PRCA Team Roping Heeler Standings Update, Sept 8: Junior Nogueira’s Lead Grows and the Bubble Tightens

Kaleb Driggers Junior Nogueira NFR

Andy Watson

As we head into the Cinch Playoffs, the PRCA World Standings on the heel side are taking shape, but those competing in the playoffs have a chance at a big payday which could completely change the NFR outlook.

There are two main storylines heading into the final weeks of the season. The first surrounds Junior Nogueira and his quest for a third straight World Title with partner Kaleb Driggers. Currently, Nogueira owns a nearly $20,000 lead over Levi Lord who holds the No. 2 spot in the standings. Last year, Nogueira went essentially went wire-to-wire win the Gold Buckle, while this year, he didn’t overtake the No. 1 spot until much later in the season.

On the other side of World Standings is a heated bubble race in which No. 14 Hunter Koch and No. 20 Chase Tryan are separated by less than $5,000. All seven cowboys ranked 14-20 have a legitimate shot at the final two spots, which may also lead to some partner shuffling come December.

No. 1 Junior Nogueira, $153,352

A week ago Nogueira had a much smaller lead over Levi Lord, but after a big weekend, that lead has grown to nearly $20,000 over the No. 2 spot. Nogueira found success at three separate rodeos over the weekend after a second-place finish at the Iron County Rodeo (Utah) to earn $2,400. He and his partner, Kaleb Driggers took the Lake County Round-up (Oregon) with a 4.2-second run to earn another $3,500. The biggest win of the weekend came at the Ellensburg Rodeo (Washington), where the pair won the Average and took home just under $10,000.

No. 10 Cole Curry, $88,681

A week ago, Curry was No. 13 in the world and fighting for his NFR life on the bubble. While the latter part of that sentence may still be true, Curry made a nice jump in the standings to No. 10, but more importantly put space between him and the No. 15 spot. He is now $11,000 ahead of the final position thanks to a strong week in which he earned $7,000. The weekend was highlighted by a third-place finish in the Average at Ellensburg where he was 19 seconds on three head to win just under $4,000.

No. 15 Justin Davis, $77,548

Justin Davis is squarely on the bubble and just $1,000 ahead of Tyler Worley who sits in the No. 16 spot. Davis has struggled of late, falling back in the standings after failing to earn a check in 12 straight runs. Davis’ last check came in mid-August where he placed eighth at the Moses Lake Roundup (Washington) to earn just over $1,500.

No. 16 Tyler Worley, $76,569

Speaking of Worley, he had a nice showing over the weekend to close ground on the Top 15. Worley placed fifth at the Lake County Round-Up to earn just over $2,000. Worley is looking to make his third career NFR and first since he went back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.

1.Junior Nogueira$153,352
2.Levi Lord$134,721
3.Wesley Thorp$130,252
4.Jeremy Buhler$115,881
5.Buddy Hawkins$114,765
6.Colter Todd$113,552
7.Patrick Smith$104,768
8.Paul Eaves$101,866
9.Logan Medlin$92,929
10.Cole Curry$88,681
11.Dillon Graham$85,944
12.Jake Long$85,447
13.Paden Bray$84,237
14.Hunter Koch$78,599
15.Justin Davis$77,548
16.Tyler Worley$76,568
17.Ross Ashford$76,513
18.Billie Jack Saebens$74,668
19.Coleby Payne$74,150
20.Chase Tryan$73,955

Standings current as of on September 8, 2023 at 10 AM EST.