Tony Roper (racing driver)

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Tony Roper
Tony Roper.jpg
Roper in October 1997
Born Anthony Dean Roper
(1964-12-23)December 23, 1964
Springfield, Missouri, U.S.
Died October 14, 2000(2000-10-14) (aged 35)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Cause of death Neck injury from racing accident in the O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
19 races run over 2 years
Best finish 41st (1999)
First race 1999 Diamond Hill Plywood 200 (Darlington)
Last race 2000 Touchstone Energy 300 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 3 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
60 races run over 5 years
Best finish 16th (1998)
First race 1995 Sears Auto Center 125 (Milwaukee)
Last race 2000 O'Reilly 400 (Texas)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 8 0

Anthony Dean "Tony" Roper (December 23, 1964 – October 14, 2000) was an American stock car racing driver. A competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, he died after suffering injuries in a racing accident at Texas Motor Speedway.

Early career[edit]

Roper was born in Springfield, Missouri, to Dean Roper and Shirley Medley. Growing up his family was heavily involved in auto racing, as his father was a noted competitor in ARCA and other stock car racing series. Roper started racing in 1986. For the next six years he 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 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1995, and the Busch Series in 1999.


At the Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 13, 2000, Roper was involved in an accident when he attempted to pass Steve Grissom and Rick Ware. Roper's Ford made contact with Grissom's front bumper causing it to take a sudden hard-right turn, which then caused the truck to impact the concrete wall of the tri-oval. An unconscious, unresponsive Roper was extricated from his truck, taken to the infield care center at TMS, and subsequently airlifted to Dallas's Parkland Memorial Hospital. Roper was determined to have a severe neck injury which prevented the flow of blood to his brain.[1][2] He was put on a ventilator, and succumbed to the injury the day after the race, aged 35.[1]

Roper was the third NASCAR driver to perish from racing related injuries in 2000, the first two being Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr., respectively.[1] It was the second fatality in the Craftsman Truck Series, the first being that of John Nemechek in 1997.[1] Roper's was the first racing fatality recorded at Texas Motor Speedway.

Just a year later on August 19, 2001, Tony's father, Dean Roper, also an accomplished dirt and modified racer, competed at an ARCA race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds when on lap 17, he slumped on the steering wheel and struck the inside wall on the frontstretch three times before driving through an open section in the wall and crashing into the water barrels next to several spectators nearby, but fortunately none of the spectators were hurt. Unfortunately, the 62 year old did not survive the accident as he was rushed to the Memorial Medical Center nearby in Springfield, where he was declared dead. An autopsy revealed he had no injuries at all and that he had a blood clot in his coronary artery that stopped his heart, meaning he had died of a heart attack behind the wheel before the accident even happened. Both Tony and his father Dean died in racing accidents within 10 months of each other.

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Busch Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d " - Auto Racing - Roper dies from severe neck injuries". Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  2. ^ News, A. B. C. (2006-01-07). "[NASCAR Truck Driver Roper Dies]". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 

External links[edit]