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NASCAR Trucks: Tony Roper dies after crash at Texas Motor Speedway

14 October 2000

By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel

FORT WORTH, TX: Tony Roper, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver, died Saturday at 11:55 a.m. from injuries received in an accident during the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400 Friday night. Roper was 35 years old.

Roper suffered a neck injury that caused the blood flow to his brain to stop according to Parkland Hospital officials in Dallas, TX. Roper had no brain functions since the accident Friday night.

Tony Roper crashed on lap 36 of the O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Roper was passing Steve Grissom on the front straight. Roper was tapped, turning him hard right and head on into the wall.

Roper was a second generation driver. His father, Dean, was a successful driver in the Midwest. Roper's father was at his side in the hospital when he died.

Roper's death was only the second in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series. John Nemecheck died in 1997 as a result of a practice crash at Homestead, FL. Roper is the first driver to be killed in competition at the Texas Motor Speedway.

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