Happy Birthday Big Daddy!
When it comes to personalities in the Scotia Speedworld Four Cylinder ranks, you have to have “Big Daddy” Kenny Hopper in the conversation.
A winner in the Lightning class, Hopper will return to his roots in 2014, driving the #107 car for this coming Summer. Hopper spent two seasons in the Speedworld’s Thunder class after coming back to race in 2009 in the Lightning class after a period of off-time. The #107 car, with Hopper at the helm, finished in the top three in points in the first three years of the class (2003 to 2005), with a career high second place in the standings coming in 2005.
I have a few memorable “Big Daddy” stories from the pit area at Scotia Speedworld, but here’s one for you I can share from last season in New Brunswick.
His last run in a Thunder car last October at the Shediac CENTRE For Speed was a memorable one – maybe for the wrong reason. Hopper got off track in practice and rolled his #59 Blair’s Custom Metals Civic in the Turn Two sandtrap in the early laps of his run. While most would be fuming mad, Kenny was philosophical when I caught up to him after the tumble. After making sure he was okay, he looked at me and said as we walked back from Turn Two, “Tim, I always wondered what it would feel like to roll a race car. I thought it would be fun. I can tell you, it’s not fun.”
Again, I don’t remember Kenny being mad like most would be over a wreck like that. Disappointed? Yeah, sure. He missed competing in the 100-lap feature that day, but I never saw him get angry, which says a lot for his character as a race car driver. He got a ROLLOVER TROPHY during driver introductions though!
He always asks me as well, when am I going to make Tim’s Corner?
“I don’t care if it’s on your website or on the Scotia Speedworld one, you gotta talk about me!”
Well Kenny, here ya go!
Happy Birthday bud!
Story by Tim Terry, Photo by McCarthy Photographic