POWRi Midgets, 600cc Micros race Wednesday in Arnie Knepper Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (Aug. 5, 2011)—POWRi’s Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series will race in the 20th annual Arnie Knepper Memorial on Wednesday (Aug. 10) at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Knepper was one of the best drivers ever from the St. Louis area. The Belleville native won five Midget championships in St. Louis Auto Racing Association from 1954 to 1960. He drove in five straight Indianapolis 500s from 1965 to 1969. Knepper also won the famed Little 500 Sprint Car race at Anderson, Ind., in 1962, six Midget and two Sprint Car races in USAC national events. He died in Belleville in 1992.
“Belle-Clair was the first race track Arnie ever drove on, in a stock car when he was 16,” widow Wanda Knepper, a Belleville resident, said. “This is where he was born, grew up and lived. He never moved away from home. His career probably would have been a lot better if we had moved to Indianapolis, but he wouldn’t do it. This was home.
“I think it’s amazing that this is the 20th year of the race. A lot of these memorial things go for three or four years and then people forget about them. It’s a great testimonial of what he gave to the race fans and to the kind of person that he was that everybody remembers him. I think it’s fantastic.”
The Knepper family tradition of racing success continues. Nick Knepper, Arnie’s cousin, leads the POWRi Midget championship over runner-up Brad Loyet, 2,230-2,140, going into the 16th of 22 events this season. The 24-year-old from Belleville, who has a victory at Belle-Clair this season, will be trying to rebound from finishing 23rd at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., and 20th at U.S. 36 Raceway in Cameron, Mo., in the previous two features. They’re the only finishes outside the top-10 for Knepper this season.
Loyet won last year’s Knepper Memorial en route to his second POWRi Midget championship. The 22-year-old from Sunset Hills, Mo., has three victories and four runner-up finishes in the 15 events he’s entered.
Brad Kuhn leads the series with four victories and is third in points with 1,900 points. The two-time POWRi Midget champion from Avon, Ind., has been ninth or better in the 10 events he’s entered.
Austin Brown had three solid races last weekend, third and sixth at Junction Motor Speedway and seventh at U.S. 36 Raceway. The 21-year-old from Millstadt, Ill., moved up to fourth in the points with 1,520.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 15 of 22 events): 1. Nick Knepper 2,230, 2. Brad Loyet 2,140, 3. Brad Kuhn 1,900, 4. Austin Brown 1,520, 5. Brett Anderson 1,480, 6.Chett Gehrke 1,465, 7. Andrew Felker 1,420, 8. Tim Siner 1,350, 9. Tyler Robbins 885, 10. Dereck King 880.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series 2011 race winners: Du Quoin, Ill.--Tony Roney; Grain Valley, Mo.--Brett Anderson; Wheatland, Mo.--Brad Loyet; Belleville, Ill.--Brad Loyet; Brownstown, Ill.--Michael Pickens; Peoria, Ill.--Michael Pickens; West Plains, Mo.--Tyler Thomas; Springfield, Mo.--Brad Loyet; Belleville, Ill.—Nick Knepper; Belleville, Ill.—Brad Kuhn; Wilmot, Wis.—Brad Kuhn; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Jerry Coons Jr.; McCool Junction, Neb.—Brad Kuhn; McCool Junction, Neb.—Brad Kuhn; Cameron, Mo.—Kyle Larson.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series top-10 points standings after 13 of 22 events: 1. Trent Beckinger 2,120, 2. Andrew Felker 1,770, 3. Dereck King 1,650, 4. Joe B. Miller 1,520, 5. Jacob Patton 1,465, 6. J.B. Gilbert 1,165, 7. Ryan Guyett 1,115, 8. Jordan Campbell 1,005, 9. Kara King 885, 10. Paul Nienhiser 845.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series 2011 race winners: Du Quoin, Ill.--Ryan Langston; Belleville, Ill.--Aaron Andruskevitch; Wayne County, Ill.--Dereck King; Brownstown, Ill.--Trent Beckinger; Peoria, Ill.-Andrew Felker; West Plains, Mo.--Triston Tidmore; Springfield, Mo.--Trent Beckinger; Lincoln, Ill.—Mike Hudson; Marion, Ill.—Jacob Patton; Marion, Ill.—Christopher Bell; Belleville, Ill.—Kara King; Belleville, Ill.—Andrew Felker; Macon, Ill.—Andrew Felker.
Note: The POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series races Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Washington (Mo.) Town and Country Fair Motor Sports Arena.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.