Night number one was a settling in and getting the feel of the land. Not good, not bad. Just a “Hello, The PBR is in town.” Night number two was different, it belonged to one man, JB Mauney. Being that he and two-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves ride last set kept the house filled to the very end again! Something you just don’t normally see this early in the battle.
Mauney won Round 2 with 93.75 points on Smackdown and has a commanding but not a solid 6.75-point lead in the Finals average.
J.B. has always been in control of his destiny and his emotions. But many of us in the press pit are commenting on just how focused J.B. is this time. He seems to be more focused than I have ever noticed him to be wife his wife Lexi by his side this entire finals. He even admits that she has made him more grounded than ever and has felt that not only in his riding but his emotions as well.
We all used to see J.B. get angry and throw his bull rope and see that affect the rest of his weekend but now he has gotten in control of those outbursts and also has grown up this year. Instead of throwing his rope and getting angry he now vents and lets it go to focus on the next round and tonight was the milestone of his attitude change.
Coming into tonight he was 173.50 points out of the number one spot in the world and he knew it. With only two rides left in night number two of the 2013 PBR World Finals it came down to himself and Silvano Alves. The entire Thomas & Mack arena were on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen at night’s end and it did not disappoint. J.B. climbed aboard his bull and rode to the eight second whistle to a tune of 93.75 points that erupted the crowd in Las Vegas.
Once all the scores were tallied it was J.B. sitting in the number one spot in the world not to mention the number one spot in the overall average thus far. The 20th anniversary of the PBR and the 2013 PBR World Finals are setting records for the closest race in the history of the company.
Its only night number 2! Things will only get much more intense as the nights progress to see who will hoist the championship trophy over their head on Sunday afternoon.
Photo by Tom Donoghue