“Man, I am looking forward to the next five days,” he said, with regard to his fifth consecutive World Finals appearance and the $250,000 it pays to win the average.
Outlaw, who won the final regular-season event in Tucson, Arizona, has ridden 8 of 10 bulls in the past three events and 10 of 13 in the past four events.
His 53 percent riding average in only six elite televised PBR events is far and away his best season average since competing among the Top 35 riders in the world. His overall season average is 54 percent, which illustrates just how consistent the Arkansas native has been whenever he’s been afford the health to compete.
Monday night’s win vaulted him six spots in the world standings.
He’s now ranked 18th in world.
If he closes out his stay in Vegas the way he rode the first three days after arriving, Outlaw could very well finish the 2016 season ranked inside the Top 10 for the first time in his career.
He’s earned multiple qualified rides in each of the past four events.
The 24-year-old is known for always talking about not letting off the gas pedal when he’s doing well, so it was only fitting that he rode a bull named Gas Pedal for 85 points to win the Blue Def event.
He said he’s “not even thinking about it. Just riding.”
That’s classic Outlaw.
He is among six of the Top 20 bull riders representing Monster Energy in the World Finals.
Two-time and defending World Champion J.B. Mauney is ranked third, while Guilherme Marchi, 12; Derek Kolbaba, 16; Robson Palermo, 17; Outlaw, 18 and Gage Gay, 20, are all in Vegas.
Mauney is looking to become only the second rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles and the third to win the gold buckle three times.
All six have a viable opportunity to win the World Finals average.
Palermo’s done it three times, Mauney’s won it twice and Marchi won it once earlier in his storied career.
The opening round of the Finals is Wednesday night and concludes Sunday with the final two rounds of competition to determine the 2016 World Champion (and a host of other titles, honors and awards).