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Momentum builder

10/20/2009

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (Oct. 19, 2009) — Zack Brown is as interesting as any of the Top 40 riders in the world standings.

It's not anything he says. In fact, it's all the things he doesn't share.

Everyone knows the basic information about him: He's 30 years old and was born in Hawaii. He's more of an extreme sport athlete than a cowboy, which is why after nearly being killed a few years ago in Billings, Mont. — a wreck that resulted in his temporary retirement — he's back to competing full-time in the PBR for the past two seasons.

Oh, and one more fact — he's now won four Built Ford Tough Series events in 2009.

Brown went four-for-four along with nine others to close out the regular season. His 344.75 outscored Robson Palermo (343.75), Rocky McDonald (343.25), J.B. Mauney (341.75), Guilherme Marchi (341.25) and four others.

"It feels just like when I won the first one," said the cagey veteran, who is back in fourth place in the world standings. He now trails Kody Lostroh by 3,557.75 points. "I came here with a goal to win it and it wound up in my favor."

Brown opened the weekend with an 87 on Team Equine's Evil Forces, which was good for third place, and followed up with 85.5-pointers on Little Coyote and Wrangler Big Rig before winning the event with an 86.75 on Red Bull.

Brown is now among the favorites to win the World Finals average, and could still make a serious run for the World Championship. It would take a near-record setting Finals, but Brown isn't ready to forego his season-long goal.

"I'm not giving up on my goal for the season and I'm going to fight it out to the bitter end," Brown said. "It's pretty basic: stay on your bulls. …It's going to be an interesting, very interesting, Finals."

Rounding out the top five finishers in Uncasville, Conn., were Robson Palermo, Rocky McDonald, J.B. Mauney and Guilherme Marchi.

The solid finishes by both Mauney and Marchi mean that both men closed the gap on Kody Lostroh in the race for a world title with less than two weeks before the start of the 2009 PBR World Finals.

Marchi totaled 341.25 points on four bulls, and with his bonus points earned 751.25 points, taking him within 294.75 points of the leader.

It's the first time either Marchi or Mauney has been within 300 points of Lostroh since Mauney actually took the lead for seven weeks following the event in Dallas.

Mauney is now within 785 points of Lostroh. The Carolina cowboy collected 341.75 points on four bulls, and his bonus points brought his weekend total to 796.75.

"When you ride all your bulls at any event it's always a confidence booster," Mauney said, "but right before Finals, like this weekend, is real good.

"I'm going to go home, relax, I might get on one or two practice bulls this week and just make sure everything is still going."

All that remains now are eight pressure-filled rounds at the Finals.

On the other end of the qualifier standings, Dusty Ephrom and a couple of others will have to wait until Tuesday before they know who will earn the last few qualifier positions and which five riders will attend as alternates.

Ephrom needed a big weekend, and while he went 4-for-4, he didn't fare well enough in the event standings to win the money he needed. He did earn $1,600, but on a weekend when 10 riders rode four of four, the Canadian just didn't quite come up big enough.

For more on the PBR, check out out www.pbrnow.com.