Doty to appear at Opperman Memorial May 4 Quality Inn and Lash Service Center sponsor appearance. 3/29/03, Selinsgrove, PA - Brad Doty has always had a special place in his heart for Jan Opperman. In fact, it was a part of Opp that Doty ...
Doty to appear at Opperman Memorial May 4
Quality Inn and Lash Service Center sponsor appearance.
3/29/03, Selinsgrove, PA - Brad Doty has always had a special place in his heart for Jan Opperman. In fact, it was a part of Opp that Doty modeled himself after when he struck sprint car stardom in the early 1980's. And it's that love and admiration for the late great sprint car star that will bring Doty to the 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway on May 4, part of the Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series.
Making his first appearance at the track since he last competed there some 20 years ago, 45 year-old Doty will meet the fans and sign autographs prior to the memorial. Doty will offer his autobiography, "Still Wide Open," as well as brand new 2003 Doty T-Shirts featuring his legendary Coors Light No. 18 sprint car.
Doty, who has spent the last ten years of his life broadcasting and commentating sprint car racing for SCN, TNN and the SPEED Channel, relishes this chance to get back to Selinsgrove. The name Opperman rekindles great memories of a man he wanted to be like and he wouldn't miss this chance to be a part of the coveted event.
"I'm very excited to be part of the Opperman race," says Doty.
"I was a huge fan of Jans from the time the Haudenschild brothers and I went to Pennsylvania when I was 13 or 14 years old," recalls Doty. "Jan used to come to Wayne County Speedway, which is only 10 minutes from my house but for me to come in there and see Opperman and (Kenny) Weld battle was a special time I'll never forget."
"I remember finally getting the courage to ask Jan for his autograph and when I saw the way he put a smiley face on his O, I thought if I ever got to that point in racing that's how I would sign my name so I started practicing."
The practice paid off for Doty who went on to become one of the top sprint car drivers on the World of Outlaw circuit and across the nation -- until a career ending crash in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in July of 1988.
"After I got hurt, Jan's mom and dad wrote me a letter and wished me well and so I wrote back and told them how big of a fan I was and told them about the smiley face," says Doty. "I told them that I hoped Jan wasn't upset that I "borrowed" the smiley face and they wrote back and said that he was proud that I was carrying on the tradition and that gave me goose-bumps."
Doty currently resides in Applecreek, Ohio, with his wife and three children. The best finishes of his career at Selinsgrove occurred in 1982 when he finished runner-up on two occasions, to both Smokey Snellbaker and Steve Kinser.
Doty's appearance at the Opperman Memorial is sponsored by Lash Service Center of Beaver Springs and by the Comfort (570 -- 374 -- 8880) and Quality (570 -- 743 -- 1111) Inns located on Rts. 11 & 15 in Selinsgrove and Shamokin Dam. Contact either establishment for lodging during the May 3 & 4 weekend at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Gates for the Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series Jan Opperman Memorial open at 4 PM. with warm-ups tentatively slated for 5:30. The track will host its annual "Pack The Track," free general admission night on May 3.