LAS VEGAS — The way J.B. Mauney sees it, no one is going to remember who wins second place in the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Finals.
After four rounds, everyone knows who's in first.
Mauney, the 21-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., won his third round during this finals on Thursday night, topping the bull Crosswired for 93.75 points on a night when only 12 of the 45 riders had successful rides.
Mauney added another $25,000 to his rapidly expanding bank account and, more importantly, extended his lead in the average. He is one of two men to cover all four of his bulls thus far. The other is world standings leader Guilherme Marchi, who rode Outa Da Blue for 89.25 points on Thursday.
Marchi entered the World Finals with a huge points lead in the race for the world championship and Mauney concedes he probably can't catch him. But there is plenty to ride for, including the PBR World Finals buckle, and the quarter-million dollars in prize money that goes to the event winner.
"I told them all week I'm looking at each (round) as a different bull riding," said Mauney, who has already earned $85,000 through four rounds. "Nobody's going to remember tonight tomorrow, so tomorrow's a new day. Nobody remembers who's second.
"If I won the finals buckle, I'd have to retire the one I've got on," he said, referring to the trophy buckle he received for winning the Challenger Tour overall title last year.
"Hopefully, next year, we'll retire that one and put another one on (a world's champion buckle)."
He said it will require focusing on one round at a time.
"I told everybody before the finals that I was going to try to win every round," he said. "Shoot, we won the first one so we've just be rolling on since then."
Crosswired was a bull that Mauney had been on before with stellar results. They had teamed up in September at a Built Ford Tough Series event for 93 points. It started out as a similar trip, but only for about four seconds.
"The first half of it, he was about the same as he was the first time I got on him," he said. "The second half, he was all over the place. I kind of threw everything I knew out the window and just hung on."
Mauney's 93.75 was a point better than Brazilian Robson Palermo, who scored 92.75 points on the bull Hot Stuff on Thursday.
"I got a great bull tonight, Hot Stuff," Palermo said. "He can buck either way. Tonight he bucked left — I like that. It feels great. It's always motivation for tomorrow."
Mike White of DeKalb, Texas finished third in the round with a 92.25-point ride on the bull Maverick. Renato Nunes finished fourth with a 91.25-point ride on the PBR's defending bucking bull of the year, Chicken on a Chain. Nunes had ridden Chicken on a Chain for 95.75 at a Built Ford Tough Series event in St. Louis in February.
Coming into Thursday's round, five riders had ridden all their bulls over the first three rounds. Three of them couldn't make it four straight, including two-time world champion Chris Shivers, who bucked off San Dimas. Aaron Roy of Asquith, Saskatchewan, Canada just missed riding his fourth bull, bucking off Unabomber in 7.5 seconds. Shane Proctor of Grand Coulee, Wash., bucked off his bull, Stiffler, in 3.8 seconds.
Eight riders have covered three of their four bulls, including Nunes, White and Palermo. No rider has ever covered all eight bulls at a PBR World Finals, although this is the first year in which the riders select the bulls they are to ride each round via a draft.
Mauney, who picked first twice after his victories in Round One and Round Two, will have the top selection for Round Five.
"I try to pick the bull I can be the most points on," he said.
So far, it's been a winning strategy.
Check back with ESPN.com all week long for continuing coverage of the 2008 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.