Round Wins: 7
Top 10: 11
Top 5: 6
90-point Rides: 1
Last 10: 6-for-10
Best Regular-Season Performance: Pacheco became the first rookie bull rider to win a PBR Major by riding Percolator for 76.5 points in the championship round of the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout in August to claim the Event Championship and $75,000. Pacheco finished the weekend only 2-for-5, but he was able to eliminate Aaron Roy, Tanner Byrne, Matt Triplett, Stetson Lawrence and Fabiano Vieira along the way. He earned 650 points toward the world standings to move to No. 3 in the world standings. At the time of his victory, he was within 707.5 points of world leader J.B. Mauney..
Noteworthy: Pacheco has his work cut out for him if he wants to become the first PBR rookie to win a World Championship.
The 21-year-old begins the World Finals 1,322.5 points behind world leader J.B. Mauney, but only needs to gain 93 points in the standings to clinch the Rookie of the Year title.
Pacheco is likely to become the fifth Brazilian-born bull rider to win the Rookie of the Year title in the past six years.
He also may become the third consecutive rookie to finish inside the Top 5 of the world standings. 2014 Rookie of the Year J.W. Harris finished fourth last year, while 2013 Rookie of the Year Joao Ricardo Vieira placed third.
Vieira’s third-place finish in the standings was the highest a PBR rookie had finished since Zach Brown concluded the 2004 season sixth in the world.
Pacheco will likely need to win the World Finals event average if he hopes to come from behind and usurp Mauney and Vieira for the World Championship.
Pacheco is making his World Finals debut and it will be interesting to see how he responds from his 0-for-2 showing at the BlueDEF Finals, which resulted in him losing out on the $50,000 BlueDEF Velocity Tour championship.
If Pacheco wins the World Finals event title, he would become the first rookie to do so since Jody Newberry (2003).
Pacheco also has an opportunity to break Vieira’s rookie earnings record ($446,585.11) and is $86,863.93 away from setting a new record.
Pacheco has been impressive at all three levels of PBR competition (BFTS, BDVT and TPD). He leads all riders with 75 qualified rides in 132 attempts.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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