MARS Honors Tony Roper at Monett

MARS DIRTcar SeriesThe MARS DIRTcar Series returns to action this weekend for the 14th annual Tony Roper Memorial presented by Andy’s Frozen Custard at the Monett Speedway on Sunday May 25, 2014.

Defending MARS champion and current point leader, Tony Jackson Jr of Lebanon, MO won last year’s event and will lead a strong contingent of racers into action. Other driver’s expected include 2012 MARS champion Jesse Stovall of Billings, MO; 6-time MARS champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, MO; Justin Asplin of Birch Tree, MO; Brandon McCormick of Lebanon, MO; Leroy Johnson of Springfield, MO; Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, IA; Jason Hughes of West Plains, MO; Cole Wells of Aurora, MO; Garrett Essary of Galena, MO; Dustin Mooneyham of Aurora, MO; Shane Essary of Aurora, MO; Josh Hughes of West Plains, MO; Jeff Roth of Bentonville, AR; Jon Driskill of Bentonville, AR and many more.

The event will also feature USRA sanctioned A-Mods ($600 to win) and B-Mods ($400 to win), Midwest Mods ($150 to win) and the Pure Stock class ($125 to win). 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 4:00pm. Hot laps at 7:00pm and racing scheduled to start at 7:30pm.

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.

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 2014 season. Hoosier Racing Tire, Libscomb Auto Group, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Powertrain Industries, Sunoco Race Fuel, Midwest Sheet Metal, GRT Race Cars, Keizer Wheels, Hatfield Racing Engines, Race Brothers Farm & Home Supply, Supermoon Graphics, Off Axis Custom Paint and Don Babb Motorsports.