Cup’s Dillon, Childress Dealing With A Lot Of Bull

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 24 2022

NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and grandson/Cup driver Austin Dillon are throwing in with the Pro Bull Riders Association. (Photo courtesy of the PBR)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

Except for Austin Dillon, NASCAR’s Cup drivers headed to North Carolina after the All-Star race to prepare for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600, but Dillon had business to deal with Monday night in Texas – the Professional Bull Riders Association team draft.

Dillon wasted little time in vaulting the Carolina Cowboys into the spotlight and stunning fans with a blockbuster trade that provided the Richard Childress Racing operation with the newly crowned 2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen from Piffard, N.Y. He also acquired Mason Taylor, of Maypearl, Texas, who’s ranked 13th in the world. Rounding out the Carolina Cowboys top five riders selected in the draft are: Boudreaux Campbell, from Crockett, Texas, ranked 54th; Ramon De Lima, from Brazil, ranked 18th; and Cannon Cravens, from Oklahoma, ranked 46th. The Carolina Cowboys will select two more bull riders in a supplemental draft and then three from free agency to complete the 10-person team. Only five will ride during each event.

“I will tell you what, Austin is taking this more serious than I even expected him to,” Childress told PBR.com after the draft.

For the first time in PBR history, the organization is instituting an eight-team competition and Richard Childress Racing is operating North Carolina’s entry from its Welcome, N.C., campus. Dubbed Carolina Cowboys, Jerome Davis is the team’s coach. Dillion is the team’s general manager. He acquired the analytics on the riders and then passed them to Davis.    

From the left: Sean Gleason, PBR CEO and Commissioner; Austin Dillon, Jerome Davis and Richard Childress. (RacinToday.com photo by Deb Williams)

PBR CEO Sean Gleason said those analytics include consistency in the riding percentage, a bull rider’s technique, their mental game, and commitment to physical training and athleticism.     

The PBR Team Series inaugural 10-event season kicks off July 25-26 in Cheyenne, Wy., and ends with a Nov. 4-6 team playoff at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Each team will host a bull riding event and Western lifestyle festival in its respective city during the season and there will be two neutral-site events. The Carolina Cowboys event is Sept. 9-11at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The events will be conducted in a tournament-style format with each team competing in a head-to-head matchup against a different opponent each day. Each matchup pits five riders per team squaring off against another. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders will be each matchup’s winner. The overall winner will be the team with the most matchup victories during that event. If the results necessitate a tie breaker, there is a bonus round to determine the event’s final standings.

The 2022 Pro Bull Riding series will be comprised of eight teams. One, the Carolina Cowboys, has a strong NASCAR connection. (RacinToday.com photo by Deb Williams)

Childress, who has always been a Western lifestyle and PBR fan, said he and Gleason began discussing the team series concept — first conceived in 2007 — a little more than two years ago.

“Since I have a race team, we tried to figure out things that would crossover from race teams to PBR teams,” said Childress, who plans to attend about six events.

Even though North Carolina’s stock car racing roots span more than 70 years, the state also possesses a strong connection to professional bull riding. Ezekiel Mitchell, one of the top 40 bull riders in the world, lives near Winston-Salem. Eli Vastbinder, the 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year, is from Statesville, N.C., as is J.B. Mauney, who leads the PBR in all-time money won with $7.419,474.90. Davis, an Archdale, N.C., resident was the 1995 World Champion on the bull riding circuit. Today, in addition to being the Carolina Cowboys coach, he operates the Davis Ranch bucking bull and rodeo business. The PBR also has made an annual stop in North Carolina ever since its inception 30 years ago. 


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 24 2022
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