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USAC GOES INDOORS FOR FIRST TIME IN 8 YEARS AT DuQUOIN SATURDAY IN “JUNIOR KNEPPER 55” MIDGET SPECIAL EVENT

From USACUSAC United States Auto Club Top Story Logo

The USAC Midgets go indoors for the first time since 2007 this Saturday night, December 19, as the Southern Illinois Center on the grounds of the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fair plays host to the inaugural “Junior Knepper 55.”

The 55-lap, non-points USAC “special event” honors the famed car owner Walter “Junior” Knepper, who fielded the familiar yellow number 55 in USAC National Sprint and National Midget competition for several years, scoring a combined 58 series victories with drivers Bob Wente, Tom Bigelow, Mel Kenyon, George Snider, Dana Carter, Rich Vogler, and Steve Knepper behind the wheel.

The Nick Knepper/Derek LeMaster promotion begins a new tradition at the Southern Illinois Center with the newly-created event, but midget racing is not new to the indoor facility in DuQuoin. Recent winners indoors at DuQuoin include Joey Saldana (2014), Tony Stewart (2012), Bryan Clauson (2011) and Casey Shuman (2010).

Saturday night’s race marks the 166th USAC Midget race held indoors dating back to Gene Hartley’s victory in the very first USAC-sanctioned race at the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Memorial Coliseum on January 8, 1956. Michael Lang won USAC’s last indoor midget race in the state of Illinois at Chicago’s Rosemont Horizon in 1991. Sleepy Tripp won the most recent USAC Midget race held in DuQuoin, Illinois in 1979, taking a 50-lap feature outdoors on the “Magic Mile” located adjacent to the Southern Illinois Center. Tripp also won the most recent USAC indoor midget race on dirt in 1990 at the Reno (Nev.) Livestock Events Center. Saturday night will also be the first USAC-sanctioned race held indoors since a 2007 midget feature won by Tony Stewart at the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Expo Center.

More than 50 drivers and cars have already been pre-entered for Saturday night’s event including some of 2015’s most accomplished USAC drivers that include AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car champion Damion Gardner, USAC Midwest HPD Midget titlist Alex Watson and Bob Stroud Memorial National Midget “Rookie of the Year” Spencer Bayston. Past USAC series champions Bryan Clauson, Cory Kruseman, Travis Young, Josh Lakatos and Brad Loyet are entered as well as past USAC National feature winners Hunter Schuerenberg, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Chris Urish and Matt Westfall.

The pit gates open for the “Junior Knepper 55” at 8am Saturday, while spectator gates open at 5pm. The program is set to begin with hot laps at 6pm and racing is scheduled to start with preliminary events at 7pm. General admission tickets for adults are $20 with tickets for children 6-12 set at $10, while children 5 and under get in free. Pit passes are $35.

TheCushion.com will broadcast the event live on Saturday, December 19 and can be purchased for $22.99 ($20.50 for Premium and VIP Members).

 

“JUNIOR KNEPPER 55” PRE-ENTRIES

CAR #/DRIVER/HOMETOWN/TEAM

0 Johnny Murdock/Dallas, TX (Zero Motorsports)

0A Bobby Jackson/Detroit, MI (Zero Motorsports)

0c Colin Parker/Martinsville, IN (Zero Motorsports)

0D Skylar Hunter/Afton, IA (Zero Motorsports)

0H Hunter Lane/Milo, IA (Zero Motorsports)

05 Brad Loyet/Sunset Hills, MO (Loyet Motorsports)

1T Tony Roney/Herculaneum, MO (Rich Roney)

3B Joe B. Miller/Millersville, MO (Jim Neuman)

3N Jake Neuman/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)

3s Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL (Jim Neuman)

3w Alex Watson/Columbus, OH (Greg Watson)

4 Damion Gardner/Corona, CA (Klatt Enterprises)

4G Ryan Greth/New Cumberland, PA (Wayne Lesher)

5c Colten Cottle/Kansas, IL (Rick Cottle)

5H Matt Ponder/Festus, MO (Dennis Hoppe)

5x Justin Peck/Monrovia, IN (Steve Peck)

6K Josh Lakatos/Pasadena, CA (Kruseman Enterprises)

6R TBA (Jody Rosenboom)

7 Gage Walker/Indianapolis, IN (Brian Walker)

11 Travis Young/Franklin, IN (Travis Young)

11A Andrew Felker/Carl Junction, MO (Danny Felker)

11AG Dave Darland/Lincoln, IN (Brandon & Brad Gray)

11H Chase Hill/Truckee, CA (Danny Felker)

11K Gavin Harlien/Mesa, AZ (Kruseman Enterprises)

14 Chris Urish/Elkhart, IL (Ciltrak Promotions)

14R Jody Rosenboom/Rock Rapids, IA (Jody Rosenboom)

14w Matt Westfall/Ludlow Falls, OH (Steve Bordner)

15 Tim Siner/Dupo, IL (James Siner)

15m Shane Morgan/Morton, IL (Shane Morgan)

16K Chris Dyson/Pleasant Valley, NY (Kruseman Enterprises)

17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr./Olive Branch, MS (Bryan Clauson Racing)

17J TBA (Joey Saldana)

17s TBA (Joey Saldana)

17x Joey Saldana/Brownsburg, IN (Joey Saldana)

19 John Campbell/Belleville, IL (William Campbell)

21K Cory Kruseman/Ventura, CA (Kruseman Enterprises)

29 David Hair/Camby, IN (Ed Hair)

33D Chase Briscoe/Mitchell, IN (Jeff & Jill Davis)

35 Tyler Robbins/Collinsville, IL (Scott Robbins)

39 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN (Bryan Clauson Racing)

39c Payton Pierce/Bridgeport, TX (Bryan Clauson Racing)

50 Daniel Adler/St. Louis, MO (Mike Adler)

51J Ryan Jamison/Mediapolis, IA (Ryan Jamison)

52c Isaac Chapple/Willow Branch, IN (Isaac Chapple Racing)

55 Hunter Schuerenberg/Sikeston, MO (Steve Knepper)

57 Daniel Robinson/Wayne City, IL (McCreery Motorsports)

57K Kevin Studley/Plainfield, IN (Kevin Studley)

63 Bryan Clauson/Noblesville, IN (RKR/Dooling)

71 Robert Bell/Colfax, IA (Bell Motorsports)

88 Tyler Nelson/Olathe, KS (Tyler Nelson)

88D Rusty Dukes/Fair Grove, MO (Jon Sawyer)

91 Dereck King/Vienna, IL (Jack Harris)

91T Tyler Thomas/Collinsville, OK (Brian Thomas)