ALTUS -- Texas native Cory Roper was one of the stars on hand for last week's USLMA Late-Model Series race at the Altus Speedway. Roper, who lives in Vernon, Texas, has been racing at the Altus Speedway since the early 1990s.
"I was 14 years old when I won my first race at Altus, in a Pony Stock. I also won my first Street Stock, Sportsman and Late Model races at Altus," Roper said. "I may live in Texas, but I consider Altus my home track."
The April USLMA race at Altus Speedway was Ropers first win in a Super Late-Model, he has since won another Super Late-Model race at Corpus Christi, Texas. Roper took on drivers from seven other states as well as local favorites Dusty Tutten, Bryan Waldroop, Darryl Duke and Robbie Ybarra.
"The Oklahoma guys are a tough group of drivers," Roper said. "I grew up racing with a bunch of them, but some of these guys from Colorado, New Mexico and Missouri are really tough. That's what makes this USLMA series such a good deal, you get to test your ability against some of the best."
The USLMA was formed in 2002 by a group of racers with cars that had become to expensive for weekly track promoters to afford.
These racers decided to take the show on the road and from there the USLMA was created. The series will race at tracks in Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico in 2005.
The cars are custom built racing machines with engines producing over 500 HP. They will reach speeds over 100 mph on the 1/3 mile paved oval at Altus Speedway.
"The teams love coming to Altus, the track has two good grooves for lots of side by side racing and the people in Altus treat us like royalty. Altus is a great racing town that really supports their local track" said USLMA president Sledge Larson.
"This is the closest thing to a NASCAR race that you will see in Oklahoma," stated Altus Speedway owner Joe Madore. "These Late Model cars are high-dollar and man do they put on a heck of a race. These guys are definitely not afraid to tear-up some stuff to win a race."
Pits open at 6 p.m., grandstands at 7 p.m., meet the drivers from 7:30 to 8, racing starts after the autograph session.
The Altus Speedway is located 3 miles north of Altus on Highway 283.