PUEBLO, Colo. – Last week, at the PBR Team Series opener in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Missouri Thunder dominated, going a perfect 2-0 to finish the first event of the season in first place.
This weekend, even the Thunder’s practice squad showed up in a big way.
Leandro Machado won his second Challenger Series event of the summer at the Spirit Lake PBR, presented by Spirit Lake Casino & Resort, in St. Michael, North Dakota, going 3-for-3.
Machado didn’t have the most auspicious start in St. Michael. In Round 1, he rode Peanut Butter Falcon for just 76 points – seventh place in a round with eight qualified rides. In Round 2, he placed eighth out of eight rides with 82.5 points on Short Nights.
But in the championship round, Machado came out strong with an 86-point ride on Skeeter Peter, good for second place in the round behind 2018 PBR Rookie of the Year and Arizona Ridge Rider Keyshawn Whitehorse, who rode Not Today for 88.5 points.
Machado and Whitehorse were the only men to go 3-for-3 in St. Michael, and Machado ultimately edged Whitehorse by 1.5 points in the aggregate, 244.5 to 243.
Whitehorse had previously ridden Sky Dancer for 70 points in Round 1 and Dennis the Menace for 84.5 points in Round 2.
Machado’s win was his first since June 1, when he won the Nothin’ But Try Ranch PBR in Erick, Oklahoma.
For his win in St. Michael, Machado earned 35 points towards the Challenger Series standings, where he’s tied for No. 11 with Lucas Fideles Souza. Whitehorse, who earned 29 points, is ranked No. 4.
Below the near-tie for first place was a real tie for third place.
2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen (2-for-3), 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel (2-for-2) and Ross Freeman (2-for-3) each earned 169.5 points.
For Swearingen, it was just the latest stop in a huge wave of momentum he’s been riding since winning the world title in late May. He went 3-for-3 for the Carolina Cowboys in Cheyenne, leading his squad to a third-place finish overall, and has gone 22-for-33 (66.67%) since becoming World Champion.
Swearingen was bucked off by Sneaky Situation in 3.82 seconds in Round 1 in St. Michael but rebounded to ride Sam I Am for 85 points in Round 2 and Pearl’s Ghost for 84.5 points in the championship round.
The 12.83 Challenger Series points Swearingen earned has him ranked No. 3 in the standings.
For Freeman of the Ridge Riders, this was his best finish ever on the Challenger Series, while Kasel of the Outlaws matched his career-best set in Deadwood, South Dakota, in June.
This week’s Challenger Series schedule is a busy one, with five events in the next seven days.
The Next Era Energy PBR comes to Sterling, Colorado, on Aug. 2, while Brighton, Colorado, hosts the Adams County Fair PBR on Aug. 4. The tour then heads east, with the Cowtown New Jersey PBR in Pilesgrove, New Jersey, on Aug. 5 and 6.
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo By: Bull Stock Media