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The Mighty Midgets Often referred to as the purest form of racing these "mighty midgets" are a racing history teasure.



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Old 02-26-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
cemar
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Default Another strange looking Midget

We ran against this driver on the 1968 USAC Midget tour.
The Midget looks more like a mini Indy 500 entry.
Maybe that is because the driver also drove Indy cars for years.
This Offy Midget did win on the dirt track in Sante Fe that year after a great battle with Bob Tattersall.
Anyone know who this driver was?
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
carc7
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

I think that's Arnie Knepper. . . . . .
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

Yes, that was Arnie.
Besides that win I have programs showing he finished 2nd 3 times.
The car was competitive.
Not sure if he ran the full USAC tour that year as we didn't.
Mel Kenyon won his thrid USAC Midget crown that year.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
Wayne Arner
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

I am surprised you don't recognize one of the 10 original Kurtis Midget Roadsters produced in the U.S.A. in 1956, driven by Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill. These cars were unbeatable pretty much, wherever they ran, and this car was no exception. The driver in your small picture is not Knepper, (who never wore glasses), but does look a lot like Jerry Nemire, a USAC Sprint Car and Midget Driver from Toledo, OH. who drove in the Ohio, Ill. Ind. circuits.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

Don't be too surprised, when you have been a part of over a thousand race programs at hundreds of different tracks, in 29 states, racing outlaw and sanctioned events over a 52 year span, one can not recall everything LOL.

As for the mini driver pic.
Don't blame me, USAC released it as a driver PR photo that year.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:10 AM   #6
carc7
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

Wayne, then why does the side of his helmet read "Arnie"?
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

Found this on the 'net. Says it's Arnie Knepper. He appears to be wearing glasses.

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

I'm not an expert on the Kurtis Roadster midget, he only made 10 of them, as most KK cars they were good on pavement, and dirt. However, the biggest complaint, if you do some digging, Kurtis made the mistake of making the front and rear axel to close to the top, and bottom frame rail (or the frame rails were too close together, top to bottom). On bigger, faster ovals, the car would "bind up", the front axel would contact the frame rails in the corners, suddenly the car would lose "travel" on the chassis, and "push" in the corners. This is just stuff I've read, and heard over the years, otherwise, if you look at the success of the traditional Kurits midget, had the roadster been as successful, the would have built way more than 10 of them! Still a beautiful race car.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
Thomas E
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

I recall (memory don't fail me now) one of those KK/Offy Midget Roadsters at Lakeside Speedway owned by the RMMRA's Ed Walker, it was a black with gold number 44's and driven by Foster Campbell.



"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
Wayne Arner
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Default Re: Another strange looking Midget

I've done a little further investigation and found a picture of Arnie Knepper in the USAC yearbook of 1975. He doesn't look like the guy in the small picture on the original post to me. The driver of the Kurtis Roadster is Knepper, as he had the INDY logo then, (1956) on his helmet, the same as in the yearbook picture. A great driver in a great car! Incidentally, the Kurtis Roadster at Lakeside was originally sold to Vic Felt, and then to Ed Walker, who took his first Midget ride in one of Felt's Offys in 1956. Walker was never very quick in the Roadster, and soon had Foss Campbell behind the wheel of the car. Foss said, it wasn't as smooth as his own car, and finished out the season in his own #4, tied with Pete Hedrick for the Championship, as Hedrick drove Felt's other Offy!
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