It's all about the money.
Even if the point standings are only close in one class, drivers still have a reason to be at the Hayden Speedway tonight. That's because the winnings are double for the Harvest Cup, the final race of the year.
"We make sure there's a benefit for all drivers to come out," said Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association President Jaceson Van Grandt. "No matter where they're at in the standings, the money should bring them out."
First though, let's talk points.
Tank Hammond and Shawn Morgan will be racing for the class championship in the Ultra Minis. Hammond leads Morgan by 11 points, 223 to 212. The Ultras have only raced at two of the past five race nights because of limited numbers. Van Grandt said he thought that every class except the Limited Late Models would be racing tonight.
Mathematically, Phil Goodwin has a chance to pass H.D. Craig in the IMCA Modified points, and Steve Wilson could catch Hoffman in the Mini Class. Craig leads by 29 points and Hoffman by 34. That means for the second-place drivers to catch up, they would need the lead drivers to not finish either race and they need to win both the head and the main. The most points a driver can earn is 36 in one night.
Racers who have wrapped up 2005 titles are Samantha Johnston in Street Stocks and Troy Goodson in Super Streets. Johnston has gapped the field by 39 points, and Goodson is up by 74.5 points.
Other than the double money and points races, the Harvest Cup is a chance for racers to test out cars for next year.
Matt Beckett and Doug Wagon-er have been racing new cars the last two races.
"There's a handful of drivers testing stuff out," Van Grandt said.
There also will be a mechanic's race after the main events tonight. The race gives those who are under the hood all summer a chance to be on the track.
With the season wrapping up, Van Grandt took some time to talk about what he thought went well in his first year of presidency.
"When you have drivers pulling from Grand Junction when they have a track 40 miles away that means we're doing something right," he said. "That's encouraging for the future."
The races start at 6:30 p.m. with tickets at $6 for adults, $2 for children and free for toddlers.