The other race heating up is the battle to qualify for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. It's a race to accumulate enough points to grab one of about 36 spots that will go to the Elite Series anglers.
It's going to take something in the neighborhood of 448 AOY points to finish in the top 36 and get a berth in the Classic. That means anyone currently ranked lower than about 54th needs to win the Oneida finale if they want to fish for $500,000 next February. They're going to have to go for broke.
Currently, the top 15 or so have a spot locked up. Even if they were to zero at Oneida, they're likely going to make it based on what they've already done this year. Realistically, the Top 20 or so are pretty safe. Those between 15 and 20 would really have to bomb in the finale to miss the Classic.
Just about every year though, someone in the Top 30 has a bad tournament at the end of the season and goes home wondering how things went so wrong. Last year it was Andy Montgomery, who was 26th heading for the finish line, but he ended up 41st.
And there's always one angler in the 40s going into the last event who turns on the jets and slips into the Classic with one final burst of glory. Last year it was David Walker. He was 46th going into the last tournament and won it, earning an automatic Classic berth and moving all the way up to 28th in the AOY rankings.