Canadian scores big in Fort Worth victory to edge Moorman for Speedway Series title
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Speedway Series Finale at Texas Motor Speedway was the perfect synopsis to the 2019 Bullfighters Only regular season.
There were some outstanding bouts by the top men in freestyle, but Aaron Mercer dominated the 12-man event and pocketed $5,000 in the process to extend his lead in the BFO Pendleton Whisky World Standings.
He posted the two highest-marked bullfights of the day to claim the championship, pushing his season earnings to $61,350.
“Winning 11 events this year makes a guy feel on top of the world,” said Mercer of Calgary, Alberta. “It stresses you out a little bit, because you feel like you’ve got to stay on top, but it feels good in the way it worked out.
“That was my favorite win of the year. It was two good, fundamental bullfights. I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to end the season. Winning one of those Speedway Series events is cool; just being part of a NASCAR atmosphere is awesome.”
He won his first-round set with an 89-point bullfight, upending Dayton Spiel and Chance Moorman in the process. In the Hooey Championship Round, he faced off with the other round winners: Beau Scheuth, Kris Furr and Weston Rutkowski, all of whom are among the top six in the standings.
“It turned out that I had the best calf in the long round,” Mercer said of an inexperienced, yet formidable foe from Penthouse Fighting Bulls. “I’m glad I drew him. I actually thought that fight was better than my short-round fight.”
It may have been, but the scores proved otherwise; Mercer dominated the final round of the regular season with a 91-point bout, three and a half points better than Furr’s 87.5.
“The fights were a blur, but that’s because they were all reactionary,” he said. “I think that’s the best way to fight a bull.”
His aggressive style has proven beneficial, and a big reason why he holds a lead of more than $20,000 over the runner-up, Rutkowski, the three-time world champion.
“I never thought winning that much money was possible,” Mercer said. “I figure it’s still a job, even as much as I love it. I look at it as a way to eat my next meal. If it weren’t for my winnings, I wouldn’t even be able to compete.”
While Mercer padded his standings lead, and ultimately finished as the Speedway Series champion, earning the inaugural BFO Checkered Flag. The series took place in conjunction with NASCAR races in Atlanta; Charlotte; Sparta, Kentucky; Bristol, Tennessee; and Fort Worth.
It was a photo finish with Chance Moorman who burst onto the BFO scene a little more than a year ago and finished the 2018 campaign in 11th place. He is sitting third as he prepares for the year-end championship, set for Dec. 5-14 at the Tropicana Las Vegas.
He has been a force, especially at the NASCAR events. While he has competed at many of the Bullfighters Only events across, he holds a special fondness for the Speedway Series.
“I just like the crowds at those events,” Moorman said. “They’re always into it. We are normally set up close to the track, so the people can stand up in the stadium and watch us. It’s an amazing feeling to look up and see that many people watching you.”
That was no different in Fort Worth.
“There were more people there than any other Speedway Series event I’ve been to,” Mercer said. “It was packed, and the crowd was wild.”
There’s little time to rest and recuperate, though. The world championship will be decided when the competition begins in a month in Las Vegas.
“From here until we get there, we’re just training and getting ready for Vegas,” he said. “Bullfighting is nothing but determination and willpower as far as I’m concerned. It’s not like any other sport.”
Speedway Series Finale
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, Texas
Nov. 3, 2019
Round 1: Beau Scheuth, 84 points; 2. Dylan Idleman, 75; Tucker Lane, no score. Round 2: 1. Kris Furr, 86 points; 2. Justin Josey, 81; 3. Dekevis Jordan, 79. Round 3: 1. Weston Rutkowski, 82 points; 2. (tie) Toby Inman and Zach Call, 81. Round 4: 1. Aaron Mercer, 89 points; 2. Dayton Spiel, 86; 3. Chance Moorman, 85. Hooey Championship Round: 1. Aaron Mercer, 91 points; 2. Kris Furr, 87.5; 3. Weston Rutkowski, 87; 4. Beau Scheuth, 86.5.