Shaffer comes home to Selinsgrove Opperman Memorial

Adrian Shaffer comes home to Selinsgrove Sunday. 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 Sprints is Sunday. 5/1/03, Selinsgrove, PA -- Sunday night's 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway will mark a ...

Adrian Shaffer comes home to Selinsgrove Sunday.
2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 Sprints is Sunday.

5/1/03, Selinsgrove, PA -- Sunday night's 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway will mark a homecoming of sorts for one competitor. His name is Adrian Shaffer.

Up until three weeks ago, Shaffer called Selinsgrove home on Saturday nights, competing there weekly in a 358-powered sprint car to much success. The Mt. Wolfe driver made the switch from Lincoln Speedway to Selinsgrove mid-way through last season and promptly recorded several wins.

His style, known to all as a exciting gasman that prefers high, wide and handsome, fits the sweeping Selinsgrove half-mile to perfection. Perhaps that's why he likes to race it the best. Perhaps that's why the Selinsgrove fans grew so loyal to him so quickly.

"It is my favorite place to race," said Shaffer of Selinsgrove from the Port Royal Speedway pit area on Saturday night. His remarks came just prior to climbing into the cockpit for sprint car practice laps. He is now a hired gun in the 410 sprint ranks.

The call came just about a month ago, from car owner Pete Postupack. Shaffer has now swapped his personally owned 358 ride for Postupack's No. 25 but in order to do so he had to leave Selinsgrove and its weekly 358 competition behind for area speedways that host 410 action.

"I am looking forward to coming back to Selinsgrove but this 410 racing is a whole different ball game," said Shaffer. "My owners said, 'we'll go there and race cause it's your track,' and I told them I love the place but this deal is totally different."

At any rate, a lot of fans will be waiting and watching to see his No. 25 take to the track Sunday night. They might be sorry they don't get to see him on a more regular basis but they will cherish the chances they do get to watch him race at the Snyder County oval all the more.

After all, they graduated one of the up and coming drivers in the Central Pa Super Sprint car ranks.

Gates for the Middleswarth Potato Chips Sunday Opperman Memorial open at 4 PM with time trials slated for 6.

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Many promotions are planned for the May 4 Jan Opperman Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway.

The 30-lap memorial will be the second leg of the five-date 2003 Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series. Mark Smith claimed night one on March 28 and has given himself a leg up on claiming the 2003 $10,000 Chip Challenge. Any driver who can claim three of the five races will garner the hefty bonus.

The speedway will remember one of the sports all-time greats when it presents an extensive pictorial and statistical biographical display during the Opperman Memorial.

Former promoter Jack Gunn brought Opperman to Selinsgrove in April 1970. Gunn partnered with Etters's businessman Harold Hank to put Opperman behind the wheel and driving the Hank's Auto Parts No. 4, Opperman drove to six wins in the area in '70, two of which came at Selinsgrove.

Opperman's No. 4 has been restored by Larry Stoner of Carlisle and Stoner will trek north with the car for the memorial. Also on display will be the Al Hamilton No. 77 as currently driven by defending Chip Series Champion Lance Dewease. Opperman piloted the Hamilton Special intermittently between 1974 and 1976 while recording three victories.

2003 Opperman Memorial T-shirts featuring the Hanks No. 4 will be on sale at the speedway novelty stand.

Lance Dewease will sign autographs from 4:30 until 5:00 p.m. along with last year's Opperman champion Todd Hestor and the track's all time leading feature winner, Ray Tilley. Television and radio commentator and former World of Outlaw star Brad Doty will also appear - signing autographs, offering 2003 Doty T-shirts and his life's story, "Still Wide Open."

On the agenda will be an offering of "Living Where The Thunder Hides, Jan Opperman's Life Story and Ministry." Limited quantities will be available at the speedway and can be purchased from representatives of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing who will also be offering 8 x 10 photos of Opperman. All proceeds from EMMR sales will go entirely to the EMMR.

Middleswarth Potato Chips will distribute 1,500 bags of chips to general admission fans as they file into the speedway for the memorial. In addition, 24 -- 18oz. tubs of chips marked with corresponding feature starting grid positions will be given away to general admission fans. The lucky fan who receives the tub marked with the eventual winner's starting position will take home a Middleswarth prize pack valued at more than $25 and $200 in cash from Middleswarth and he or she will take part in victory lane ceremonies.

The 2nd Annual Opperman Memorial includes the Super Sportsman and carries a raindate of June 1. It will be part of a huge weekend at Selinsgrove as the speedway hosts its 3rd Annual Pack The Track Night on May 3, featuring free general admission to fans. Gates for the Opperman tribute will open at 4 p.m. with hot laps slated for 5:30 followed by time trials at 6 PM.

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