Opperman/Bogar USAC Car On Display For USAC Eastern Storm Port Finale

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By Shawn Brouse

Port Royal – Fans who join in the action at Port Royal Speedway for the USAC 40-lap, $6,000 to win Eastern Storm finale on June 4 will get a special treat.

Not only will they get to see the best in the wingless sprint car business tour the Port Royal half mile for the first time in the history of the club and the oval, but they’ll be able to see another piece of history as well.

On display will be the restored Bogar No. 99 sprint car, raced as a No. 90 on the USAC circuit, that Jan Opperman throttled with the United States Auto Club for owner Luke “Dick” Bogar Jr. in 1974.

It was in this special machine that Opperman beat the heralded USAC throttle jockeys in March 1974 when the Bogar/Opperman team invaded Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Complete with a bloodied nose that he endured after being hit by a rock during the race, Opperman upended the USAC’ers on what many considered their home turf at Eldora.

And two weeks later, Opperman had the same car on national television via ABC’s Wide World of Sports when he nearly won the Hulman Classic at Terre Haute, Indiana. Though he had gotten the lead, a yellow forced him back to second where he finished.

Opperman also won over USAC two other times while racing for Bogar although in a different car in 1973 when he beat the circuit twice at Williams Grove Speedway.

The appearance of the iconic orange and white Opperman/Bogar racer at Port Royal’s USAC show will coincide with the annual Williams Grove Old Timers/21st annual Penn Central Racing Reunion picnic and car show at the track.

Numerous restored racers will be on display throughout the night’s USAC action with track time afforded to the vintage racers.

Just some of the Penn Central drivers expected to be in attendance include 39-time Port winner and 1968 track champion Leroy Felty, 47-time Port winner and 1969, 1975 champion Johnny Grum and Elmer Gray, winner of the first-ever Penn Central race held at the speedway in November 1950.

Penn Central sanctioned and conducted racing at Port Royal Speedway from 1950 through 1963.

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