By Anvil Welch

Globe Sports Writer

A favorite for area stock car racing fans - the Tony Roper Memorial Races - will be held Sunday night at the Monett Speedway.

Speedway owner/promoter Randy Mooneyham said the event attracted some 150 race cars in 2005. Track officials expect 20-25 late models and 50 modified cars this year.

Defending champions in those classes are Burl Woods (late model) and Stephen Muilenburg (modified).

The winner of this year's 25-lap open late model main event will receive $1,500. First place will be worth $1,000 in the 20-lap modified main.

Early points leaders in those classes are Will Vaught (late model) and Jesse Stovall (modified).

Darrell Mooneyham and Brad Looney complete the top three in the late model standings. Last week Looney finished first in the main event at Bolivar Speedway USA, first at Lebanon I-44 Speedway and second at Monett, behind Johnny Bone Jr.

Competition also will be held in factory stock, DLRA Legends Cars, bomber and cruiser classes.

Those leaders include Jordan Holloway (factory stock), Daniel Jessen (bomber) and Brad Longley-Kevin Fly (cruiser).

The sixth annual event is sponsored by Joplin's Auto Xpress Service Center and KSNF-TV.

"This is one of our top three or four shows," Mooneyham said. "It's been popular for both drivers and spectators since its beginning."

Gates open at 5 p.m. with races at 7:30 on the 3/8-mile clay track. Admission prices are $13 and $5 with no charge for 12-and-under. A pit pass is $30.

The track number is (417) 236-0600.

Notes: The Midwest Outlaw Lightning Sprints will make their first appearance of the season tonight at the Nevada Speedway. Gates open at 6 p.m. with racing at 8 at the 1/4-mile dirt track. ... DLRA Legends will be on tonight's 7:30 points program at I-44 Speedway after rain prevented earlier appearances. The winner of the open late model A feature will pocket $1,000. Upcoming specials at the track: Winged Outlaw Warrior Sprint Cars next Saturday and a return by the United States Modified Touring Series on June 17.

This Week's Circulars