AZTEC — One of the biggest racing events at Aztec Speedway is underway.
Witten's Warriors Weekend began Saturday and finishes up tonight out in Aztec.
The event, inspired by 4-year-old Witten Carey who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy a the age of two, helps to raise money for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation in Albuquerque.
"They help kids throughout New Mexico get special equipment and walkers," said Maygen Carey, Witten's mother and co-founder of Witten's Warriors. "We have over 50 local sponsors who donate money and time at the races."
This is the second year Witten's Warriors has joined forces with Aztec Speedway to raise money. Last year, the event raised a little more than $33,000 for charity.
"It's just something nice to do. It's a good thing for the community and a good thing for the cause," said Aztec Speedway announcer Lynn Hensley.
Maygen is hopeful that this year's donations will exceed last year's.
"Last year, we were hoping to get ($10,000), so when we hit $33,000, we were elated," she said.
Racing is something that has always been a part of the Carey family, so combining the charity with the event seemed like a natural pairing.
"My dad races. My father-in-law races. I race," said Witten's father Steffan Carey, who competes in the stockcar division. "It's a family thing, and we wanted to raise money with something we do and nothing's better than racing. We've been getting good support."
Witten's Warriors have competed all across New Mexico as well as Texas, Nevada, Kansas and Iowa, but having a race in Maygen's hometown is especially important to the Carey family.
"I grew up here and I introduced my husband into racing here," Maygen said. "My family has always raced, and Aztec Speedway has always been a part of our family history."
During the weekend of racing, International Motor Contest Association stockcars, late models and modifieds will compete along with sportmods and mini sprints.
The second day of racing begins tonight at 7 p.m. with hot laps starting at 6 p.m.
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.