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Jim Roper, in his own #27 midget, leads Buzz Barton in Emmett Taylor's #2 midget at Cejay Stadium on June 16, 1946 - Vickey Cummings collection

 

Jim Roper in his first midget before it was lettered - Mills collection

 

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Jim Roper in his midget being presented with a trophy after winning the feature at Abilene, KS in 1947 - Photo from the book One Tough Circuit, Midget Racing in America’s Heartland by Bill Hill

 

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This photo of Jim Roper's Ford midget was taken at Cejay Stadium in Wichita, KS in 1946 - Jim Loudenback collection

 

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Finish of 1st hot rod race ever run at Cejay

Stadium on September 13, 1947.  #81 Jim Roper barely edged out #67 Kenny Atkins for the victory.  The flagman was Tom Herndon - Lies collection

 

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Jim Roper in Earl Mill's Auburn roadster in 1947 - 1949 Cejay Stadium program from the Bill Collins collection

 

Jim Roper in Earl Mill's Auburn roadster at the Beacon Trophy race at Cejay Stadium on September 6,1947 - Mills collection

 

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Jim Roper drove this red Mercury flathead V-8 powered hot rod for owner Marvin Church in 1948.  This photo was taken that year at Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway at Newton, KS

Mills collection

 

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Jim Roper in 1948 in a yellow Miller-powered hot rod owned by Vernis Church - Lies collection

 

Jim Roper in Vernis Church’s hot rod in 1948 - Mills collection

  

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This is the 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan that

Millard J. Clothier, Sr. owned and Jim Roper drove to victory in the first NASCAR strictly stock car race at Charlotte, NC on June 19, 1949.

Stock Car World

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Jim Roper, at left, with a man who has yet to be identified  Could this be R. B. McIntosh? - Clothier collection

 

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Jim Roper, at left, with car owner

Millard J. Clothier, Sr. and his #55 New Model Oldsmobile in 1950 - Clothier collection

 

Preparing for a watermelon race at Jayhawk Speedway at Newton, Kansas.  Jim Roper with the watermelon with race promoter Earl Mills to his

right, also with a hand on the watermelon.

Mills collection

 

Jim Roper

Mills collection

Jim Roper trading card

Mills collection

 

Jim Roper in his first Ford midget in 1946

Mills collection

 

Jim Roper in the same miget as shown below although with a different color scheme than it has today - Mills collection

 

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This photo of Buz McKim, historian for the

NASCAR Hall of Fame, was taken on

August 26, 2013 in the High Banks Hall of

Fame Museum in Belleville, KS with one of

the Ford V8-60 midgets that Jim Roper drove in the post-WWII 1940s.  This midget had no water pump and was cooled by thermosiphon - Belleville Telescope photo

 

Jim Roper in an unidentified midget

Mills collection

 

Jim Roper receiving the some of the spoils of winning the Beacon Trophy race for hot rods at Cejay Stadium in Wichita, KS on September 6, 1947 - Mills collection

 

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Jim Roper, driving Vernis Church's yellow #27 Miller powered hot rod, sits atop the famous hump in the racetrack at Cejay Stadium in 1948 - Frank McElhaney collection

 

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June, 1949 Charlotte, NC newspaper ad for the NASCAR Strictly Stock car race that Jim Roper won - Darren Galpin collection

 

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Millard J. Clothier at left with R. B. McIntosh beside the car that Bill Blair, Sr. drove in the

first NASCAR Strictly Stock car race run at

Charlotte, NC on June 19, 1949 - Bill Blair, Jr. collection

 

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#71 Gayford Dye in his own car leading #55 Jim Roper in Millard James Clothier, Sr.'s Oldsmobile in an unsanctioned new model stock car race at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson on

September 17, 1950.

Hutchinson News photo

 

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#49 Jim Roper passing by an unidentified #55 at Cejay Stadium in a jalopy that Roper drove for Harold Dean in 1951.

J. R. Cox collection

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The only driver identified in this photo is Jim Roper who was driving Harold Dean's jalopy at Cejay Stadium in 1951 - J. R. Cox collection

 

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Jim Roper

Lies collection

 

 

CHRISTIAN DAVID "JIM"  ROPER

"Alfalfa Jim"

(1916 - 2000)

 

 

The Official Winner of NASCAR's First Strictly Stock Car Race

By Bob Lawrence

 

 

 

Jim Roper was born at Halstead, Kansas; one of two sons of Christian "Chris" Roper, Jr. (1895-1988) and Eula Dell (Hunt) Roper (1893-1993).  The family lived on his grandfather's horse farm and Roper was interested in playing basketball until his grandfather purchased a Chevrolet / Pontiac dealership and gave Roper a 1930 Chevrolet that became his first racing car.  He drove it in figure-8 races on a ½-mile dirt figure-8 racetrack that was located on a farm just outside of Newton, Kansas.  Although not a lot is known

about that racetrack, it is known that races were run there every Sunday afternoon in 1938 and it is believed to have been the first figure-8 racetrack in the nation.

 

Roper worked as an auto mechanic at dealerships and commercial garages around central Kansas.   In 1940, he married Ruth Margaret Haurey (1916-1944) at Gravette, Arkansas and they had a son, Gary Allen Roper, who died along with his mother shortly after childbirth in 1944.

 

With his young family gone, Roper became what would be known today as a "free spirit".  He purchased a midget from brothers Paul and Quincie Gibson in Wichita in 1944.  They had raced the car early in 1942 as the #C-5 with driver Wyland "Bud" Camden but Roper could not drive the car himself until the end of World War II due to restrictions that the federal government had been placed on the sport as of July 31, 1942 and lasting for the duration of the war.  At the conclusion of the war, he raced that midget at racetracks around Kansas.

 

It was during this time that he picked up the nickname "Alfalfa Jim", some say by crashing his midget through a fence into a hay field and then returning to the race finishing with some of the crop still strewn inside the car.  Jim’s own version of the story was that a midget racetrack at Wellington, Kansas marked the inside corners with hay bales.  He said he found that he could just nicked a bale with the left front wheel and it would scatter hay all over the racetrack behind him, thus slowing the other cars down.  He said he used that trick quite a bit, hence the nickname.

 

While towing his midget to Springfield, Missouri in the summer of 1948, Roper was involved in a highway accident near Monett, Missouri.  Since the midget was undamaged, he found someone who would tow the car the rest of the way to Springfield for him.  He won two preliminary races that night but had to drop out of the feature when his engine lost an oil plug.  With damage to his tow car and his racing engine, Roper figured that one night's racing had set him back $800.

 

Never one to chase point championships, Roper branched out to drive several kinds of race cars including midgets, hot rods (a.k.a. track roadsters), new model stock cars, and jalopies at Wichita's Cejay Stadium; Newton, Kansas' Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway; Salina, Kansas' Agricultural Hall; and both racetracks at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson for a number of different car owners including Earl E. Mills (1907-1990) of Newton; Millard James Clothier, Sr. (1913-1982); Merle Gayford Dye (1923-1998 of Hutchinson; Harold J. Dean (1914-1980) of Newton; and brothers Marvin Harman Church (1917-2008) and Vernis I. Church (1920-2006) of Whitewater, Kansas.

 

Roper finished 6th in the season points for the Hot Rod class at Cejay Stadium in Wichita in 1948 but Roper was never one to pursue points.  He preferred to spread his racing out among several classes so his results in the Hot Rod season point standings over the next two years would be 20th and 25th respectively.  After that, Cejay Stadium ceased to run the Hot Rods in favor of the jalopies.

 

While Roper was racing in Kansas, participants in the southeastern United States were having difficulty finding enough 1939 and 1940 Fords (the preferred modified stock car of the time in the Southeastern states) to convert into modified stock cars they could run in races promoted by the newly formed NASCAR's Bill France, Sr. so France contacted the Ford Motor Company to see if they would be willing to build more of those models again.  Ford had moved on from those earlier models by then though and were concentrating on making and selling new models of their products.  Seeing the "writing on the wall", France formed a new division of NASCAR in 1949 to race strictly stock new model cars.  France fretted over the newly formed division though losing plenty of sleep worrying how the new cars would be accepted by the fans and if there would be enough of the strictly stock new models entered to fill the field at his first race for that division on June 19, 1949 at the New Charlotte Speedway, a ¾-mile dirt racetrack at Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Seeing a note in Zack Moseley's The Adventures of Smilin' Jack comic strip about the NASCAR Strictly Stock car race, Roper convinced Great Bend, Kansas auto dealer Millard James Clothier, Sr. (1913-1982) to provide two new 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitans which they, along with an elusive itinerate car salesman named R. B. McIntosh,16 drove to Charlotte, North Carolina.  They arrived a few days early for the race and called the Ford Motor Company to see if there was anyone in the area who might be able to assist them.  With Ford's help, they convinced a local auto dealership, Mecklenburg Motors, to sponsor their effort.  They then met with Bill France, Sr. to seek his recommendation for someone to drive the second 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan they had brought with them.  Happy to have two more cars entered in his stock car race, France recommended his good friend and veteran competitor in NASCAR modified stock car races, Bill Blair, Sr. (1911-1995) of High Point, North Carolina.  Clothier, McIntosh and Roper painted #34 on one of the two Lincolns, #44 on the other one, and were introduced to Bill Blair, Sr. by Bill France, Sr. on the day before the race.  Clothier and both drivers agreed that Roper was to get his choice of the two 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitans to drive in the race.  60% of any prize money that might be won was to go to Clothier.  The rest of the prize money won by the two drivers was to be pooled together and then divided equally between Blair and Roper.  Roper chose to drive the 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan #34.  Time trials were run that afternoon and Blair qualified 8th fastest while Roper qualified 12th in the 33-car field.  It is unclear why the two cars were entered in this race in McIntosh’s name as Roper was always adamant that the cars actually belonged to Clothier.

 

The next day, Bill France, Sr. found out just how well his new division of NASCAR racing would be received by the fans.  Officially, 13,000 people were in the grandstands and another 5,000 had to be turned away although some estimates had the crowd at more than 23,000.  Pole sitter Bob Flock (1918-1964) jumped into the lead at the start of the race and led for five laps before being passed by Bill Blair, Sr.  Flock, in a 1946 Hudson, dropped out on the 38th lap with a blown engine.  Blair then charged into the lead and held that spot for 145 laps before a well-intentioned crewman removed the radiator cap during a pit stop which let all of the water boil out.  The radiator was refilled but the relatively cold fresh water cracked the thermostat housing ending Blair's run for the day.  Jim Roper, who was several laps behind Blair when the latter pitted, had driven a more conservative race but he had made his way up to second place when Glenn Dunaway (1914-1964) took the checkered flag on the 200th lap in Hubert Westmoreland's 1947 Ford.  A post-race inspection of the Westmoreland Ford revealed that Dunaway's ride had been fitted with oversized rear springs.  Since the rules clearly spelled out that the cars were to be strictly stock, Dunaway was disqualified by NASCAR's chief inspector, Al Crisler.  That led to Roper, who had finished in second place three laps behind Dunaway, being officially credited with being the leader of the final 47 laps and awarded the victory contingent on his car passing a post-race inspection as well.  Dunaway's disqualification also moved Truman "Fonty" Flock (1920-1972) up to the second place finish in the Grady Cole / Bruce Griffin 1949 Hudson.

 

Roper's 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan was also given a more than thorough post-race inspection by Crisler.  After every single washer had been taken off, every single bolt and screw in the car had been removed and scattered across the racetrack, and after a lengthy consultation by NASCAR officials, Roper's car was declared by Crisler to be legal.  He was awarded a trophy and $2,000 for his victory but it was also made clear to him that NASCAR stock car racing was a Southern sport and Yankees were not welcome.  The NASCAR officials and the locals left the racetrack after there was nothing more to inspect leaving Clothier, Roper, McIntosh and the Mecklenburg Motors crew to collect the pieces and get it all home as best they could.  Mecklenburg Motors wound up furnishing another Lincoln engine for the car's trip back to Kansas.

 

Blair was credited with 12th place in the final standings that day and only won $50 so, after Clothier got his 60% of the total $2,050 in prize money, that left $820 to be split evenly between the two drivers.  Roper raised quite a vocal objection to that but finally had to settle for $410 as that was the deal that was agreed to the day before the race.

 

Glenn Dunaway's car owner, Hubert Westmoreland, sued NASCAR over the outcome of the race saying that NASCAR had inspected the car a few days before the race, knew the offending springs were there, but had told him that the car was legal to race.  A judge threw out the suit though saying the rules were plain that the cars were to be "strictly stock".  Dunaway did get a measure of revenge later that summer when he again encountered Roper at an IMCA New Model stock car race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Dunaway won that 200-lap contest while Roper was the first to drop out having run only six laps before retiring with a broken hub.

 

The trophy that Roper received at Charlotte was eventually misplaced by Clothier so Roper was gifted with a replica of the trophy on a visit to the Texas Motor Speedway in 1998.

 

NASCAR's first female driver, Sara Christian (1918-1980), also competed with NASCAR for the first time in this same race at Charlotte.  She qualified her family-owned 1947 Ford 13th fastest and, with relief driver Bob Flock, was credited with a 14th place finish.

 

R. B. McIntosh obtained the #44 Lincoln Cosmopolitan from Clothier and convinced Bill Blair, Sr. to drive it one more time on July 10, 1949.  Blair started a 40-lap race on the beach course at Daytona Beach, Florida in 5th place and also finished in 5th place on the lead lap winning a total of $200.  That race was won by Red Byron (1915-1960).  Blair would go on to win three NASCAR Grand National races before his career ended in 1956.  McIntosh would remain in Dixie and compete in five more NASCAR races (six in all although NASCAR records state seven) before returning to Kansas in 1950.  Besides his foray into stock car racing, McIntosh is known to have entered two big cars for himself and Jack Merrick of Dodge City, Kansas to drive in a race at Great Bend, Kansas on Memorial Day, 1951.

 

Roper drove Clothier’s #34 Lincoln Cosmopolitan in his only other NASCAR Strictly Stock race start at Occoneechee Speedway at Hillsboro, North Carolina on August 7, 1949.  Roper completed 190 of the scheduled 200 laps and was credited with finishing in 15th place behind winner Bob Flock in the 28-car field for which Roper collected $50.  Although he only competed in the two NASCAR races, Roper still finished 16th in NASCAR Strictly Stock points in 1949.

 

Bill Blair, Sr. finished the 1949 season in fourth place in NASCAR's Strictly Stock car standings.  In 1950, NASCAR changed the name of the division to Grand National.

 

After Roper returned to Kansas, he concentrated his efforts on driving "New Model" stock cars in both outlaw events and races sanctioned by IMCA.  Car owner Clothier disposed of the NASCAR-winning Lincoln Cosmopolitan at an auto auction in Denver, Colorado but he provided a new Oldsmobile so that Roper could continue racing in that class in the Midwest.  Clothier, himself, competed in one IMCA late model stock car race at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson on September 16, 1956 where he finished ninth in a 100-lap race that was won by Johnny Beauchamp (1923-1981).  Clothier eventually moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he was residing at the time of his passing.

 

On an IMCA New Model stock car swing through Iowa in the summer of 1949, Roper received an offer to drive a midget at the 1/5-mile Ce-Mar Amusement Park racetrack at Cedar, Rapids, Iowa on a still date.  They ran a "hot-lap" session after time trials that night and Roper was running in those when the midget he was driving ran off the racetrack on the west end, flew over an embankment and rolled several times before flipping end-over-end into a catch fence some 100 feet from the racetrack.  Roper was treated at a local hospital for a wrenched shoulder, minor burns, cuts and burses but was released the following day.

 

While Roper was on the IMCA trail that fall, he let Earl E. Mills put a Wayne Chevrolet engine Roper owned in Mills' #81 hot rod for Bill Perkins to drive in the season finale at Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway on September 18, 1949.  Perkins won the B feature that night and was contending for the lead in the A feature when he dropped out of the race with a faulty plug wire.

 

In 1950, Roper registered a micro-midget #55 with the Southwest Association of Micro-Midgets (SWAMM) but it is not clear if he ever raced that car or with that organization.

 

Roper entered a jalopy race at Cejay Stadium in Wichita on July 4, 1953.  On the third lap of the 50-lap feature race that night, his car lost a wheel.  Roper continued running on three wheels until the car lost a second wheel on the 46th lap.  That put him out of the race but, since only six cars finished the race, Roper collected the seventh place prize money.

 

Roper tried his hand at being a car salesman at the Ricketts Desoto/Plymouth agency in Newton in 1953 but the weak product line that year caused the fledgling business to go under in November of that year.  At Roper's request, the court appointed his former car owner, Earl E. Mills, as receiver for the bankrupt business.

 

In 1954, Roper finished in tenth place in the season points for jalopies at Wichita's Cejay Stadium.

 

Roper married his second wife, Mary Jane Parks, who was a sister-in-law to local New Model stock car driver, Warren E. Brown.  Jim and Mary had a son who died as an infant in 1955.  The couple later divorced.

 

Roper's driving career took a hiatus after he was seriously injured in a racing accident in 1955 but he did race at least once more at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson in 1961.

 

Roper worked as a flagman and official starter at Kansas racetracks in the late 1950s including 81 Speedway at Wichita and the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas.

 

As Roper told the story, he had a girlfriend in Washington and another in Texas who both raised horses so he flipped a half-dollar and that is how he wound up raising horses near Kaufman, Texas.

 

Roper called friends (the sons of his former car owner, Earl Mills) in Kansas early in 2000 saying that he had been diagnosed with a fatal condition and asked if they would come get him as he did not want to die in Texas.  He passed away from heart and liver complications related to cancer, on June 23, 2000 at the Friendly Acres Retirement Community in Newton, Kansas which happens to occupy the former location of the Jayhawk Speedway where Roper had raced so many times in the past.  He is buried in the Halstead Cemetery at Halstead, Kansas. 

 

Driving Marvin Church's red hot rod #8 at the new ½-mile Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway on Memorial Day, 1948, Roper set a new one-lap track record of 25.07 seconds breaking the mark that had been set a week earlier at 25.30 seconds by Charlie Lutkie.  That record stood until August 19, 1948 when it was broken by Noel "Shorty" Jones.

 

Roper set the 100-lap track record at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson at 1 hour, 19 minutes on July 17, 1949 but the record only lasted for 42 days before being broken by Bob Thorne.  Roper set a 1-lap track record for stock cars of 27.70 seconds at the Belleville High Banks at Belleville, Kansas on September 1, 1950.  He then set another track record there of 5 minutes, 34.70 seconds for 15 laps on that same day.  Roper also set the 300-lap track record of 3 hours, 1 minute at the Kansas State Fairgrounds on September 1, 1952 and that record still stands.

 

On September 4, 1953, Roper set a new 4-lap track record for the strictly stock cars by winning the trophy dash in 1 minute, 4.4 seconds at Newton's Jayhawk Speedway.

 

Roper is one of 23 drivers that include Johnny Beauchamp, Louis Disbrow, Dick Hutcherson, and Jimmy Wilburn, who are tied for 52nd place for all-time total feature race victories at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas.

 

Jim Roper was inducted into the High Banks Hall of Fame at Belleville, Kansas on July 29, 1999 and served as grand marshal of the Midget Nationals in Belleville, Kansas in August of that same year.   He passed away just ten months after that.

 

 

 

 

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Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Clothier collection

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Jim Roper

Mills collection

 

 

 

 

Jim Roper's Known Racing Record 1

Date

Sanction

Location

Car #

Automobile

Car Owner

Owner From

Roper's Finish

Feature Race Winner

Race Promoter

1938

None

Unnamed figure-8 racetrack, Newton, KS

1930 Chevrolet

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

26 Aug 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

V-8 60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

3rd in 4th heat

1st in Australian pursuit

4th in B feature

Guy "Mac" McHenry

Carl Johnson

2 Sep 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Bill Fox in consolation race

Wyland "Bud" Camden

Carl Johnson

3 Sep 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

V-8 60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Fred Bass in 4th heat

4th in B feature

Wyland "Bud" Camden

Carl Johnson

9 Sep 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

V-8 60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

3rd in time trials

3rd in 3rd heat

Wyland "Bud" Camden

Carl Johnson

16 Sep 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

11

V-8 60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Jim Engle in consolation race

Clarence Merritt

Carl Johnson

23 Sep 45

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

V-8 60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in consolation race

4th in B feature

Ted Parker

Carl Johnson

c1946

K-1

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in trophy dash

16 Jun 46

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

8

Ford V8-69 Midget in Gray Primer

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

3rd in B feature

Ted Parker

Carl Johnson

21 Jul 46

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

8

Ford V8-60 Orange Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in consolation race

4th in B feature

Cotton Musick

Carl Johnson

14 Aug 46

Fair Park Speedway, Dallas, TX

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

3rd in 3rd heat

Loyes Harris

17 Aug 46

 

Panhandle-South Plains Fair, Lubbock, TX

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd in to Bud Camden 1st heat

Bud Camden

 

18 Aug 46

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Craig Hanson in B feature

Jay Booth

Carl Johnson

27 Aug 46

None

Valley County Fairgrounds, Ord, NE

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

 

Jay Booth

Clyde Baker

28 Aug 46

None

Valley County Fairgrounds, Ord, NE

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

 

Jay Booth

Clyde Baker

29 Aug 46

None

Valley County Fairgrounds, Ord, NE

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

 

Jay Booth

Clyde Baker

8 Sep 46

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

4th in B feature

Clarence Merritt

Carl Johnson

11 Oct 46

Panhandle-South Plains Fair, Lubbock, TX

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

3rd in A feature

Lloyd Ruby

13 Oct 46

 

Odessa Speedway, Odessa, TX

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

 

 

 

4 May 47

KMRA 11

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Emmett Taylor in consolation race

Wyland "Bud" Camden

Carl Johnson

26 Jun 47

 

Louisiana State Fairgrounds, Shreveport, LA

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

4th in consolation race

Wyland “Bud” Camden

 

4 Jul 47

MRA 12

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 10

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd to Junior Howerton in helmet dash

3rd in 2nd heat

4th in feature

Junior Howerton

Verne Hamilton

25 Jul 47

Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, MO

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in heat

1st in semi-final

DNF in feature - lost an oil plug

1947

MRA 12

Central Kansas Fairgrounds, Abilene, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

16 Aug 47

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in 3rd heat

3rd in Grandstand Choice race

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Don C. Onley

23 Aug 47

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

3rd in time trials

1st in 2nd heat

1st in Grandstand Choice race

2nd in feature

Harold Forrest

Don C. Onley

28 Aug 47

MRA 12

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 10

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in semi-final

Verne Hamilton

30 Aug 47

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

Harold Forrest

Carl Johnson

1 Sep 47

MRA 12

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 10

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

2nd in feature

Don Brown

Verne Hamilton

6 Sep 47

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in 3rd heat

1st in trophy dash

3rd in grandstand choice race

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Carl Johnson

13 Sep 47

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Carl Johnson

14 Sep 47

KMRA

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS 

2nd to Paul Rogers in consolation race

Wyland "Bud" Camden

Carl Johnson

18 Sep 47

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

7

Miller Big Car

Bill Anderson

Long Beach, CA

8th in the Australian Pursuit

Emory Collins

Al Sweeney

21 Sep 47

KMRA

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

 Halstead, KS

1st in 4th heat

Cotton Musick

Carl Johnson

25 Oct 47

KMRA

Agricultural Hall, Salina, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

1st in 3rd heat

Bob Slater

Carl Johnson

15 Nov 47

KMRA

Agricultural Hall, Salina, KS

39

Ford V8-60 Midget

Jim Roper

Halstead, KS

4th in feature

Bob McKim

Carl Johnson

16 May 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in feature

Bill Flinchum

Earl E. Mills

23 May 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in 4th heat

3rd in helmet dash

Charlie Lutkie

Earl E. Mills

29 May 48

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd on time trials

4th in 3rd heat

2nd to Kenny Adkins in 2nd semi-final

2nd to Charlie Lutkie in feature

Charlie Lutkie

Carl Johnson

30 May 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

1st of 26 cars that took time trials

2nd to Charlie Lutkie in feature

Charlie Lutkie

Earl E. Mills

11 Jun 48

MRA 12

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 10

Ford V8-60 Midget

 

2nd to Slick Barnes in consolation race

Don Brown

Verne Hamilton

12 Jun 48

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

4th in time trials

4th in 3rd heat - Crashed with Charlie Lutkie in front of grandstands

     but only 3 cars restarted the race

Kenny Adkins

Carl Johnson

26 Jun 48

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Carl Johnson

1 Jul 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

Hot Rod

1st in 2nd heat

Charlie Lutkie

Earl E. Mills

4 Jul 48

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

New Model Ford

 

 

10th in feature

Bill Robinson

Frank R. Winkley

15 Jul 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

8

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

Marvin Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in 2nd heat

1st in B feature

4th in A feature

Will Forrest

Earl E. Mills

22 Jul 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

7

Hot Rod

1st in B feature

Chet Clark

Earle E. Mills

29 Jul 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in 3rd heat

1st in B feature

5th in feature

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Earl E. Mills

31 Jul 48

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

7

Hot Rod

 

3rd in 1st heat

Will Forrest

Carl Johnson

10 Aug 48

HPRA

Sportsman Park, Oakley, KS

81

1933 Auburn roadster / V-8 Ford flathead

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

 

No feature race was run

Arnold "Blank" Blankenburg

14 Aug 48

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

 Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

4th in 2nd semi-final

4th in feature

Bob Thorne

Carl Johnson

19 Aug 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in 3rd heat

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Earl E. Mills

26 Aug 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 2nd heat

Charlie Lutkie

Earl E. Mills

6 Sep 48

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in B feature

Harry Everhart

Verne Hamilton

9 Sep 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 4th heat

Charlie Lutkie

Earle E. Mills

16 Sep 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 3rd heat

3rd in trophy dash

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Earl E. Mills

20 Sep 48

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd of 26 that took time trials

2nd to Frank Lies in 1st heat

DNF in feature - engine failure

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Frank R. Winkley

25 Sep 48

None

Cejay Stadium

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

2nd to Chet Clark in 2nd heat

3rd in 2nd semi-final

6th in feature

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Carl Johnson

30 Sep 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 1st heat

3rd in trophy dash

2nd to Frank Lies in feature

Frank Lies

Earl E. Mills

7 Oct 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 3rd heat

4th in feature

Noel "Shorty" Jones

Earl E. Mills

23 Oct 48

None

Cejay Stadium

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in 1st heat

1st in 2nd semi-final

Frank Lies

Carl Johnson

24 Apr 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

Hot Rod

DNF in B feature - wreck

Bob Thorne

Earl E. Mills

1 May 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

Hot Rod

3rd in 3rd heat

4th in feature

Bob Murra

Earl E. Mills

6 May 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

2

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury engine

John Frost

Wichita, KS

1st in 3rd heat

3rd in B feature

Bob Murra

Earl E. Mills

8 May 49

None

Cejay Stadium

2

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

John Frost

Wichita, KS

9th of 19 that took time trials

DNF 2nd heat

DNF 1st semi-final

1 of 12 who started the feature but did not finish in the top 3

Charlie Lutkie

Carl Johnson

13 May 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

2

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

John Frost

Wichita, KS

3rd in 2nd heat

3rd in B feature

Bob Murra

Earl E. Mills

22 May 49

None

Cejay Stadium

2

Hot Rod / V-8 Mercury flathead engine

John Frost

Wichita, KS

17th of 22 that took time trials

2nd to Will Forrest in 1st heat

5th in 1st semi-final

5th in feature

Bob Thorne

Carl Johnson

27 May 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

Hot Rod

3rd in 3rd heat

3rd in trophy dash

Bob Thorne

Earl E. Mills

29 May 49

None

Cejay Stadium

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

5th in 2nd semi-final

7th in feature

Bob Thorne

Carl Johnson

30 May 49

None

Cejay Stadium

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

2nd to LeRoy "Red" Taylor in 2nd heat

3rd in 1st semi-final

6th in feature

Bob Thorne

Carl Johnson

10 Jun 48

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

2nd to J. D. Hanna in 4th heat

3rd in B feature

Bob Thorne

Earl E. Mills

18-19 Jun 49

NASCAR

Charlotte Speedway, Charlotte, NC

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan 17

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

12th of 33 that took time trials

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Bill France, Sr.

24 Jun 49

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 3rd heat

4th in popularity dash

2nd to Frank Lies in B feature

6th in A feature

Bob Thorne

Earl E. Mills

26 Jun 49

None

Sky Ranch road course, Hutchinson, KS 14

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

 Great Bend, KS

4th of 15 that took time trials

3rd in feature

Norman Horn

4 Jul 49

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

3rd in feature

Bob McKim

Virgil C. Miller

17 Jul 49

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Verne Hamilton

7 Aug 49

NASCAR

Occoneechee Speedway, Hillsboro, NC

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

15th in feature

Bob Flock

Bill France, Sr.

20 Aug 49

IMCA

Hawkeye Downs Speedway, Cedar Rapids, IA

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

35:62 in time trials

16th (or DNF) in feature - broken right front hub after 6 laps

Glenn Dunaway

Andy Hanson 

21 Aug 49

IMCA

Davenport Speedway, Davenport, IA

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

7th in feature

Bill Harrison

 

23 Aug 49

None

Ce-Mar Acres Amusement Park, Cedar Rapids, IA

1

Midget

Dick Elliott

 Cedar Rapids, IA

DNS - crash

Vic Ellis

John Gerber

26 Aug 49

IMCA

Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, SD

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

Did not finish in the top 12 in the 100-mile feature race

Herschel Buchanan

 

5 Sep 49

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

34

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

DNF in feature - broken wheel

Reuben Loepp

Verne Hamilton

25 Jun 50

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

1st in 1st heat

Bill Everhart

Carl Johnson

30 Jun 50

SWHRRA15

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 2nd heat

Buddy Quick

Earl E. Mills

2 Jul 50

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

3rd in 1st heat

LeRoy "Red" Taylor

Carl Johnson

4 Jul 50

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

2nd to Bill Killion in 1st heat

Charlie Lutkie

Carl Johnson

9 Jul 50

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

27

Hot Rod / Miller engine

Vernis Church

Whitewater, KS

2nd to LeRoy "Red" Taylor in 1st heat

Frank Lies

Carl Johnson

29 Aug 50

None

Belleville High Banks, Belleville, KS

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

1st in time trials: 27.70 (new track record)

DNF in 1st heat

1st in consolation race

2nd to Rodney Clark in feature

Rodney Clark

Gaylord S. White

4 Sep 50

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

2nd to Norman Horn of the 22 that took time trials

2nd to Norman Horn in trophy dash

1st in 2nd heat

1st in feature

Jim Roper

2

9 Sep 50

IMCA

Mid-America Fairgrounds, Topeka, KS

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

15th in feature

Bobby Tucker

 

11 Sep 50

IMCA

Mid-America Fairgrounds, Topeka, KS

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

3rd in 1st heat

3rd in Australian pursuit

Fred South

 

17 Sep 50

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

5th of 18 that took time trials

3rd in feature

Fred South

Verne Hamilton

20 Sep 50

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

55

1949 Oldsmobile

Millard James Clothier, Sr.

Great Bend, KS

5th of 20 that took time trials

2nd to Rodney Clark in the 2nd heat

Bob McKim

Verne Hamilton

13 May 51

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

7

Oldsmobile

 

 

13th of 23 that took time trials

DNF in feature

John "Chug" Montgomery

Frank R. Winkley

c1951

None

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

50

Ford Jalopy / Flathead V-8 engine

Harold “Squire” Dean

Newton, KS

Earl E. Mills

4 Jul 51

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

New model stock car 

 

 

4th in feature

Jim Ware

**

1951

None

Jayhawk Amusement Park Speedway, Newton, KS

49

Strictly Stock Ford / Flathead V-8 engine

Harold J. Dean

Newton, KS

Earl E. Mills

1951

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

49

Strictly Stock Ford / Flathead V-8 engine

Harold J. Dean

Newton, KS

Carl Johnson

31 Aug 51

IMCA

Belleville High Banks, Belleville, KS

400

1949 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

15th of 15 that took time trials: 30.44

Bob McKim

Gaylord S. White

16 Sep 51

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

12

1949 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

14th of 17 that took time trials

6th in feature

Eddie Anderson

 

21 Sep 51

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

12

1950 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

Roper started 10th in feature and finished 11th

Eddie Anderson

 

24 Sep 51

IMCA

Arlington Downs Raceway, Arlington, TX

 12

1949 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

12th in feature

Dominic Perlick

 

30 Sep 51

IMCA

Mid-America Fairgrounds, Topeka, KS

12

1950 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

5th in feature

Bob McKim

14 Oct 51

None

Cloud County Fairgrounds, Concordia, KS

12

1949 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

3rd in heat

3rd in feature

Bob McKim

L. A. Ward

11 May 52

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

13

Jalopy

 

1st in novelty race

Will Forrest

Carl Johnson

30 May 52

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

43

1949 Packard

Norman Horn

Great Bend, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Verne Hamilton

6 Jun 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in 2nd semi-final

1st in B feature

3rd in A feature

Clyde Derringer

Earl E. Mills

13 Jun 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

81

Strictly Stock Car

Earl E. Mills

Newton, KS

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Earl E. Mills

4 Jul 52

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

1951 Studebaker

 

 

3

Frank Black

Verne Hamilton

11 Jul 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in C feature

J. D. Cox

Earl E. Mills

18 Jul 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in B feature

Frank Lies

Earl E. Mills

25 Jul 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

3rd in feature

Bob Newman

Earl E. Mills

10 Aug 52

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

13

Jalopy

 

4th in 2nd semi-final

Glenn "Bud" Webster

Carl Johnson

15 Aug 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in B feature

J. R. "Bob" Cox

Earl E. Mills

29 Aug 52

IMCA

Belleville High Banks, Belleville, KS

Ford New model stock car 

 

10th of 14 that took time trials: 29.87

11th in feature

Robert "Doc" Narber

Gaylord S. White

1 Sep 52

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

56

Oldsmobile 88

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

No time in time trials - broken axle

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Verne Hamilton

6 Sep 52

IMCA

Mid-America Fairgrounds, Topeka, KS

 

1950 Chevrolet

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

1st in heat

5th in feature

James Clark

 

14 Sep 52

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

56

Oldsmobile 88

Melton Motor Company

Belleville, KS

1st in 2nd heat

Mickey McCormick

Verne Hamilton

3 Oct 52

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in C feature

Will Forrest

Earl E. Mills

12 Oct 52

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

13

Jalopy

 

 

4th in feature

J. R. "Bob" Cox

Carl Johnson

10 May 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

2nd behind his brother-in-law, Warren Brown, in B feature

3rd in 2nd semi-final

Will Forrest

Carl Johnson

17 May 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

2nd to Frank Lies in 1st heat

4th in 1st semi-final

Glenn "Bud" Webster

Carl Johnson

24 May 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

3rd in 1st heat

7th in feature

Buddy Quick

Carl Johnson

31 May 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

2nd to Frank Lies in the 2nd heat

7th in 1st semi-final

Buddy Quick

Carl Johnson

7 Jun 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

3rd in 1st heat

4th in feature

Glenn "Bud" Webster

Carl Johnson

14 Jun 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

5th in 1st heat

Will Forrest

Carl Johnson

19 Jun 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in 1st heat

1st in trophy dash

Harold Leep

Earl E. Mills

26 Jun 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Earl E. Mills

28 Jun 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

4th in 2nd heat

4th in 1st semi-final

Buddy Quick

Carl Johnson

4 Jul 53 5

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

New model stock car

 

3

Jim Smith

Verne Hamilton

4 Jul 53 6

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

3rd in 1st heat

7th in feature

Buddy Quick

Carl Johnson

5 Jul 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

1st in 2nd heat

1st in trophy dash

3rd in 1st semi-final

9th in feature

Will Forrest

Carl Johnson

10 Jul 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Earl E. Mills

17 Jul 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Earl E. Mills

18 Jul 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

4th in 3rd heat

7th in 1st semi-final

8th in feature

Bill Killion

Carl Johnson

24 Jul 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Earl E. Mills

25 Jul 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

1st in feature

Jim Roper

Carl Johnson

1 Aug 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

1st in heat

1st in B feature

1st in A feature

Jim Roper

Carl Johnson

9 Aug 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

1st in 3rd heat

2nd in feature

Troy Routh

Carl Johnson

16 Aug 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

6th in 2nd heat

Frank Lies

Carl Johnson

23 Aug 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

8th in 1st heat

Ray Watkins

Carl Johnson

4 Sep 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in 1st heat

1st in trophy dash

Harold Leep

Earl E. Mills

7 Sep 53 5

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

1949 Lincoln

4

 

1st in 2nd heat

Troy Routh

Verne Hamilton

7 Sep 53 6

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

2nd to Jerry Everhart in B feature

Ray Watkins

Carl Johnson

14 Sep 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

5th in feature

Frank Lies

Carl Johnson

19 Sep 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

3rd in 1st heat

4th in feature

Jim McAmis

Carl Johnson

20 Sep 53

None

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

New Model stock car 

 

 

14th in feature

Bill King

Verne Hamilton

25 Sep 53

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

Strictly Stock Car

1st in B feature

Bill Mears

Earl E. Mills

28 Sep 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

2nd to Joe Collins in 2nd heat

Frank Lies

Carl Johnson

4 Oct 53

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

Jalopy

 

3rd in 1st heat

Walt McWhorter

Carl Johnson

18 Jun 54

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

59

Strictly Stock Car

Don & Frank A. Sadowski

Newton, KS

1st in 3rd heat

Bill Mears

Earl E. Mills

1 Aug 54

None

Cejay Stadium, Wichita, KS

59

Jalopy

Don & Frank A. Sadowski

Newton, KS

2nd in feature

Troy Routh

Carl Johnson

13 Aug 54

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

59

Strictly Stock Car

Don & Frank A. Sadowski

Newton, KS

1st in 1st semi-final

3rd in feature

J. D. Cox

Earl E. Mills

10 Sep 54

None

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS

59

Strictly Stock Car

Don & Frank A. Sadowski

Newton, KS

3rd in feature

Bill Nelson

Earl E. Mills

19 Sep 54

IMCA

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 14

Plymouth New Model stock car 

Merle Gayford Dye

Hutchinson, KS

5th fastest in time trials

DNF in feature - lost wheel and flipped end-over-end

     several times receiving minor injuries

Herschel Buchanan

Verne Hamilton

30 Jul 60

MRI 13

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

 

Rail

 

 

Roper presented a car for time trials but received no time

     and did not return for the race the next day

Roy Bryant

Jack Merrick

29-30 Jul 61

MRI 13

Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS 9

80

Rail

 

 

79th of 81 that took time trials

DNF in 1st heat

5th in semi-final

Harold Leep

Jack Merrick

 

 

 

Description: Description: Description: C:\50megs\Hutch_Nationals\photos\Lehman\Bill_Lehman_and_Ted_Davis_Labor_Day_1952.jpg

Jim Roper is seen here posing beside the pole-

winning Oldsmobile 88 for this 300-lap

non-sanctioned New Model stock car race at

the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson,

KS.  The car was owned by

Millard J. Clothier.  Roper drove it to victory

in this race on Labor Day, 1952

Lehman collection

Description: Description: Description: C:\50megs\AAUpload\Roper\JimRoper.jpg

Jim Roper with Millard James Clothier, Sr.'s

Oldsmobile #55 in 1950 - Clothier collection

Description: Description: Description: C:\50megs\AAUpload\HutchLates.jpg

#56 Jim Roper is on the pole in an

Oldsmobile 88 owned by Millard J. Clothier.

The non-sectioned race was for New Model

stock car race at the Kansas State

Fairgrounds on Labor Day, 1952 - J. R. Cox collection

 

 

 

IMCA New Model Stock Cars pitted on the

front straightaway at Belleville, KS.

#11 Gordie Shuck, #55 Jim Roper, #4 Herb Craig,

#15 Fred South, and #14 Art Combs - Mills collection

Jim Roper in an Oldsmobile at an unidentified

fairgrounds racetrack - Mills collection

Jim Roper in front of his Millard-Clothier-owned

#55 Oldsmobile with a couple of unidentified fans

Mills collection

 

 

  

Jim Roper drove this Earl-Mills-owned jalopy

on Kansas dirt racetracks - Mills collection

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Jim Roper driving a jalopy owned by

Harold “Squire” Dean at Jayhawk Speedway

In Newton, KS in 1951 - J. R. Cox collection

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Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, KS - 1953

L. to R.: Forrest Coleman; Troy Routh; Elmer Balzer;

Tom Salmon, Jr.; Jim Roper; Bill Mears

(father of Indy winner Rick Mears and grandfather

of NASCAR Cup driver Casey Mears); Earl E. Mills;

Bill Nelson; Jay "Skeeter" McKinnie (co-owner of the

midget that Sammy Swindell drove to victory in the

1996 Chili Bowl); and local radio personality,

Lee Nichols - Mills collection

 

 

 

Jim Roper was driving this Plymouth New Model

Stock car when he lost a right side wheel in the

150-lap feature race and rolled several times at the

IMCA New Model races at the Kansas State Fair

in Hutchinson on September 19, 1954.  Roper

received only minor injuries.  The car was owned

by Gayford Dye of Hutchinson  - Mills collection

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Jim Roper drove this strictly stock car in several

races in Kansas in 1954.  Shown seated in the car

is Frank Sadowski who co-owned the Ford with

his son, Don - Kay Growsky collection

Jim Roper, seated at left, found a comfortable place to wait for the IMCA New Model races at Mid-America Fairgrounds in Topeka, KS to begin  - Mills collection

 

 

 

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Millard James Clothier, Sr.'s car lot in Great Bend, KS in 1955 - Clothier collection

 Program photo, Stock Car Races at the Cowley

County Fairgrounds Winfield, KS - Labor Day, 1957

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L. to r.:  Henry Ward, Duke Westerhaus,

Bob McKim, Jim Roper, and Beryl Ward

Reminiscing at the Midget Nationals at

Belleville, KS in 1989 - Darrin McKim collection 

 

 

  

NASCAR Cup race winner Rusty Wallace poses with

Grand Marshall Jim Roper and the winner’s trophy

after the April 18,1993 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway

Mills collection

Jim Roper was Grand Marshall of the

NASCAR Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway

on April 18, 1993 - Mills collection

Jim Roper in the #K-1 midget he raced

in the 1940s and John Yonke in Bill Keimel’s

#2 midget during an exhibition run at the 1996

Belleville, KS Midget Nationals

Tim Passmore photo

 

 

 

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Jim Roper at the 1996 Belleville, KS

Midget Nationals seated in the #K-1

Midget that he drove on occasion in

the post-WW lI 1940s - Mills collection

Jim Roper, seated on stage, during driver

introductions at the NASCAR Cup race on

April 5, 1998 at the Texas Motor Speedway

Mills collection

Jim Roper, at right, being introduced to the fans

as the honorary starter during pre-race

ceremonies before a NASCAR Cup race at the

Texas Motor Speedway April 5, 1998 - Mills collection

 

 

 

Security guards stand below the flag stand to assist if needed as Jim Roper made his way up the latter to handle the flags at the start of the NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway - Mills collection

"Jim Roper helped me get

upside down my first time.”

                  - - - Jay Woodside

 

 

 

 

 

"Boy!  I've had fun!"

                     - - - Jim Roper

 

 

 

 

 

1 This table covers only a fraction of the total races that Jim Roper competed in.

 

b Probably Verne Hamilton

 

3 Roper was listed as an entrant in this race but it is unclear if he actually competed.

 

4 Probably Millard James Clothier, Sr.

 

5 This was an afternoon race

 

6 This race was run that night.

 

7 Probably either car #81 owned by Earl E. Mills or car #27 owned by brothers Marvin & Vernis Church.

 

8 This midget had no number on it during this race but the car’s number slowly became an orange #39.  It just took much of the summer to get it painted on the car.

 

9 This is the half-mile dirt racetrack.

 

10 This is the ¼-mile dirt racetrack that was located inside the ½-mile dirt oval from 1947 to 1950.

 

11 Kansas Midget Racing Association (KMRA), Norman Calvert, president.

 

12 Midget Racing Association (MRA)

 

13 Merrick Racing Incorporated (MRI)

 

14 Sky Ranch was the name given to a 3-mile road course laid out on the runways of the former Naval Air Station just outside Hutchinson, KS.  50 laps made up the 150-mile race on this afternoon.  Roper led the first 49 laps before his Lincoln ran out of gasoline.  He made it back to the pits, got more gasoline, rejoined the race and finished third behind Norman Horn of Great Bend, Kansas who was driving another 1949 Lincoln, and Marion Smith, a car dealer from Hugo, Colorado, who was driving a 1949 Oldsmobile.

 

15 Southwest Hot Rod Racing Association (SWHRRA)

 

16 His name may have been Robert Benjamin “Ben” McAntosh but that has yet to be firmly established.

 

17 Although this car may have been entered in this race as owned by R. B. McIntosh, Jim Roper was always adamant that the car was actually owned by Millard Clothier.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you:

Bill Mills