Tag: Jan Opperman

Checkered Past

Checkered Past: Skagit Spawn

Skagit River rages from Cascade Mountain snowmelt to spill into Skagit Bay and mother ocean. Just north of the river is the town of Alger, WA — population 403. Saturdays at Skagit Speedway, however, Alger swells with Sprint Car pride and presence. Jim Raper carved an oval among the evergreen trees in 1954. He created

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Checkered Past

Checkered Past: California Migrants

“All he does is catch touchdowns.” That was coach Buddy Ryan’s sarcastic dismissal of Cris Carter before Carter starred for someone else. Well, all that Kyle Larson does is catch checkered flags. Whether his demoralized pursuers are scattered across asphalt or dirt, oval or road course pressing eight cylinders or four does not matter one

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Checkered Past

The Grove: Checkered Past

It is the Yankee Stadium or Soldier Field of Sprint Car Racing. To step into the 82-year-old Williams Grove Speedway is to step back in time. Anyone with any sense of history can feel the ghosts, aura and spirit of its early warriors. And as dirt ovals go, The Grove is as quirky as Fenway

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Checkered Past

Checkered Past: An Introduction

I knew this World of Outlaws thing would stick. Sure, anyone can say that now, 41 years after “The Greatest Show On Dirt” lifted its curtain. But the sprint car climate of 1978 was very ready for a roving salesman from Wichita Falls, Texas named Ted Johnson. Critics later argued that his World of Outlaws

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