Long before John Travolta highlighted the sport of dirt racing in his straight-to-digital film Trading Paint (you can skip that one if you want), Rogers was tearing up short ovals in a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro late model as Brewster Baker. He starred alongside Oscar nominee Diane Lane in Six Pack, playing a down-and-out driver whose luck was turned around thanks to his unlikely pit crew ran by six race-loving kids. Through this, he developed a massive grassroots fanbase that followed him to the real WoO circuit.
Rogers paired up with Sprint Car Hall of Famer C.K. Spurlock and campaigned his own team for several years before the two formed Gambler Chassis Company. Taking its name from Rogers’ famous song The Gambler, this project was anything but a gimmick. The company would go on to win races with stars like Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, and Doug Wolfgang behind the wheel. Simply put, Gambler cars were consistently some of the fastest in the United States, taking victories at primetime events like the Knoxville Nationals.
Gambler-branded machinery even gained fame on an international level as Garry Rush and Steve Brazier drove them to several Australian Sprint Car championships.
Here’s a 1980 Gambler that popped up for sale a few years back: