HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) -- Even without a championship battle, there is plenty riding on the rain-postponed NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
A cold, steady rain into Sunday afternoon forced NASCAR officials to reschedule the season-ending race to Monday morning. The ARCA Georgia Boot 400, which was postponed by rain Saturday and moved to Monday morning, will now follow the NASCAR event.
With Bobby Labonte already crowned this year's champion, the main focus in the 500-mile main event on the 1.54-mile oval will be on the rest of the top 20 in the season standings.
Except for Labonte in first and pole-winner Jeff Gordon in ninth, all of the positions in that elite list are still at least mathematically up for grabs.
The top 25 positions receive postseason money, but only the top 20 drivers are invited to the Awards Banquet in December in New York City.
"That means a lot to everybody, to be up there in New York and get some recognition for you and your team," said Bill Elliott, who has a tentative hold on 20th place. "It's even better to be in the top 10 and get to go up on stage."
The biggest prize remaining is second place, which is worth $1,050,000 -- compared to $722,000 for third, in the final standings.
"The money is important, but I'd just rather be second than third," said seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, who will go into the race trailing Jeff Burton by 19 points in the duel for the runner-up spot.
"Sure, it's important to us to finish second," Burton said. "Last year, Bobby (Labonte) was second and now he's the champion."
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