Smith races to Silver 1000 title
Brady Smith doesn’t race in the Northland much anymore, but when he does, it always seems like he is the driver to beat.
Smith, of Solon Springs, burst to the lead at the start of the 42nd annual Silver 1000 and went on to win the 40-lap Late Models feature Thursday night before about 1,500 at Proctor Speedway. It was Smith’s third Silver 1000 title, tying him for the most all-time with John Kaanta, Jeff Provinzino and Leon Plank.
“We’ve been working on this really hard all year long, and it’s taken us until the last few weeks to the point we’re at now,” Smith said. “We definitely have something lethal.”
Smith led all 40 laps but that doesn’t mean this race was without drama. Smith appeared unbeatable on the open track but struggled to get through lap traffic, especially when he had to duck to the inside instead of running along his preferred high side.
This allowed local stalwart Darrell Nelson to reel him, setting the stage for a great duel between two of the biggest names on the local dirt track scene.
It never materialized, however, as Nelson bowed out with about 14 laps to go with a flat tire. The Hermantown resident later rallied to finish second in the Modifieds feature.
“We were so excited to put on a show in the Late Models feature, but it just never happened,” said Nelson, a two-time Silver 1000 Late Models champ and unprecedented five-time Modifieds winner. “Fortunately I was able to redeem myself in the Modified feature.”
A late caution was no match for Smith as he held off the veteran Kaanta by about three car lengths.
Wissota national Modifieds points leader Kevin “Buzzy” Adams of Cameron, Wis., defended his title in the Silver 1000 Modifieds finale, overcoming late cautions flags to hold off Nelson by about four lengths.
“That’s two years in a row you give me 100 yellow flags with less than 10 laps to go,” Adams said, laughing.
The Modifieds feature was dedicated to the memory of longtime racer Don Roseen, a former Wissota and Proctor Speedway president who died in May 2013. Rather fittingly, his grandson Donnie Lofdahl of Duluth, started on the pole.
“I knew Don Roseen when I was a rookie back in the Street Stock class in 1997,” Adams said. “I won the Wissota 100 in Street Stocks and Don Roseen was the first one to congratulate me. It’s a memory I’ll never forget. I feel honored to win on his night. What a great event.”
-- Smith earned $2,500 for his victory and Adams netted $1,500, plus bonuses.
-- Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids was the hard charger of the Modifieds feature, going from a 21st starting spot to finish third.
“Darrell was runny pretty fast, and Buzzy is fast everywhere he goes,” Broking said. “So to start 21st and finish third, I’ll take that any day of the week. The track was fast, and it was just fun being out there. This was awesome.”
-- The wiring from the speakers along the backstretch at Proctor Speedway was recently stolen, presumably for the copper, meaning fans watching from the pit area weren’t able to hear the public address system.
Crash Carlson, one of the founders of the Silver 1000, who has seen just about everything stolen from the track over the years, including the beer supply one year, just shook his head.
“I’d like to apologize to everyone along the back straightaway, and say thank you to the bunch of jerks who took the wiring,” he said. “It was $500 worth of wiring, for something they could probably sell for 20 bucks. I would have given them $100 just to leave it.”
42nd annual Silver 1000
At Proctor Speedway
Thursday’s Feature Results
1. Brady Smith, Solon Springs; 2. John Kaanta, Elk Mound, Wis.; 3. Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, Minn.; 4. Kevin Carlson, Hermantown; 5. Zach Wohlers, Kelly Lake; 6. Jeff Provinzino, Hibbing; 7. Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis; 8. Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing; 9. Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.; 10. Steve Laursen, Cumberland, Wis.; 11. Tim McMann, Duluth; 12. George Ledin, Grand Rapids; 13. Trevor Wilson, Superior; 14. Dave Fieber, Chippewa Falls, Wis.; 15. Cory Jorgensen, Hermantown; 16. Scott Herrick, Proctor. DNF: Caley Emerson, Grand Rapids; Jeff Massingill, Keewatin; Greg Hill, Eveleth; Terry Lillo, Duluth; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire, Wis.; Aaron Lillo, Proctor; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; Harry Hanson, Eveleth; Robbie Cooper, South Range.
1. Kevin “Buzzy” Adams, Cameron, Wis.; 2. Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; 3. Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids; 4. Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn.; 5. Jeff Broking, Grand Rapids; 6. Neil Balduc, Bessemer, Mich.; 7. Gavin Paull, Fort Frances, Ontario; 8. Kevin Eder, Ashland; 9. Paul Schultz, Grand Rapids; 10. Jeff Spacek, Phillips, Wis.; 11. Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth; 12. Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth; 13. Cory Jorgensen, Hermantown; 14. Cody Walkowski, Thunder Bay, Ontario; 15. Rick Niemi, Eveleth. DNF: Jesse Glenz, Cadott, Wis.; Jay Richardson, Spring Valley, Wis.; Sam Skalsky, Hibbing; Ricky Roche, International Falls; Ken Hron, Nashwauk; Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay; Tim McMann, Duluth. DQ: Andy Jones, Princeton, Minn.