By: Kacie Albert
WICHITA, Kan. – For the eighth time in history, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour will buck into Wichita, Kansas, returning to INTRUST Bank Arena on April 23, 2022, with the PBR Nexgrill Invitational.
For one night only, some of the best bull riders in the world will battle the sport’s rankest bovine athletes in the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness.
PBR’s Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour last traveled to Wichita in 2021 as Michael Lane (Tazewell, Virginia) went a near-perfect 2-for-3 to win his first event of the season on the PBR’s expansion series.
Lane began the Sunflower State event on a high note, winning Round 1 courtesy of an 87.5-point ride aboard Jerry Lee (Shuler Bucking Bulls). As action got underway on Championship Saturday, the Virginia native remained perfect in Round 2, covering Snoop Dog (Danley Bucking Bulls LLC) for 87.5 points, the second-best score of the round.
Despite his efforts, Lane was unable to conclude the PBR Nexgrill Invitational with a qualified ride, bucked off by Bezerk (BMC Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.) in a heart-breaking 5.31 seconds in the championship round.
With a 2-for-3 finish, the three-time PBR World Finals qualifier won his first PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event since 2019, when he topped the field in Des Moines, Iowa. He earned a critical 41 world points and catapulted 16 positions in the world standings, soaring from No. 51 to No. 35
Other past PBR Nexgrill Invitational event winners include: Daylon Swearingen (2019 – Piffard, New York); Ouncie Mitchell (2018 – Fresno, Texas); Cody Heffernan (2017 – Singleton, New South Wales, Australia); Nevada Newman (2016 – Melstone, Montana); Cody White Tyler (2015 – Talala, Oklahoma); and Juan Alonzo (2014 – Weslaco, Texas).
While INTRUST Bank Arena has welcomed the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour each season since its founding in 2014, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the city has also hosted the PBR’s Unleash The Beast (UTB) and Touring Pro Division (TPD) a collective five times. Those winners include: Valdiron de Oliveira (2013 TPD – Balcimo, Brazil); Ryan Dirteater (2011 UTB – Hulbert, Oklahoma); Austin Meier (2010 UTB – Kinta, Oklahoma); Skeeter Kingsolver (2009 TPD – McLouth, Kansas); and Cole Taylor (2007 TPD – Sayre, Oklahoma).
The PBR’s return to Wichita comes on the spurs of one of the fiercest races for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour in history.
While reigning PBR Nexgrill Invitational Champion Lane held the No. 1 position in the standings the majority of the season, he was surpassed during the last out of the year as Adriano Salgado (Batatais, Brazil) used a runner-up finish at the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals to surge to the top ranking in the standings.
The Brazilian newcomer Salgado finished a slim 26.5 points ahead of No. 2 Lane, who was unable to compete at the year-end event due to injury.
The Wichita tour stop is scheduled to mark the 24th Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event of the year, with PBR’s fastest-growing tour first stopping in cities including Portland, Oregon; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Jacksonville, Florida; and North Charleston, South Carolina.
The bull riding action for the 2022 PBR Nexgrill Invitational begins at 7 p.m. CST on Saturday, April 23 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
On Saturday evening, all 40 competing riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1. Following the opening round, the Top 10 will then advance to the championship round where they will attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
Tickets for the one-day event go on sale Monday, January 17 at 10:00 a.m. CT, and start at $15, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at SelectASeat.com and PBR.com, at the Select-A-Seat Box Office or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR Elite Seats are available for $175 for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world’s top bull riding circuit. These tickets offer the best seats in the venue, a question-and-answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world, $10 concession voucher, souvenir credential and lanyard, and post-event photo opportunity from the dirt.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can purchase add-on PBR Premium Experiences which will include the Elite Experience on Saturday, April 23.
The Elite Experience, available for $50, will include a $10 concession voucher, photo opportunity, and commemorative credential and lanyard.
© 2021 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.