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JB Mauney at the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series in Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Oct 202017

“I’m riding at the Finals.”

Despite his nonchalant delivery, these five words from J.B. Mauney changed the entire narrative when it comes to the upcoming PBR World Finals.

In a year when five riders are within 500 points of the top spot in the world standings with one elite televised regular-season event remaining on the schedule, only Mauney, who hasn’t competed since mid-July after severely injuring his free arm shoulder, can overshadow such a great race for the world title and dominate the headlines and social media.

JB Mauney Hasn't Gotten His Statues In PBR From Playing it Safe


The two-time World Champion and fan-favorite from North Carolina was not expected to compete again until early February.


However, the Monster Energy rider had other plans of his own.


Mauney spoke with Dr. Tandy Freeman on Saturday night, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and then made the announcement during Sunday’s CBS Sports Network telecast.


“I came to see if he would argue with me,” Mauney said. “He said it’s up to you. Sounds like a go-ahead to me.”


At the time of his injury, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mauney was ranked in the Top 5.


He’s currently 13th in the world.


Mauney has already earned enough points to qualify for the Finals for the 12th consecutive year. However, he’s been ranked in the Top 10 the past 10 years and eight of those years have been in the Top 5.


And he’s not about to let that streak come to an end without putting up a fight.


He’s also still mathematically in contention to win his third-world title.


J.W. Hart, known for having ridden in 175 consecutive events, questioned Mauney’s decision—telling him to “think about it.”


Mauney replied, “Why? Of all the people, he didn’t get to where he’s at and I didn’t get to where I’m at playing it safe and being a wienie.”


It’s Mauney’s longstanding win-at-all-costs mentality that has drawn the attention of fans since he made his PBR debut in 2006. Many of those fans have taken to social media since he made what has been called the “heroic announcement.”


“Sorry but PBR hasn't been the same without him.”


“NOW I can't wait for the finals.  Let's roll!”


“News sure saved finals for me. I am excited now!!! I want to dance a jig! Love it that jb is back!”


“sure made it even more interesting to watch.”


“Hell yeah.”


“No one compares to JB!  I am so excited that he will ride in the finals, this changes everything!!”


“JB can win the finals.”


“It's gonna get rowdy 4 sure!”


“And why would we be talking about anyone else but jb?”


The rest of the Top 35 riders, including Derek Kolbaba, 4, and Chase Outlaw, 6, will be in San Jose, California, this weekend for the last regular-season event and then Mauney will make what he hopes to be a triumphant return at the Finals on November 1.