"Even while he experienced the challenges
every driver faces, Tony never let go of his dream,"
described Michele Roper. He loved the thrill of
competition, but even more so he loved the racing
family. Whether it was ASA or NASCAR, Tony appreciated
the importance of teamwork and knew he couldn't
fulfill his dream without the help of those around
him. That's why it means so much to me and
Tony's family that we've already received so many
expressions of support and kindness. Tony was
loved by so many and he will always hold a special
place in our hearts."
Tony Roper, a second-generation driver, was the
son of southwest Missouri racing legend Dean Roper.
Roper started driving in 1986. For the next six
years he learned his craft in IMCA Modifieds and
late models on Midwest dirt and asphalt tracks.
He scored numerous wins in both IMCA and late
models on the asphalt tracks. In 1992 Tony moved
to the ASA circuit. In 1992, he was the runner
up finisher in the American Speed Association's
At the end of the 1996 Roper joined forces with
Brevak Racing to drive the team's primary entry
on the NCTS circuit.Tony drove for two teams in
1998 and completed his second full season 16th
in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings
& Roper began the campaign in Shelly Brevak's
Concor Tool & Machine Ford, then moved to
the Gloy-Rahal Ford following the early-June race
at Texas Motor Speedway & Roper's best career
finish was recorded in the latter ride, a second-place
at Indianapolis Raceway Park & that finish
remains his only career top-five.
In early 1999, he signed with the IWX Motor Freight
Xpress Motorsports Pontiac Team for a partial
schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National
Division. He made his BGN debut at Darlington
on March 20, 1999. In April he was selected
to drive full-time for the remainder of the year.
He drove for Xpress through August before leaving
the team to explore other options.
In late 1999 he signed a two year contract with
Washington Erving Motorsports to pilot the #50
Dr Pepper Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The team
struggled early in 2000 and was finally forced
out of business because of financial problems.
Late in 2000, he agreed to drive for the #26
Mittler Brothers Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series.
On October 13, 2000 he was critically injured
in a wreck at Texas Motor Speedway. He died
the next day.
He is buried at Mt. Comfort Cemetery, just a
few miles from where he grew up.
Visit Tony's website at