2010 CBR World Title Race Breakdown: Part Two

This is part two of a two-part series in which I'm breaking down the top-10 riders in the 2010 CBR season standings.  If you missed part one, you can read that by clicking here.  I focused on the riders ranked 6th through 10th in the first article, and I'll be shifting my focus to the top-five guys in this one.  The top-five riders in the season standings are separated by only $15,000, and they all have a legitimate shot at winning this year's CBR World Title.  

There are only two events left on the 2010 CINCH CBR Tour presented by Mahindra Tractors.  The Lubbock event is October 2nd, and the last event is the Tour Finale in Kansas City October 8th and 9th.  There will be added pressure on every ride and buckoff because every dollar will make a difference in this race.  Without further ado, here are your top-five riders with less than three weeks to go in the 2010 season.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page or email me at:  Enjoy!

5.  Steve Woolsey
Event Wins:  1
Top-10 Finishes:  7
90-Point Rides:  1
Ride Percentage:  43 percent

Season Highlights
--Won second night in Las Vegas
--Finished second at Fort Worth
--Finished fourth both nights at Huron

World Title Prediction
Steve Woolsey has been extremely consistent this season, and he seems to salvage something positive at almost every event.  He has fallen a little more behind in the standings over the past month or so, but if he finishes strong in Lubbock and Kansas City, he can still win the World Title.  At the very least, he should end the season in the top five.  Woolsey is one of three riders who I think are serious contenders.

4.  Friday Wright
Event Wins:  1
Top-10 Finishes:  1
90-Point Rides:  1
Ride Percentage:  14 percent

Season Highlights
--Won Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge at Fort Worth
--Rode Cude Energy for 91.5 points at Fort Worth
--Won Horizon Series event in Clovis, NM

World Title Prediction
Friday Wright started the season off pretty well, and his win in Fort Worth was huge.  Since then, however, he hasn't registered a qualifed ride in CBR competition.  That's almost unbelievable, but it's the truth.  There is no better time to break out of a slump than the last two events of the season.  If Wright can ride his bulls down the stretch, he is still mathematically alive in the World Title chase.  It's just hard to believe he will make a serious turnaround after his recent struggles.

3.  Elliot Jacoby
Event Wins:  1
Top-10 Finishes:  4
90-Point Rides:  3
Ride Percentage:  53 percent

Season Highlights
--Won Zia Park Tuff Hedeman Championship in Hobbs
--Finished second at Bossier City
--Finished third at Hankinson

World Title Prediction
Elliot Jacoby has been to less events than the other serious contenders, but he has made the most of his opportunities this season.  Since the summer break ended, he has a win and a couple other top-three finishes.  When he is on his game, there aren't many riders who can do it any better.  And when Jacoby rides, he makes it look good as well.  He is a serious threat to win this year's World Title, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't finish in the top two or three.

2.  Ardie Maier
Event Wins:  1
Top-10 Finishes:  5
90-Point Rides:  1
Ride Percentage:  30 percent

Season Highlights
--Won Dakota Magic Tuff Hedeman CBR Challenge in Hankinson
--Finished fourth on night one in Tulsa
--Finished fifth at Bossier City

World Title Prediction
Ardie Maier's riding percentage is a little lower than I expected, but he has been riding very well since the summer break ended.  He has salvaged a couple events lately by drawing back into the Championship Round and getting a qualified ride.  Add that to his win in Hankinson, and he has set himself up very well for the stretch run.  Maier's inconsistent season leaves him off my top-three list of contenders, but he is still a major player this year.

1.  Luke Kelly
Event Wins:  1
Top-10 Finishes:  9
90-Point Rides:  4
Ride Percentage:  44 percent

Season Highlights
--Won the Horizon Series Finals at Bossier City
--Finished second at Hankinson
--Finished fifth at Fort Worth

World Title Prediction
Luke Kelly has more top-10 finishes than any other CBR rider this season, and his win in Bossier City was icing on the cake.  He has been consistent from start-to-finish, and that's why he leads the standings by $10,000.  The World Title is Kelly's to lose, and he will be the definite favorite as we head into the last two big events of the season.  If he does his job and rides a few more bulls in 2010, he will win the buckle and $100,000 bonus that comes with it.