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Roper Rolls to 4th USRA Truck win at SAS

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Roper Racks up Fourth USRA Truck Win at San Antonio Speedway


by Nick Holt and JM Hallas


San Antonio, TX (August 20, 2006) - Everything went Craig Roper’s way Saturday night during the running of the United States Racing Association (USRA) “TexasSpeedZone.Com Triple Threat Challenge” Saturday night. The USRS Truck Series driver set fast time and went on to win the 50-lap truck feature at the half-mile, high-banked, paved oval over arch rival Steve Green.


Roper clicked of a 20.675-second lap while Green, who held a slim 24-point lead over Roper going into the race, timed in second with a 21.057 second timing.


"The cloud cover definitely helped." Roper said after qualifying. "It cooled the track down a little bit. It had been real slick all day coming off the corners, but my truck just seems to stick good whether it's hot or sunny. It just sticks.”


After the USRA draw for the top six qualifiers, Green and Jason Marshall paced the field to at the start. Green got out front early with Marshall falling into second and Roper third.


It didn't take Roper long, however, before he was along side Marshall and took over second with Rusty Mirth following Roper through the opening for third.


By the fifth lap, Roper was reeling in Green, while Mirth began to show some smoke from under his truck. The smoke soon turned to flames as oil hit the hot headers and Mirth wisely drove to the waiting fire crew in the pits.


As Mirth was slowed, Brent Bell got around Marshall for third.


It was only a matter of a few laps before Roper was on Green's bumper and on the tenth lap Roper ducked under Green and the two raced side-by-side at the line and into turn 1. Roper came out of turn 2 with the lead.


The fight for fifth came to an abrupt halt on the next lap when Jody Buzbee and John Kelly got together sending both around on the front straightaway.


As the race went back to green, Green tried to dive inside Roper for the top spot, but Roper slammed the door and drove off into the night increasing his lead with every lap.


At the finish, Roper, driving the CCC Group, McGinnis Welding, Brian’s Tire, Bradford’s Transmissions, ARTS Chassis powered by a GM Crate motor, had a five second lead over Green, who had a similar advantage over Brent Bell and Jason Marshall, the only trucks left on the lead lap.

“This one worked out like I hoped it would,” Roper said. “But I didn't expect to be out front that soon. We just had an awesome truck thanks to my crew. I heard all kinds of things once I got the big lead. You hear things inside, but you just try to work through it."


"Steve (Green) ran us clean and we got under him, got by and went on without any problems,”continued Roper. It's good to win but kind of frustrating not to pick up a lot of points. We gained a little, but there's not enough races left if Steve keeps finishing good, even if we win the next two."


Results of the USRA Trucks Series “TexasSpeedZone.Com Triple Threat” at San Antonio Speedway, 8/19/06


Finish, Car Number, Name, Hometown, Qualifying Time, Laps Completed


1. (40) Craig Roper, Vernon, TX, 20.675, 50

2. (54) Steve Green, Marble Falls, TX, 21.057, 50 Laps

3. (72) Brent Bell, Katy, TX, 21.479, 50

4. (42) Jason Marshall, Leander, TX, 21.375, 50

5. (31) Jim Albert, Lockhart, TX, 21.270, 49

6. (38) Cameron Moore, Jr., Buda, TX, 21.810, 49

7. (1) Jody Buzbee, Waco, TX, 21.576, 48

8. (43) Chris Snocker, San Antonio, TX, 23.000, 46

9. (57) John Kelly, Jr., La Vernia, TX, 21.919, 31

10. (07) Rusty Mirth, Austin, TX, 21.504, 8


Lap Leaders: Green Led 1-10; Roper led 11-50

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