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2017 NASCAR Truck champion Christopher Bell is among the 56 entries for the Saturday, Dec. 16 “Knepper 55” at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.
(Rich Forman Photo)

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois………Dillon Welch, Parker Price-Miller and Chris R. Andrews have filed their entries Sunday on the final night of the free entry period for the third running of the “Junior Knepper 55.”

The list for the Saturday, December 16 race at the Southern Illinois Center now boasts a field of 56 USAC Midgets for the non-points special event at the purpose-built, indoor racing facility at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, including the Clauson Marshall team with six entries, four of which are past Southern Illinois Center winners: multiple-time NASCAR Cup winner Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., reigning “Knepper 55” winner Tyler Courtney, USAC National Midget season-opener winner Justin Grant and Spring 2016 winner Shane Golobic.

Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports brings three of their own, including Christopher Bell and Matt Crafton, owners of three of the last five NASCAR Truck Series titles, plus USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year Tanner Carrick.

A star-studded cast is also represented by two-time Indiana Midget Week champion Shane Cottle, NASCAR Truck Series Rookie of the Year Chase Briscoe, “Turkey Night Grand Prix” winner Billy Wease, “Belleville Midget Nationals” winner Chad Boat and many, many others.

Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd annual “Junior Knepper 55” at http://www.usactickets.com/. The race will serve as the final event of the 2017 USAC racing season. Adult general admission tickets are available for just $18 in advance compared to the $20 price at the gate on race day.

Furthermore, on http://www.usactickets.com/, you may order your “Junior Knepper 55” event t-shirt now for just $25. Sizes small through 4XL are available, but make sure to get yours soon while supplies last.

The event carries no points toward the USAC National Midget season championship, but has quickly become one of the most coveted races to win on the series calendar, annually boasting a large car count and a star-studded field to boot.

The 55-lap event honors the memory of one of USAC’s most accomplished car owners – Walter “Junior” Knepper of Belleville, Illinois – whose famed yellow number 55 midgets and sprint cars raced to 58 career USAC feature victories, including 34 in Sprints and 24 in Midgets, with drivers Bob Wente, Tom Bigelow, Mel Kenyon, George Snider, Dana Carter, Rich Vogler and his son Steve Knepper.

Nick Knepper, grandson of Junior and son of 13-time USAC National Midget winner Steve Knepper, will promote the event along with Derek LeMaster.

Cars are scheduled to hit the track at 4pm (Central). Pits open at 10am and spectator gates open at 3pm. A format utilizing passing points will be used to seed the feature lineups.

The event will be streamed LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/. You can also catch on-demand coverage of the event a day after the race on http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

0 KEVIN WOODY, JR./Victor, NY (Buckwalter Motorsports)
0B MIKE McSPARIN/Stonefort, IL (Mike McSparin)
1cc CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN/Spencer, IA (Jody Rosenboom Racing)
1ST SHANE COTTLE/Kokomo, IN (Daryl Saucier/Shane Hmiel)
1T TONY RONEY/Herculaneum, MO (Tony Roney)
3 ALEX WATSON/Columbus, OH (3W Racing)
3B AUSTIN BLAIR/St. Louis, MO (Jim Neuman)
3N JAKE NEUMAN/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)
3s BRIAN SHIRLEY/Chatham, IL (Jim Neuman)
5 CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)
5c COLTEN COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Rick Cottle)
5x DANNY FRYE/St. Charles, MO (Danny Frye Motorsports)
6D DON DAWSON II/Indianola, IA (Don Dawson II)
7 GIO SCELZI/Fresno, CA (Clauson Marshall Racing)
7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)
7JR J.D. BLACK/Grain Valley, MO (J.D. Black)
7K JUSTIN PECK/Monrovia, IN (Kenny & Reva Irwin)
9JR DEREK HAGAR/Marion, AR (Hagar/Proctor Racing)
9K KYLE SCHUETT/Philo, IL (Schuett Racing)
9p PARKER PRICE-MILLER/Kokomo, IN (Scott Ronk)
11 BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Fairland, IN (Brent Beauchamp)
12w BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Amanda Wease)
14R JODY ROSENBOOM/Rock Rapids, IA (Jody Rosenboom Racing)
15m SHANE MORGAN/Morton, IL (Morgan Motorsports)
15s JIM PICARDI/Mapleton, IL (Morgan Motorsports)
17B TANNER BERRYHILL/Bixby, OK (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
17BC RICKY STENHOUSE, JR./Olive Branch, MS (Clauson Marshall Racing)
17w SHANE GOLOBIC/Fremont, CA (Clauson Marshall Racing/Matt Wood)
18 TONY BRUCE, JR./Liberal, KS (Tony Bruce, Jr.)
21 CHRISTOPHER BELL/Norman, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
23LL LEE LENGEL/Wellsville, KS (Lee Lengel)
25p DYLAN PETERSON/Sioux Falls, SD (Vance Peterson)
25s ALEX SCHRIEVER/Sioux Falls, SD (Vance Peterson)
29 JOEY MOUGHAN/Springfield, IL (Tom Casson)
32 TREY MARCHAM/Newcastle, OK (Trey Marcham)
32x NICK HAMILTON/Danville, IN (Nick Hamilton)
D33 JACOB PATTON/Bethalto, IL (Jeff & Jill Davis)
35 TYLER ROBBINS/Bethalto, IL (Tyler Robbins)
39 ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)
39BC JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Clauson Marshall Racing)
41 HOWARD MOORE/Memphis, TN (Chris Chappue)
50 DANIEL ADLER/St. Louis, MO (Adler Motorsports)
55D NICK DRAKE/Sherrills Ford, NC (Troy Cline)
56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY (Fifty6x Race Team)
57D DANIEL ROBINSON/Ewing, IL (McCreery Motorsports)
66 TBA (Amati Racing)
67 MATT CRAFTON/Tulare, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
77u CHRIS URISH/Elkhart, IL (Tom Casson)
84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
88 TERRY BABB/Harristown, IL (Terry Babb)
91 TYLER NELSON/Kansas City, KS (Harris Racing)
91A CHRIS R. ANDREWS/Sandusky, OH (Tyler Thomas Motorsports)
93K RILEY KREISEL/Warsaw, MO (DKR Motorsports)
95 CHRIS L. ANDREWS/Tulsa, OK (Miller Racing)
99p DILLON WELCH/Carmel, IN (Scott Ronk)

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