Halvor Lines Speedway Races Again in Proctor
PROCTOR, Minn.– For the first time in nearly two years, it’s race day once again over at the speedway in Proctor.
Now with COVID restrictions on big events loosening up considerably, it’s an encouraging sign for the racetrack after hitting some speedbumps during the pandemic.
The sound of revving of engines filled the air in Proctor, where the Halvor Lines Speedway hosted its first race night of the season.
“It feels great to hear it and smell the gasoline,” said Halvor Lines Speedway President Mike Donnahue.
This year’s opening day was a long time coming for the racetrack? Uncertainly from the pandemic and COVID restrictions on big events meant that the dirt track was stalled in 2020.
“We kept looking at it, ‘can we open this week? Can we open that week?’ and the hard part was it would be tough to open up to find out nobody came,” said Donnahue.
To help make up the lost revenue, the racetrack was renamed to Halvor Lines Speedway, along with other new sponsorships. Donnahue says it’s a big reason why the track is able to open in 2021.
“They have been just fantastic to help getting us going and everything else,” said Donnahue.
When the gates opened for the 2020 season Sunday afternoon, race fans from all over the Northland filled up the bleachers.
“I had a lot of smiles in the grandstands. A lot of people say, ‘thank you for opening,'” said Donnahue. “A lot of these fans have been coming for many, many years so it’s great to see them all again.”
Crystal Hige is one of those longtime spectators.
“Big race fan,” she said. “Missed coming here last summer.”
She’s been coming to the racetrack for the last 10 years to cheer on her favorite drivers. While she’s gone to other tracks last year, she says it’s a summer tradition to watch the cars race on the dirt track in Proctor.
“Just feeling the dirt fly in my face and watching my favorite racers,” said Hige. “This is literally all my summer is about is racing, camping, and fishing. If i didn’t have racing, it wouldn’t feel like summer. It would feel like winter.”
As they plan to leave 2020 in the dust, those at the speedway say they’re expecting a bounce back year in 2021 — and a whole lot of race fans.
“It’s so much fun to see the people again and the smiles on their faces and things are really looking up. It’s just a great feeling to see all of the people again,” said Donnahue.
The Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor won’t be resting long. There already is another racing event going on next Sunday. Racetrack officials say the engines will be running for a long list of events until the end of September.