Robert Loper protects his recipe for success like your “Mawmaw” guards the secret to her mac-’n’-cheese.
Outside of 12-year-old son Ely, few lay a finger on dad’s No. 15 Pure Stocks rocket ship. Working on cars is Robert Loper’s passion—even on those nights when he is still making adjustments close to midnight. His labor of love has paid off in an historic run dating back to 2021. Loper has scored six victories in each of the last two seasons at Five Flags, dominating Friday night fields with relatively ease.
He entered this year’s season finale in September with an insurmountable 65-point lead as the 36-year-old Loper captured his second consecutive Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks track championship at Pensacola’s high banks. He is also the reigning Pure Stocks Snowball Derby champion and will be looking for his fourth career Derby title ((2015, 2017, 2021) when the local divisions open the 55th annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters on Dec. 1. The Pure Stocks race for 35 laps, which is 15 more than they typically compete in throughout the season.
“It’s amazing. I’m always trying to find more,” Loper said. “I make major adjustments every week, always digging for more.”
One of his few losses this season came when Ely topped him at Sunny South Raceway in nearby Grand Bay, Ala. The Lopers make sure all the wins are enjoyed and celebrated to their fullest, as Ely continues to win and improve in his battle against chronic pancreatitis. It has been six months since his last hospital trip, which came with regularity the last four years.
“Every time we turned around, we were at (USA Children's & Women's Hospital) in Mobile and at Ochsner’s in New Orleans,” Loper said. “But he’s doing good now.”
That is, unquestionably, Robert Loper’s biggest victory over the last two seasons.
-Story by: Chuck Corder, Five Flags Speedway