With engines bellowing and dirt flying, the racers who blast around the Hayden Speedway zoom through a Saturday evening, keeping the crowds and themselves energized and excited with their driving and daring. The speed, the barely-make-it-through moves and turns, the close finishes and dominant blow-outs, the crashes and bumps all add up to thrill the fans, drivers and nervous family members with the power and passion of racing.
The Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association (YVARA) has leased the Hayden Speedway since its inception 30 years ago.
Assembling a Mini and getting the gear necessary to safely race starts at about $900. That covers the car ($100 and up), roll bar ($400), seat and seat belts ($140-$160), fuel cell ($150), and helmet and fire-retardant sock ($100-$145). Then there is the cost of getting the engine in shape to run, which varies considerably with the condition of the car and engine at the time it's purchased.
You've got a couple of options with putting the engine together. You can just have it repaired, and depending on the amount of work needed, that cost can vary quite a bit; have the engine rebuilt, or purchase a super built Volkswagen engine, which can get pretty pricey.
But getting a car together quickly involves a lot of all-nighters, and a large amount of work. The knowledge needed to put together a powerful and safe race car is considerable, and organizing all the aspects to get on the track is a job in itself.
To put together a race car for the Street Stock class takes about $2,000, with the same necessary equipment as the Mini class, but the engines, cars and options are more expensive. And more powerful. Sponsors are one way that racers offset some of the expense involved in their sport.
James Goodwin spent close to $4,000 last season, and a good portion of that was from Lloyd Powers, Goodwins' uncle, who sponsored him in the form of tools and shop time. Arrowhead Auto and Equipment Repair sponsored Goodwin with several hundred dollars worth of materials.
"You spend $30 a night to enter a race, and you need about $30 in fuel for the night. Then you can get out on the track and just race away," he said.
"Racing is something I want to be involved with for a while; it's something I plan on doing for as long as I can."