PBR's Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Returns to Wichita for Seventh Consecutive Year on April 25
For the seventh time in as many years, the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) will travel to Wichita, Kansas, with the Wichita Classic, set to buck into INTRUST Bank Arena on April 25.
For one night only, some of the best bull riders in the world will battle the sport’s rankest bovine athletes in the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast. As one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness, PBR is the only sport that pits a lightweight against a heavyweight in epic 8-second confrontations.
In 2019, electric young gun Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) captured his career-first PWVT event win in Wichita. The New York native’s victory was highlighted by a Round 1-winning, 89-point ride aboard Test Me.
For his efforts, Swearingen netted $10,850 along with 220 world points. Gaining significant ground in the world standings, the New Yorker rose from No. 65 to No. 35 in the world rankings.
Pivotal in his rise to elite tour stardom, Swearingen made his Unleash The Beast debut two weeks later in Columbus, Ohio due large in part to his PWVT win in the Sunflower State. Climbing the world rankings as the season progressed, Swearingen made his World Finals debut in November, while simultaneously qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, becoming the youngest athlete in history to qualify for both prestigious events in the same season.
The now 20-year-old concluded the year No. 13 in the world. A member of the talented Rookie of the Year class, Swearingen also finished the season third in the race amongst first-year professionals, and was crowned the 2019 PBR Canada Champion courtesy of his dominating success abroad.
The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s return to Wichita comes on the heels of a season where the series had a significant impact on the world title race.
Garnering 1,017.5 points courtesy of four event wins and two additional Top 10 efforts on the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil), who won the PWVT finals en route to the 2019 tour championship, was able to enter the 2019 PBR Unleash The Beast World Finals as the No. 1-ranked rider in large part due to his performance at PWVT events.
While Leme held a 749.16 point lead over then No. 2 Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) entering the five-day event, he was unable to hold-off the Montana man’s come-from-behind surge, which led to Lockwood becoming the youngest two-time PBR World Champion in league history as the 2017 and 2019 title holder.
In 2019, in addition to Swearingen, the PWVT also launched to elite tour stardom four young superstars who contended for the Rookie of the Year honor: Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale,Texas), Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) and Taylor Toves (Stephenville, Texas).
Other past Wichita Classic event winners include: Ouncie Mitchell (2018 – Fresno, Texas); Cody Heffernan (2017 – Singleton, New South Wales, Australia); Nevada Newman (2016 – Melstone, Montana); Cody White Tyler (2015 – Talala, Oklahoma); and Juan Alonzo (2014 – Weslaco, Texas).
While INTRUST Bank Arena has welcomed the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour each season since its founding in 2014, the city has also hosted the PBR’s Unleash The Beast (UTB) and Touring Pro Division (TPD) a collective five times. Those winners include: Valdiron de Oliveira (2013 TPD – Balcimo, Brazil); Ryan Dirteater (2011 UTB – Hulbert, Oklahoma); Austin Meier (2010 UTB – Kinta, Oklahoma); Skeeter Kingsolver (2009 TPD – McLouth, Kansas); and Cole Taylor (2007 TPD – Sayre, Oklahoma).
The bull riding action begins at 7:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 25 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
All riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1 on Saturday night. The Top 10 will then advance to the championship round where they will attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion, earning crucial world points and their portion of the $20,000 purse. Additionally, the Wichita Classic event winner will also earn an invite to compete on the elite PBR Unleash The Beast.
Tickets for the event go on sale Wednesday, January 15 at 10 a.m. CT, and start at $15. They can be purchased at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena, online at Selectaseat.com and PBRtix.com, or by calling Select-A-Seat at (855) 755-7328 and PBR Direct at (800) 732-1727.
About the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour:
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) began in 2014 as the premier expansion tour for the PBR. The PWVT, the sport’s fastest-growing tour, brings the excitement and top-levels of cowboy and bovine talent that fans have come to expect from the sport’s leader to cities across the U.S. The tour, which is fully produced and operated by PBR, will visit more than 30 cities in the 2020 season. The PWVT is proudly supported by Pendleton Whisky, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, the United States Border Patrol, Boot Barn, Pneu-Dart and the South Point Hotel and Casino. The Velocity Tour is broadcast on RIDE TV’s hit series – PBR Ride to Glory, airing in prime time every Tuesday night.