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Behind the Chutes
Outlaw: ‘I ain’t worried about it’
Outlaw: ‘I ain’t worried about it’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – World No. 2 Chase Outlaw sat down in his chair in the makeshift locker room inside The Pit on Sunday evening and carefully collected his words.  

It was hard in the moments immediately following his 90-point ride on Bezerk in the championship round of the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort & Casino, to take any solace in his fourth 90-point ride of the season or his fifth Top-3 finish.

He did what a bull rider is supposed to do following a buckoff: leave the buckoff in the rearview mirror and go ride the next bull for 90 points.

Instead, Outlaw could not help but think how he left the door open for Jose Vitor Leme to snatch his second event win of the season by bucking off Monkey in 5.67 seconds during Round 3 on Sunday afternoon.

“I didn’t do my job on that one,” Outlaw said shaking his head in disgust. “I don’t know. I just lost my rope.”

Outlaw finished second to Leme in the event courtesy of his 3-for-4 showing – his best since winning the Kansas City Invitational on March 23 – and leaves Albuquerque with 390 points toward the world standings.

The 26-year-old now trails Leme by 489.16 points in the world standings heading into the Green Bay Invitational, presented by Oneida Casino and North Star Mohican Casino Resort, on May 31.

“I ain’t worried about it,” Outlaw said. “Hell, I am looking at earning 500 or more points in the summer. It is not over until it is over.”

Nine-time World Champion Ty Murray loved the fact that Outlaw beared down on Bezerk even with the bull flirting close to the bucking chute, leaving Outlaw in a precarious situation if he were to possibly buckoff.

"What stands out to me about it. The guts and the effort Chase Outlaw has," Murray said on CBS Sports Network. "You have heard me talk about this for years if you ever listened to me commentate. That is the thing that matters in bull riding. How much guts do you got? Because at this level you are going to have the chance to get off any day of the week you want it. You have to keep fighting for it."

Outlaw does not have to wait until Green Bay to blow off some steam either.

The Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider is headed north of the border for the PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour event in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Saturday night.

An event victory in Canada would net Outlaw 170 points toward the world standings.

Leme is not entered in any events next weekend, so the door is very much open for Outlaw to make up some of the ground he lost in Albuquerque.

Outlaw began Sunday tied for the event lead with Marco Eguchi following his 89.5-point ride on Stunt Man Ray in Round 1 and 85 points on Gettin Crazy in Round 2.

Outlaw’s ride on Bezerk was his 27th qualified ride on the Unleash The Beast in 2019, which is three more than Leme for the most in the PBR.

The seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier began Sunday just 174.5 points behind until Leme rode both of his bulls to notch the prestigious event win and 700 world points, widening the gap between the top two riders in the world.

Outlaw remains unfazed though.

He has continuously said all year that he expects the 2019 title race to come down to the final day of the 2019 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, and that sure looks to be the case with the Top 3 riders in the world – Leme, Outlaw and Joao Ricardo Vieira – finishing first, second and third in Albuquerque.

“I am just here to ride my bulls and the rest will take care of itself,” Outlaw concluded.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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