Auto racing: Silver 1000 promises 'a lot of action' in 51st running

Aug. 30—PROCTOR — There aren't many racing traditions in northern Minnesota that are older than Proctor's Silver 1000.

The race has plenty of history, from Menomonie's Jimmy Mars winning his third Late Model feature in 2022 back to the beginning and founder Jerald "Crash" Carlson, according to Halvor Lines Speedway board member Mike Donahue.

The Silver 1000 returns for its 51st running Thursday at Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor.

"It's the grandaddy of invitationals around here — it's the second longest running in the U.S.," Donahue said. "We're hoping for a big show, it could be anywhere from 40 to maybe 50 late models, probably close to the same for modified. There will be a lot of action that night."

Donahue said he wasn't sure if Mars would return to go for a fourth win, but 2021 champion Darrell Nelson is returning, as is 2023 runner-up Pat Doar and "trailers will keep coming in" right up until race time, Donahue said.

The Silver 1000 kicks off the Northland's year-ending invitationals and racing postseason. The only Late Model dirt-track event with a longer history at the same facility than the Silver 1000 is the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. It was founded in 1971, two years prior to the Silver. Eldora is now owned by NASCAR champion and team owner Tony Stewart.

The Silver 1000 features top-level Late Model and Modified racing only, no support classes, and is part of the Wissota Late Model Challenge Series. Late Models are racing for a top prize of $6,000 while Modifieds will be racing for $3,000-plus as sponsors continue to come on board and incentives increase. Hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. with racing immediately to follow.

Grandstand admission is $25 for those 13 and older and $5 for 12 and under.