Belleville, IL – This weekend the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League and POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro League take to the high-banked 1/5the mile of Belle-Clair Speedway on Friday, April 20th for the 27th Annual Knepper Memorial. Friday’s show will be the first of five events throughout 2018 for the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets and one of six for the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro League. Saturday, April 21st the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will cross over the Mississippi River and head to the Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 to run alongside the World of Outlaws.
Knepper, a Belleville native, was one of the most notable drivers to come out of the St. Louis area. He won five St. Louis Auto Racing Association Midget championships from 1954 to 1960. Knepper also drove in the Indianapolis 500 five times, from 1965 to 1969. One of Knepper’s most notable victories was at the famed Little 500 Sprint Car race at Anderson, Indiana in 1962. Knepper passed in Belleville, Illinois in 1992.
Since the inaugural Arnie Knepper Memorial in 1992, the event has established itself as a prestigious venue in midget racing. Some of the midget racing’s most recognized names have taken home an Arnie Knepper Memorial win, including Spencer Bayston (2017, 2015), Tanner Thorson (2016), the late Bryan Clauson (2014, 2013), Rico Abreu (2012), Brad Kuhn (2011) and Brad Loyet (2010). Steve Knepper, Arnie Knepper’s cousin, has won the event six times (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003).
Following the Knepper Memorial, Saturday the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will make the short jaunt into Missouri to run at the Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 alongside the World of Outlaws. In 2017, inclement weather claimed two of the three POWRi showings at the Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. The event that was completed, the Prelude to the Ironman, saw Kyle Schuett notch off a career-first with the league.
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