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I-44 Back In Action As Drivers Thrive For Roper Family Classic Win

Lebanon, Mo.- To say that every-time a racer straps in their race car and the goal is to win would be an understatement, but to say that drivers that are competing this Saturday Night at The Lebanon I-44 Speedway in The 4th Annual Roper Family Classic dream of winding-up in victory lane would be unheard of as The “High-Banks” of Missouri’s only active Asphalt and NASCAR Sanctioned track honors The Ozarks First Family of Area Racing.

Dean, Tony, Dale, and Dale Jr. will be honored and remembered as The NASCAR Ground-Pounding Modifieds will high-light the race card with a 28 lap Modified feature with extra money on the line along NASCAR track points and add their names to the winners list in the event  that started in 2014.

Even though the Modifieds will be the center focus, a Full NASCAR Whelen All-American Series card will feature The High-Speed of The NASCAR Pro Late Models, NASCAR Street Stocks and NASCAR Chargers compete in a full show.

Dale Roper was a 4-time I-44 Modified track champion and his last title was in 2002 driving Donnie McCarthy’s number 28. While Dale’s first car was 54, the theme this season goes to his final championship winning car number. Dale Roper Jr. turned many laps at I-44 Speedway and was a front runner in The Sportsman Class and Pro Late Model Class before back issues forced him out of the car while winning several races at The Dallas County Speedway on The Dirt Surface. Tony started his racing carrer in 1986 in The IMCA Modified division and was named Monett Speedway’s Rookie Of The Year while finishing 2nd at I-44 in The Rookie Standings. Tony won The Late Model Rookie Of The Year in 1989 and captured The Modified Shootout in 1990 at I-44 besting over 4 other Asphalt Drivers and headlined as being the final winner at The Springfield Fairgrounds Speedway along with Larry Phillips in 1987. He moved to The ASA Circuit in 1992 and later to the NASCAR world in The Truck Series and Xfinity Series. Dean turned laps at I-44 in the dirt seasons in an IMCA Modified, but is best known for being The Master Of The Mile Tracks in USAC and ARCA. He was a driving force in the early days of area racing and took home 3 USAC Stock Car Titles nd won 6 out of 28 events in THe ARCA Series before passing in 2001 while driving, 1 year after Tony lost his life at Texas Motor Speedway.

Past winners in The Modified portion include Ricky Icenhower (2014), David Dates (2015), and Brian Lewis getting his 1st ever Modified win in 2016.

How much does this mean to the drivers, Tim Swearengin who is chasing Rolla’s Mike Slone for a PRO Late Model Title, will bring both cars that night to compete and point leader Slone has a Modified to his disposal and thinks it might be time to do some double duty also.

For last year’s winner Brian Lewis, it was adding his name to the winners list of feature winners even though last year the Late Models took the spotlight. ” When you can get in the winners circle and get that picture with Dale and Dale Jr, it makes it all worth the time and effort. The family is perhaps the most respected in the Ozarks and everyone loves seeing them in the pits early in the evening.

Grandstand gates will open at 6PM while The Wildside opens at 5:30. Qualifying begins at 6:20 and Racing to start at 7:30.

For more information visit the website at WWW.I44Speedway.Net and keep updated on The Facebook page.

Point Standings
1. 77 Mike Slone-Rolla  912
2. O2 Brian Brown-Strafford  848
3. 14 Tim Swearengin-Springfield  808
4. 35 Steve Holt-Strafford 642
5. 76 Jake Piel-St Louis 600
6. 97 Ron Hartford-Raytown 580
7. 23 Mandy Chick-DeSoto,KS. 423
8. 88 Jimmy Fohn-Eldridge 285
9. 27 Joe Ross-Independance 247
10. 15 Kaleb Allison-Mexico 242
11. 67 Jimmy Vanzandt-Springfield 179
12. 98 Terry Smith-Belton 164

NASCAR Modifieds
1. 7 Ricky Icenhower-Fair Grove 960
2. 6 Richard Lewis-Willard 805
3. OO Chris Johnson-Lebanon 796
4. 21 Wayne Lewis-Springfield 672
5. 29 Mark Riddle-Springfield 660
6. 9 Brian Lewis-Willard 640
7. 10 Joe Bunkers-Harrisonville 476
8. 15 Chris Kerperien-Lebanon 440
9. 91 David Bates-Fair Grove 342
10. 11 Phil Harris-Springfield 318
11. 14 Tim Swearengin-Springfield 235
12. 0 Michael Juergensen-Lebanon 225

NASCAR Street Stocks
1. OO Michael Juergensen-Lebanon 859
2. 33 Jordan Nisbett-Lebanon 826
3. 27 Nick Cherry-Springfield 773
4. 0 Tony Johnson-Lebanon 713
5. 85 Robert Douglas-Camdenton 632
6. 8 Aaron Wilke-Bridgeton 545
7. 83 James Ellis-Richland 535
8. 90 Steve Shaw-Rogersville 518
9. 7 Aaron Douglas-Lebanon 398
10. 48 Jimmy Fohn-Eldridge 327
11. 21 Les Mallard-Fair Grove 205
12. 30 Tony Meier-Indiana 183

NASCAR Chargers
1. 12 Ronnie Taylor-Springfield 953
2. 7 Justin Blake-Lebanon 767
3. 24 Jerry Ellis-Richland 740
4. 4 Justin Gantt-Highlandville 690
5. OO Breken Johnson-Lebanon 669
6. 21 Nik Taylor-Bolivar 608
7. 99 Parker Ellis-Richland 564
8. 25 Luke Oster-Osage Beach 412
9. 5 Jesse Poindexter-Willard 311
10. 44 Ben White-Rolla 100
11. 99 Trent Harrison-Crocker 91
12. 32 Kent Cruzan-Springfield 86

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