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Flint Rasmussen, PBR to invade Billings this weekend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In late March, MTN Sports caught up with former Choteau multi-sport standout and current PBR arena entertainer Flint Rasmussen as he prepared to bring the Sprint Center crowd to its feet during the championship round of the Caterpillar Classic, the PBR’s Unleash The Beast event in Kansas City.

Though Rasmussen and the PBR still had stops in Tacoma, Wash. and Sioux Falls, S.D. on the schedule, the longtime funnyman and host was already thinking of April 12.

“Look out. Montana guys, the 406 coming in strong, coming in hot. In three weeks we’re in Billings and it’s the main tour, this is the tour that goes to Billings, so a lot of fun,” Rasmussen said at the time.

The Unleash The Beast tour hits Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark on Friday for a three-day stay in the Magic City, one of the most anticipated on the schedule each year.

Volborg’s Jess Lockwood, the 2017 PBR World Champion, enters the weekend ranked No. 3 in the world, but the 21-year-old hasn’t competed since February after suffering a broken left collarbone at the 2019 USA Global Cup in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 9. He was No. 1 in the world at the time and didn’t lose his standings lead until Chase Outlaw captured the crown in Kansas City. Jose Vitor Leme is currently 279 points ahead of Outlaw following a runner-up finish in Sioux Falls.

Columbia Falls cowboy Matt Triplett is also ranked in the top 20 in the world, No. 13, with three top-five finishes on the year, including a third-place effort in Tacoma, and draws a large fanbase to the Billings event.

Rasmussen said Billings might not be the biggest event on tour, but it’s certainly one that captures followers from all across Big Sky Country.

“A couple years ago I went to the marketing people of the PBR and I said, ‘You need to market this different. The Billings event is the smallest market we go to all year and the longest-running tour stop. You can’t market to just Billings. You have to market to North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kalispell, Missoula,’” Rasmussen said. “They started to do that, and I don’t know that the rest of the country understands, but people drive eight, nine hours to go to the PBR in Billings, so seeing people we know, we can talk school mascots.

“I will say this, I’ll admit, there is a little pressure. That’s the one event I get a little nervous. People saw me in like, Absarokee, Gardiner, they’re expecting all that, they’re expecting me to be 28, which I’m pretty close, not quite.”

The PBR Billings Invitational begins Friday evening at 7:45 p.m., with Saturday’s performance slated for 5:45 p.m. and Sunday’s at 1:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the MetraPark website by clicking here.

Richie Melby

Richie Melby

A Hi-line native, Richie Melby enjoys telling the stories of Montana athletes, coaches and teams. Richie got his start in TV at KTVQ in Billings and worked as the Sports Director at KRTV. After a couple of years in Tucson, Ariz., Richie returned to his home state as the Sports Director at KTVH.
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