Motocross, stock cars coming to the Valley

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The mud of spring is one man's treasure and another's headache.

Gary Zulian and the rest of the Yampa Valley Sportsman's Rider Club welcome the rain because it assists them in forming the track for the first Rocky Mountain Motocross Association race of the season in Craig Sunday.

"We'll spend all day Friday and Saturday putting the finishing touches on the track," Zulian said. "With the rain, we don't need a water truck because the moisture makes it easier to work with."

Precipitation, however, won't allow the track of the Hayden Speedway to set, leaving Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association President Justin Gallegos and the rest of the board to make a decision this weekend whether or not the first scheduled race for May 17 will go on.

"Most of the work has been done to get the track ready," Gallegos said.

"We have to wait and see this weekend if we can get the track to settle."

Zulian said he and his brother, Dan, have been working on the track for the last month. The most immediate improvement riders will notice is an expanded starting gate from 30 to 40 bikes.

"Dan and I rotate with our days off this week to get everything ready," Gary said.

"Moffat County Road and Bridge, and Snare Equipment donate time and equipment for us as well."

The track is in its fifth season as a sanctioned venue by the American Motocross Association and is one of five in Colorado.

Each event that the YVSRC hosts brings anywhere from 350 to 500 riders Thompson Hill.

For local flavor, Chad Zulian was the top finisher in the 125 and Pro Class in the AMA District 25 last year and hopes to continue his climb to the pro ranks this season.

Registration begins at 5 a.m. Saturday followed by practice at 7 a.m. and races will follow. Zulian predicted the day would be over around 5 p.m.

Further east in the valley is the Hayden Speedway, which has been worked on since the end of last season in August. Gallegos predicted that more than 1,000 hours have been put into the track by the board members and local drivers.

Word has started to spread about the track as Gallegos said he had 65 to 70 drivers register for the first race, compared to 40 last year.

"I think the drivers like the family atmosphere," he said. "Most of the new drivers are from out of town and they're leaving other tracks because we treat every driver fairly, regardless if they are local or from out of town.

The first races scheduled on May 17 will be declared if it is a go or not on Monday, May 12. Gallegos said he would alert the local media if the race were to be moved to a later date.

The YVARA is set to host eight races this summer and all but the first race will have payouts to the drivers. The first race fees are used to help pay for repairs to

the track.

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