Tuesday, June 6, 2023

1982 – Roper Tops USA Stocks at Springfield

Dean Roper talk to announcer Jack Biddison while Miss C.A.R.S. Michelle Stuckey looks on after capturing the American 100 at the Springfield Mile. – Mike Dunn Photo

Springfield, Ill. (June 6, 1982) – Dean Roper successfully opened defense of his USAC stock car driving title at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Sunday afternoon, by winning the circuit’s season-opening American 100.

Marv Smith began the contest on the pole position, but fellow front row starter Bay Darnell blasted into the lead on the opening round.

Joe Wallace, who started third in the 17-car field, wrested first place away from Darnell on the 20th time around the one-mile dirt oval.

Two circuits later, the caution banner flew for the first time, when Jiggs Lindhorst’s Volare stalled in the fourth turn. Lindhorst was able to restart but wound up 10 laps off the pace at the finish, giving him 14th place.

Debris on the track triggered another caution on lap 58.

Wallace pitted during the slowdown, turning the top spot over to Rick O’Brien on lap 62.

Only five miles were run after the ensuing green before amber returned thanks to a John Prior spin on lap 69.

All-out competition resumed on lap 73 and three miles later, Roper guided his Grand Prix into first place.

The day’s final caution occurred on the 89th round when Bob Brevak spun in the second turn.

Wit the green out for the final eight revolutions, Roper continued to hold the top spot to score the victory, with Wallace placing second, O’Brien third, rookie Jeff Schwister fourth, and Prior fifth.

Roper averaged 85.369 miles per hour in recording the triumph.

Results –

1. Dean Roper
2. Joe Wallace
3. Rick O’Brien
4. Jeff Schwister
5. John Prior
6. Terry Pearson
7. Bay Darnell
8. Bob Brevak
9. Butch Garner
10.Gordon Blankenship
11.Steve Drake
12.Jerry Churchill
13.Herman Huffman
14.Jiggs Lindhorst
15.Marv Smith
16.Tom Meinberg
17.Ken Rowley

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