The Silver State Classic Challenge, Inc. is celebrating 29 years of road racing Sept. 15-18 as drivers, navigators and volunteers from across the United States and around the world, descend upon Ely to fulfill their need for speed.
Four days of events begin Thursday morning, Sept. 15, 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, a caravan of cars will head north to Ely for race weekend.
On Friday, Sept. 16, two racing events, the Half Mile Shootout and One Mile Shootout, take place on Highway 490 and gives drivers the opportunity to test the speed of their cars. Later in the afternoon, 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. and ends at the Bristlecone Convention Center.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., race cars will be on display and drivers plus navigators will be in attendance for a meet and greet during the Car Show at Broadbent Park. Ely’s local radio station, AM1610 The Loop, will be broadcasting live from the Car Show. A food concession stand will be at the park along with a display of the latest exclusive SSCC merchandise for sale.
Sunday, Sept. 18 is the grand event, sponsored by OPTIMA Batteries and Suncoast Communications. Drivers and navigators from around the globe speed down a closed 90-mile stretch of the Silver State Classic Challenge Highway, also known as Highway 318, between Lund and Hiko, which is officially closed to the public.
There is a speed class for all racers, ranging in five-mile an hour increments between 95 and 150 mph, plus the 160, 170, 180 mph classes and the Unlimited class 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 beat the Guinness World Record.
In 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 SSCC racers Chuck Shafer and Gary Bockman when they achieved an average speed of 207.78 mph. This record was intact until May 20, 2012, when SSCC racer Jim Peruto became the new record holder, averaging 217.7750 mph while driving a modified 2006 Dodge Charger.
The only way to watch these exciting events up close is to become a Course Worker. Manning the gates along Highway 318 is a vital volunteer effort in making these events a success and a great opportunity to be a part of this legendary race. The primary responsibility of being a course worker is controlling access through an assigned gate and staying at the gate until the event is declared officially over. Hand held radios for communication between gates and Hams are provided by Suncoast Communications.
The Course Worker Orientation is conducted at the Bristlecone Convention Center in Ely at 9 a.m. on May 14. You must be 18 or over and there are no spectator areas.
Each course worker will receive an official SSCC hat, two SSCC t-shirts, two bottles of water and once the equipment is verified as returned, will receive a check for $50.
There will also be a drawing on Sunday night at the Award’s Banquet at the Sam’s Town Hotel that will give 10 course worker gates a chance to win an additional $100. Course workers need not be present to win and the winners will be announced on the race organizer’s website.
The Silver State Classic Challenge, Inc. 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 biannually, every May and September.
For more information on the Silver State Classic Challenge visit www.silverstateclassic.com.