Courtesy photo The Silver State Classic Challenge received a Guinness World Record in 2000 for “World’s Fastest Road Race.”

Courtesy photo
The Silver State Classic Challenge received a Guinness World Record in 2000 for “World’s Fastest Road Race.”

The Silver State Classic Challenge is celebrating 27 years of road racing on Sept. 18-21 as drivers, navigators and volunteers from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Norway descend upon Ely to fulfill their need for speed. Press will be attending from Japan as they have in previous years.

Four days of festivities begin bright and early Thursday morning as first time participants head to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for qualifying school.  Following a Press Luncheon at Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas the caravan of cars will head to Ely for a variety of activities.

On Friday there are two small racing events, Half Mile Shootout and One Mile Shootout, which take place on SR 490 where drivers can test the speed of their cars.  The Shootout events are sponsored by Optima Batteries.

Participants gather at the White Pine High School parking lot to line up for the Parade of Cars that begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and ends at the Bristlecone Convention Center.

Cars will be on display, and you can meet the drivers and navigators, during the Car Show at Broadbent Park on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  During the Car Show, AM 1610 The Loop radio station will be broadcasting live.  There will also be a food concession and SSCC merchandise for sale.

The main event on Sunday is sponsored by OPTIMA Batteries and Suncoast Communications. Participants speed down a 90-mile stretch of the “Silver State Classic Challenge Highway”, aka Hwy. 318 between Lund and Hiko which is officially closed to the public.  There is a speed class for everyone, ranging in 5-mile an hour increments between 95 and 150mph, plus the 160, 170, 180 mph classes and the Unlimited for a total of 16 different speed brackets.  The objective is to average as close to the chosen target speed over the 90-mile course with the exception of the Unlimited division as they attempt to go for the Guinness World Records.

In the year 2000, the SSCC was placed into the Guinness World Book of Records with two records, one for “World’s Fastest Road Race” and the other “Highest Speed on a Public Highway”.  The record originally set in May, 2000 by Chuck Shafer and Gary Bockman when they achieved an average speed of 207.78 mph.  This record remained until May 20, 2012, when Jim Peruto averaged 217.775 mph driving a modified 2006 Dodge Charger and became the new record holder.

The only way to watch these exciting events is to become a Course Worker, must be age 18 and over, as there are no spectator areas.  Manning the gates along Hwy. 318 is the biggest volunteer effort in making these events a success.  Hand held radios for communication between gates and Hams are provided by Suncoast Communications.  The primary responsibility of being a course worker is controlling access through the gate that you are assigned and staying at your gate until the event is declared officially over.  The Course Worker Orientation is conducted at the Bristlecone Convention Center in Ely at 9:00am on Saturday.

As a way of the SSCC saying “Thank You” to all the course workers, they supply each gate with a SSCC hat, (2) SSCC t-shirts, (2) bottles of water and once the equipment is verified as returned will send a check for $50.00. There will also be a drawing on Sunday night at the Award’s Banquet at Sam’s Town Hotel that will give 10 gates a chance to win $100.00!  Course workers need not be present to win as the winners will be announced on our website.

The Silver State Classic Challenge is a non-profit corporation that was created to promote tourism through open road events and support the communities of the rural counties.  The events are held two times a year, every May and September.

For more information on the Silver State Classic Challenge visit or