By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – It is one thing to hear advice, and it is another to act on it.
Sometimes, though, it is a small sense of encouragement that can spur a rider to turn things on in the face of adversity. For Taylor Toves, those words came from two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney as Toves was spiraling down the world standings in recent weeks and flirting with the real possibility of failing to qualify for the 2020 PBR World Finals.
“I have been talking to J.B a bunch,” Toves told RidePass host Colby Yates on Friday night. “He said, ‘Just relax, man, you ride good. Just go have fun and do it.’”
Toves did just that on Friday night and he left the Ford Idaho Center with a big smile as his 89.75-point ride on Medicine Man was enough for him to win Round 1 of the PBR Cooper Tires Take The Money and Ride, presented by Union Home Mortgage.
The 27-year-old entered the evening hanging onto the No. 36 ranking in the world standings, but he will head into Championship Saturday ranked No. 34 thanks to the big 20 points he earned in Round 1.
Toves’ first round victory since April 25 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, (89.5 points on Biker Bob) gets him that much closer to qualifying for the 2020 PBR World Finals in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 12-15.
In fact, Friday night was only Toves’ second qualified ride at any level of competition (2-for-26) since that round win in Guthrie almost six months ago.
The Stephenville, Texas, native has drawn Notorious for Round 2 in Nampa Saturday night as he sits five points ahead of No. 36 Ryan Dirteater and 23 points ahead of No. 40 Rafael Henrique dos Santos.
Fans can watch the conclusion of the Unleash The Beast regular season Saturday night on CBS Sports Network and RidePass at 10 p.m. ET.
The World Finals cutoff looks to be No. 39 in the world standings with at least four riders inside the Top 35 unable to compete at the World Finals because of injury, eligibility or travel restrictions. That number may change between now and the end of the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals on Nov. 6-7 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well. The safest place for a rider to be if they want to make sure they are at the World Finals is to be sitting inside the Top 35.
For now, let’s take a look at how the Road to Arlington is shaping up with the Unleash The Beast coming down to its final regular-season event Saturday.
World Finals bubble race following Round 1 in Nampa
33. Boudreaux Campbell (126.66 world points)*
34. Taylor Toves (125 points)*
35. Tye Chandler (123.33 points)
36. Ryan Dirteater (120 points)
37. Amadeu Campos (104.66 points)
38. Junio Patrik Souza (103.5 points)*
39. Dakota Louis (103 points)
40. Rafael Henrique dos Santos (102 points)*
41. Marcus Mast (99.16 points)
42. Paulo Ferreira Lima (93 points)
43. Cody Casper (89 points)
*Qualified ride in Round 1
No. 33 Boudreaux Campbell (87 points on Tractorland Arizona Dreamin)
The No. 3-ranked bull rider in the PRCA is attempting to be the first – and likely only – rider this year to qualify for both the PBR World Finals and the National Finals Rodeo.
Boudreaux Campbell arrived in Nampa in control of his destiny, and it looks like he plans on keeping things that way. He finished Round 1 in a three-way tie for fifth place by riding Tractorland Arizona Dreamin for 87 points.
Campbell earned six world points to move up from No. 34 to No. 33 in the world standings.
The 22-year-old will take on Whiskey Bent (17-8, PBR UTB) in Round 2 as he attempts to win his first career premier series event and clinch himself a spot in Arlington. (Campbell also is qualified for the Velocity Tour Finals where he can earn further world points on Nov. 6-7).
No. 38 Junio Patrik Souza (87 points on Tykro Pound Sand)
Junio Patrik Souza used the best ride of his career on Friday night to tie with Campbell for six world points and go from just outside of the World Finals picture (No. 40) to right into the thick of it.
The 27-year-old was mired in a 1-for-7 slump and hadn’t earned a single world point since his third-place finish in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 20.
Souza trails No. 35 Tye Chandler, who is not competing in Nampa as he continues to recover from hip surgery, by 19.83 points.
He takes on Twisted X (2-2, UTB) in Round 2 as he too attempts to win his first event and pick up a trip to the World Finals. (Souza also is qualified for the Velocity Tour Finals where he can earn further world points on Nov. 6-7).
No. 40 Rafael Henrique dos Santos (89.25 points on Why Hell Ya)
Friday night was a coming out party for a series of Brazilian rookie riders attempting to reach their first World Finals.
Santos joined Souza in making a late push for AT&T Stadium by posting the best ride of his career to finish second in the round behind Toves and move from No. 42 to No. 40 in the world standings.
Santos is 21.33 points behind No. 35 Chandler.
The 25-year-old has drawn Cold Chill (3-1, UTB) for Round 2. (Santos also is qualified for the Velocity Tour Finals where he can earn further world points on Nov. 6-7.)
No. 37 Campos sustains injuries to the right side of his chest/abdomen
Amadeu Campos’ availability for the Velocity Tour Finals and World Finals may be in jeopardy after he sustained multiple injuries on Friday night. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Campos was transported to a local hospital after Dancing Eagle bucked him off and stepped on him, resulting in injuries to his chest/abdomen.
Longshots Dougherty and Souza remain in the mix for last-minute World Finals berths
World No. 50 Chase Dougherty (32 points behind No. 40 Santos) remains in the hunt for the World Finals after notching the first qualified ride of his Unleash The Beast career on Friday night when he rode Mortimer for 86 points.
Dougherty will head into Championship Sunday sitting tied for ninth place. He takes on Hammerhead Blu (14-2, UTB) in Round 2.
No. 64 Andre de Souza (-44 points behind No. 40 Santos) also notched the first ride of his career – 85.75 points on High Razor – and is tied for 11th place.
Souza faces Tested Crazy (13-2, UTB/METC) in Round 2.
Dougherty and Souza also are qualified for the Velocity Tour Finals, and that could be another avenue to qualify for the World Finals.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
© 2020 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.