Opperman/Bogar Memorial Next For PA Speedweek

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Opperman/Bogar Memorial Next
The Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial is on deck for PA Speedweek. (Dan Demarco photo)

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Selinsgrove Speedway will stage the third race of the 30th annual Pennsylvania Speedweek presented by Red Robin on Sunday night.

Racing will go green at 7:30 p.m. when the Modern Heritage 410 sprint cars compete in the 30-lap Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial presented by Middleswarth Potato Chips, paying $5,099 to win.

The race is also a Slivinski Law Offices Super 7 Series Event at Selinsgrove Speedway, and the Apache Tree Service 305 sprints are also on the racing program that will begin the Independence Day holiday week.

The only track that Opperman ever won an oval title at will pay homage to the sprint car racing legend, and his No. 99 car owner Luke “Dick” Bogar Jr. when gates open at 5 pm.

In honor of famed No. 99 Opperman car owner Dick Bogar, the Bogar family is paying an extra $99 to win and $90 to the Opperman/Bogar Memorial hard charger.

So far this season, Modern Heritage 410 sprint car winners at the track have been Kyle Reinhardt (May 31) and Freddie Rahmer (June 12).

The Jan Opperman Memorial began at the track in 2002, when Middleburg’s Todd Hestor scored the popular win aboard the Middleswarth Potato Chips No. 7m. Opperman passed away in 1997.

The late 2014 loss of Opperman’s car owner, Dick Bogar, found his name joining Opperman’s on the memorial race beginning in 2015.

The list of winner’s of the race is a virtual who’s who of area and national sprint car talent.

Among the victors in the Opperman/Bogar Memorial are the late Greg Hodnett (2003, ’11); Fred Rahmer, (’04, ’05, ’08); Doug Esh (’06); Sean Michael (’07); Chad Kemenah (’09); Daryn Pittman (’10); Lance Dewease (’12); Brent Marks (’14); Stevie Smith (’15); Danny Dietrich (’16); Rico Abreu (’17); Lucas Wolfe (’18); and defending winner Dylan Cisney.

The race fell victim to rain in 2013 and has been run as a leg of the wildly-popular Pennsylvania Speedweek series since 2005.

California hippie Opperman moved East in the early 1970s and was hired by Selinsgrove businessman Luke “Dick” Bogar Jr. to drive his now-famous orange and white No. 99 in the region and across the nation, beginning with the 1972 season.

The team piled up wins across the nation during two and a half seasons together, including a mind-numbing 44 checkers in 90 races entered in 1972 to go along with 26 more in 1973.

Opperman and Bogar scored the 1973 Selinsgrove Speedway track title as the only title either men ever etched their names on, and that only occurred after the pair opted to strictly focus on Selinsgrove part way through the season.

At that time, they were amazingly leading Saturday night points at both Selinsgrove and Port Royal Speedways, simultaneously.

Bogar’s ties to the track reach back to the 1940s, when his father’s lumber company earned the contract to erect the oval’s historic covered grandstand.

As such, Bogar Jr. helped supply the lumber still in use today as well as to dig the post holes and pour the cement that is the foundation of the structure.

Adult general admission for the Bogar/Opperman Memorial is $20, with students ages 12-17 admitted for $10. Ages 11 and under are admitted for free at Selinsgrove Speedway.

SPEED SPORT’s PA Speedweek coverage is presented by Diversified Machine Inc., one of the leading machine shops in the Central Pennsylvania region. Through the DMI and Bulldog component lines, Diversified Machine Inc. has grown from modest beginnings to become one of the premier rear end manufacturers in the motorsports industry.

DMI’s vision is to create a relationship with their customers, where they know that not only are they a valued customer, but also a part of the DMI family. They want the customer to know that their successes are DMI’s successes, and they will do everything possible to prove to the customer they made the right choice by entrusting DMI with their safety, providing them a fair value and offering the highest-performing components available in motorsports today and in the future.

For more information on Diversified Machine Inc., visit www.diversifiedracing.com.