By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer
The Silver State Classic Challenge celebrates its 26th year as the SSCC returns to Ely through Sept. 15. The event began in Las Vegas on Thursday with a caravan of cars making their way to Ely on Friday.
The racing beings that day with the mile and half-mile shootout at SR 490. At 5:30 p.m. drivers will be showing off their cars in the Parade of Cars, which starts at White Pine High School and ends at the Bristlecone Convention Center. Saturday morning will give other drivers, crews, volunteers and locals a chance to browse the cars during the car show at Broadbent Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food available from both the Ely Lions Club Breakfast and concessions from the Eastern Nevada Paint Horse Club as well as SSCC merchandise, with the proceeds donated to the White Pine High School Drama Club.
The main event on Sunday spans 90-miles on the Silver State Classic Challenge Highway between Lund and Hiko as drivers compete in 16 different speed brackets.
The SSCC will hold a volunteer orientation at 9 a.m. on Saturday for anyone interested in working at one of the checkpoints on Sunday, providing the only way to see the main event.
“Manning the gates along Highway 318 is the biggest volunteer effort in making these events a success,” Steve Waldman said.
Volunteers will receive a variety of thank-you items, including a hat, two t-shirts, two bottles of water and once the returned equipment is verified, a check for $50 as well as entry into a drawing on Sunday night at Sam’s Town Hotel that gives 10 gates a chance to win $100. Course workers do not need to be present to win.
As drivers, volunteers, spectators and more come together this weekend, this time of year is always one that they look forward to.
“Seeing all the friends we’ve made over the years, having a great time and getting to come back to Ely makes these two weekends some of our favorite of the year,” Waldman said.
The golden arch signifying the starting point of the shootouts and the start of the main event have become well-known symbols of the SSCC. But this weekend, there will also be another special symbol: an American Flag. The flag is a special flag sent to the Northern New Jersey and South Jersey regions of the Sports Car Club of America in recognition of the donations to the National Park Service’s Flight 93 National Memorial.
“A group of us here in New Jersey ended up getting a flag,” Lynch said. “We’re avid races and thought we’d try to get the flag to as many races throughout the country as we could.”
Flight 93 was one of three hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001. Originally taking off from Newark to San Francisco, passengers crashed the plane in Pennsylvania, preventing the hijackers from reaching their intended target. Linda Gronlund and Joe DeLuca were two of the passengers on the plane.
The SSCC provided a chance for Lynch to not only honor his friends, but help bring the flag out West to a place it had never been before.
“It’s never gotten on an airplane and never as far out as Nevada,” Lynch said. “Let me take it out to the SSCC, that would be pretty cool.”
© 2013 The Ely Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.