PUEBLO, Colo. – Stormy Wing’s physical reaction inside the Tacoma Dome to winning his second event of 2017 was close-to-identical to his emotional one 10 minutes later.
Immediately after Wing rode More Big Bucks for an event-winning 89 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, the 27-year-old jumped off the back of Chad Berger’s bull, landed on his two feet, took a slight jog to the side fence and plopped his yellow mouth guard into his right riding vest pocket.
Just another day at the office for the Dalhart, Texas, cowboy.
During his post-event interview, Wing used generic phrases such as “just doing my job” and “all it takes is making the whistle” to describe his recent surge over the past month that has featured a 95.25-point ride on 2016 SweetPro’s Bruiser at the Ty Murray Invitational and a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.
“I have always been low key,” Wing said. “It is what I expect. I don’t expect anything less. Everything I do is because of me. I am finally getting off my coattails.”
However, even the suddenly calm, cool and collected Wing couldn’t keep his emotions nonchalant when told he was now ranked seventh in the world standings after earning 605 points at the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.
“Perfect,” Wing said. “Perfect.”
He then lets a small smile break his stoic interview and the fun, outgoing Wing let’s out a brief laugh.
The eight-year veteran has all of the confidence in the world right now.
Wing began the weekend by winning Round 1 with an 88.75-point ride on Locke & Loaded. He then rode Cowboy Up for 84.5 points and selecting More Big Bucks with the first pick of the championship-round draft.
“When you go into a title fight, you don’t want to walk out of there with an ass whooping,” Wing said. “So it was good (to finish that ride on More Big Bucks).”
Wing, who has qualified for seven consecutive PBR World Finals, agrees one could argue this may be the best he has ever ridden.
“You could say that,” Wing responded, “but I always rode good. Things are just coming together. My ducks are in a row. It is all just coming together because of the man upstairs. I have a good family. Good sponsors and a little girl I love.
“It is very humbling.”
Wing is 11-for-38 in 14 events with a fourth- and 10th-place finish accompanying his two event victories.
His 28.95-percent riding average is the second best of his career.
In 2012, Wing finished a career-best 19th in the world standings thanks to a 35-percent riding percentage and seven Top-10 finishes.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney could be heard inside the Tacoma Doma yelling “Move” on the back of the bucking chutes like he always does during Wing’s ride attempts.
Mauney believes it isn’t farfetched to consider Wing a potential World Champion contender.
“Oh, yeah. Stormy has the talent,” Mauney replied. “He just has to let his head get out of the way and let his riding do the talking.”
Mauney understands that may seem like a stretch, but he believes Wing has turned a corner in 2017.
“He has kind of been on and off in the past,” Mauney said. “When he first showed up on tour as a rookie, he rode like that. Then he went through a couple of years of dry spells, but he knows how to ride bulls and he is putting it all together now.”
Wing said there hasn’t been really any changes to his riding or mental approach to the game.
The only change he has made was switching to a Brazilian bull rope mid-way through the season.
“It took me a bit to get it figured out,” Wing said. “That and hanging out with J.B. and Chase (Outlaw) has helped. They keep me positive.”
Otherwise, all it has been about is riding bulls and having fun.
“All it takes is making the whistle,” Wing added. “Then the judges take care of it for you. It is about executing and finishing.”
Wing’s goal is to finish high enough in the world standings before the summer break so he can join Mauney in North Carolina, as well as be able to spend time with his daughter, Suede Marie, this summer and not worry about traveling anywhere for Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events.
“I am probably going to stay down there and hang out with the little one,” Wing said.
Wing has come a far way from being nearly cut from the Built Ford Tough Series prior to his victory at the Ty Murray Invitational.
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He injured his right calf in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, two weeks after riding Bruiser and bucked off five straight bulls before once again being victorious this past weekend.
“Everything is back to normal and we get two weekends off before Helldorado Days,” Wing said. “I am looking forward to that and I feel good.
“I just have to keep that train on the tracks.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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