Kiwi speedway ace Michael Pickens heads to Saturday night's season finale at Springs Speedway in Auckland three points from the lead in the season sprint car championship.
Dean Brindle has 140 points accumulated across the summer with Pickens on 137 in second, Matthew Leversedge third on 130 while Keaton Dahm and Jamie Larsen are tied for fourth on 129 points.
But despite having the chance to top the season-long standings, Pickens will be focused on winning the feature race and chasing the prize money on offer for the individual meeting result more than the championship.
It is a weird anomaly in speedway that individual race meetings carry more sway than an overall championship, reflected even in how prize money is distributed.
Perhaps it comes down to the nature of the sport that DNFs (did not finish) occur more often than other forms of motor racing. Brindle has finished in the top three of a meeting just twice this season compared to Pickens, who has three overall round wins and a second-place finish.
But Brindle's consistency and the fact he made every race meeting has him in front overall.
"I missed a certain amount of shows so I am hardly ever in contention to win a season-long championship," Pickens told the Herald yesterday.
"I don't care about points because there is no real relevance to us. The local guys probably do care about it but any one of them would give up a points lead to win an international or something like that.
"It doesn't hold a lot of significance and doesn't pay a lot of money. A lot of what speedway revolves around is the old school of whatever race pays the most is what people want to win.
"If there was a championship on the line with good prize money and some sort of prestige then I am sure everyone will want to win it."
Pickens will clearly be focused on trying to win the feature race at the Grand Final Fireworks meeting rather than looking to protect his championship position.
"We go to every race like that — I don't ever think about points. I just enter every race wanting to win it," he said.
There is a chance Saturday night could be the final meeting at the iconic venue — now in its 90th year of operation.
With no plan confirmed for the 2020-21 summer and with a promoter yet to be finalised it is possible Saturday is the last time that Pickens or other local legends race at the Auckland track.
"It is something that is always in the back of your mind. It has been on the rocks for so long now that you can't really take it too seriously," Pickens said.
"It has been the last year at Western Springs for a lot years now."