Photo: Ron Mitchell Photos
The MARS DIRTcar Series headlines the 12th Annual Tony Roper Memorial this Sunday May 27, 2012 at the Monett Speedway located in Monett, MO.
Tony Roper was a NASCAR driver. He was born in Springfield, Missouri, to Dean Roper and Shirley Medley. Growing up his family was heavily involved in auto racing. Roper started racing in 1986. For the next six years Tony raced in IMCA Modifieds and Late Models on Midwest dirt and asphalt tracks. In 1992 he finished in second place for the American Speed Association Rookie of the Year award. He started racing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 1995, and the Busch Series in 1999. On October 13, 2000, Roper was racing in the Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway when he attempted to pass Steve Grissom. However, another truck veered up the racetrack in the tri-oval, forcing Roper to evade, turning him into Grissom's front bumper. The contact caused Roper's #26 Ford to take a sudden hard-right turn, which then caused the truck to slam head-on into the concrete wall of the tri-oval. Roper died the next day as the result of the injuries he sustained from the crash.
Defending MARS champion Brad Looney of Republic, MO won last year’s event and will lead a strong contingent of racers into action. Other driver’s expected include MARS point leader Jesse Stovall of Galena, MO; Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, MO; 6-time MARS champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, MO; David Turner of Creighton, MO; RC Whitwell of Tucson, AZ; Brandon McCormick of Lebanon, MO; Leroy Johnson of Springfield, MO; Justin Wells of Aurora, MO; Ken Essary of Cape Fair, MO; Dustin Mooneyham of Aurora, MO; Shane Essary of Aurora, MO: Justin Asplin of Birch Tree, MO; Brandon Morton of Broken Arrow, OK; Jeff Roth of Bentonville, AR and many more.
The event will also feature A-Mods, B-Mods, Factory Stocks, Legends and Pure Stocks. Pit passes for this event will be $35.00. Grandstand admission will be $20.00 for adults, kids 12-15 $5.00 and 11 and under are free. Grandstands will open at 5:00pm and Pit Gates for this event will open at 3:00pm. Hot laps at 7:00pm and racing scheduled to start at 7:30pm.
For more information on the Monett Speedway please visit www.monettspeedway.net. For more information on the MARS DIRTcar Series please visit www.marsracingseries.com.
The MARS DIRTcar Series would like to thank their sponsors for the 2012 season. Hoosier Racing Tire, Libscomb Auto Group, Powertrain Industries, VP Race Fuels, Wrisco Aluminum, GRT Race Cars, Hatfield Racing Engines, Race Brothers Farm & Home Supply, Supermoon Graphics, Don Babb Motorsports, Comp Cams, Rod End Suppy and Vicci.