Each week, ESPN Bull Riding asks the winner of the most recent PBR Built Ford Tough Series event eight pressing questions in eight minutes. This week it's fourth-time winner Zack Brown who took the last regular season event of the year at the Mohegan Sun Invitational in Uncasville, Conn. And since it was the last event before the World Finals, ESPN.com even threw in a few extra questions.
ESPN.com: You chose Red Bull in the draft for the short go, a bull who hasn't been out much in 2009. Why did you end up picking him?
Zack Brown: Well I only knew about three bulls on the list, so I sat down with Cody Lambert (PBR livestock director) before the event started. I had him go over with me the bulls that were in the short round and I tried to figure out a gameplan for what I wanted to pick going into it. Red Bull seemed like the one that was going to fit me.
ESPN.com: Take me through your winning ride.
Brown: It was a bull that I'd never been on before, a red one called Red Bull. He wound up to be pretty good, I had to hang on 'till the end but I wound up getting a score just high enough to win the event. It was awesome.
ESPN.com: It was really close going into the short go. Does that change things for you or create more pressure in the chutes, knowing you've got the last ride and you have to post a certain score to win?
Brown: Well, when I heard the score that I had to have to win over the loudspeaker, it wasn't really a very high score and usually in the short round you're gonna score really high on your bull. So I was fairly confident that, as long as I stayed on my bull, I was going to win it.
ESPN.com: You've had a great season so far and have been in the top five in the standings for most of the year. How important was it for you to win this last regular season event and build some momentum going into the Finals?
Brown: It was as important to me as every event that I've won and every event I've gone into trying to win. All the ones that you don't win you wind up being a little bit disappointed, but the ones that you do win you feel awesome about because you've accomplished one of your goals that you set for the year.
ESPN.com: I know you've got a rib injury that you've been competing through. How much has that been hurting you, or how much discomfort does it cause when you ride?
Brown: Honestly it hurts every single jump. It's just something that you've got to stay focused on something else and ignore it as best as possible.
ESPN.com: You've got a little bit of time off before the World Finals. What do you plan on doing during your down time?
Brown: My dad is coming to visit me and we plan on going and doing some fishing…yeah, pretty much mostly just fishing. If the weather's helpful and the wind isn't bad for us, we're going to go out and have an enjoyable day on the Gulf, swim around some of the reefs that are out there and try and spear something for dinner.
ESPN.com: This event was the last of the regular season, so reflect back on the year. Has this season met your expectations?
Brown: Not quite, no — but it's not over yet. But the expectations I have are still within reach, so I'm going to have to go out there and finish it up.
ESPN.com: What are your goals for the World Finals?
Brown: To win, definitely. To win the World Finals and ultimately win the world title. But none of that's under my control if I don't do what I'm doing right, and then even so it's still going to be up to the judges and what everybody else does.
ESPN.com: You've won four Built Ford Tough Series events this year, but what's been the biggest moment of your season so far?
Brown: It's just actually the whole season so far in retrospect. Every day I wake up and it's a new day and I'm happy to be here and excited to go to the next event. It's been really nice to have the focus and the enjoyment that I used to have when I first started riding.
ESPN.com: Is that something you felt like you'd been missing over the past couple seasons?
Brown: Well, I mean since '05 really. I took all that time off (Brown suffered a life-threatening injury at a PBR event that forced him into temporary retirement) and then since then it's been a struggle to keep my focus and desire to want to go. The fun part was only there when I was winning. Kind of funny how that works huh? The more fun you have the more you win, the more you win the more fun you have.
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