By: Darci Miller
PUEBLO, Colo. – When J.B. Mauney leapt off of Concealed Carry after making the 8-second whistle at the PBR Express Ranches Classic, presented by Bass Pro Shops, in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sunday, the two-time World Champion whipped his hat into the air, whooping with delight before hugging bullfighter Cody Webster.
Mauney’s ride would be scored 90.5 points, good to win Round 2, and give him yet another place in the PBR record books.
Mauney now stands alone atop the all-time leaderboard with 75 career 90-point rides on the premier series, breaking the tie he’d held with two-time World Champion Justin McBride.
He also has the second-most qualified rides in PBR history with 535 behind 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, and is tied with McBride for the most career event wins with 32.
That Mauney was even able to climb aboard Concealed Carry at all was something of a surprise, as his initial Round 2 attempt on Godzilla injured his groin as he was awarded a re-ride.
“When the bulls buck like that, it makes it fun,” 2002 World Finals event winner and PBR Ring of Honor inductee J.W. Hart said on CBS Sports Network. “This bull, he’s not really breaking over and dropping out of the air and really putting the power on you. He’s floating those corners, and then he gets to floating really good right here. This is what he usually does earlier in the ride, and just gives you time to kick loose and ride him like you want to. Good for J.B.”
Mauney went 2-for-3 in Tulsa – riding Firin’ for 83 points in Round 1 and getting bucked off by I’m Legit Too in 4.34 seconds in the championship round – for a fourth-place finish overall. It’s his third Top-5 finish in a row.
After missing the first seven months of the season recovering from reconstructive right shoulder surgery following the 2019 PBR World Finals, Mauney has faced an uphill climb to qualify for the 2020 PBR World Finals in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 12-15. In the last three events, however, he’s surged from No. 98 in the world standings to No. 30. He’s 24.5 points ahead of No. 35 Ryan Dirteater.
Mauney has spent the past few weeks on the road with his family in an RV, traveling to rodeos in between Unleash The Beast events to get on as many bulls as possible to get his timing back on track.
“Oh yeah, we are getting all the kinks worked out,” Mauney told PBR Insider Justin Felisko earlier this week. “I just had to get on more bulls. When you come back and you have short amount of time to make the PBR Finals, when you are rusty and everything isn’t working right, you get frustrated, you start fighting your head. I knew all I needed and had to do was get on more bulls. It feels like now every weekend it feels better and better. Everything is clicking and going a lot better now.”
Mauney is no stranger to late-season heroics. He won both of his world titles in October, and in his career in October he has 16 90-point rides and six event wins.
Meanwhile, Mauney has recorded a round win in each of his last three events. With only two regular-season premier series events remaining until the World Finals debuts in AT&T Stadium, he’s hitting his stride at the right time as he looks to qualify for his 15th Finals.
No one should be surprised.
“You can’t ever set a game plan,” Mauney told CBS Sports Network’s Kate Harrison of his efforts. “I ride them jump for jump. It don’t matter what they run in there. I’m going to ride them jump for jump, and that’s all that matters.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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