Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira still have the lead in the PRCA’s world team roping standings heading into Round 10 of the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
But hot on their heels are the new average champions Tanner Tomlinson and Patrick Smith, who will add $74,149.92 to each of their standings totals when the last flag drops in Round 10.
Round 10 should be a must-catch situation for Driggers and Nogueira, who will need to hold off challenges by Tomlinson and Smith, as well as Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill. Tryan and Corkill can move up as far as second in the average if the round falls apart, which could make things significantly more interesting in the race for the world title and would be a $45,000 swing for them if so.
A no-time for Driggers and Nogueira could drop them as far as ninth in the average if everyone with seven steers down catches, which would dramatically decrease their chances of sealing the deal on the world title.
The teams will rope a pen of steers that saw four no-times in Round 1, five no-times in Round 4 and three in Round 7. Driggers and Nogueira will be last out, though, as the current standings leaders, so they’ll know what they have to do as they ride into the box.
With Tomlinson and Smith having already clinched the average title and the biggest check of the week, they’ll be able to let their hair down and go for the day money in Round 10 to give themselves a fighting chance.