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Memorial Race At Lakeside This Friday Honors Weld Family!


Midwest Wingless Racing Association

Memorial Race At Lakeside This Friday Honors Weld Family!

KCK: For the 4th season in a row the Wholesale Batteries USAC MWRA Sprint Car Series proudly races in the Weld Memorial this Friday night, August 18th, at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.

This event honors the racing legacy and history of the Weld Family, father, Taylor “Pappy” Weld, and sons, Jerry “Butch”, Greg, Kenny, and Ricky, all who played a very prominent role in racing in the greater Kansas City area, and across the nation during the 20th century, and into the new millennium.
The first “Jerry” Weld Memorial took place on August 12th 1973 at the old Lakeside Stadium located at 91st and Leavenworth Road in KCK, and was promoted by Greg Weld to honor his older brother Jerry who passed away at the young age of 33. And would feature both Greg, and his younger brother Kenny,racing team cars for Bob Weikert, with Kenny taking the victory 50 years ago this summer.

The racing legacy of the Welds started back in the 1920’s when Taylor “Pappy” Weld moved to Kansas City from Oklahoma, opening a motorcycle and car repair shop. Pappy was a gifted mechanical mind, and during the 1930’s built and owned his own midget drove in the KC area by Chester White. The Patriarch of the Weld family, would also meet the Matriarch of the Weld family (Ella) during this era, and by 1950 the Welds would have six children including boys Jerry, Greg, Kenny, and Ricky, as well as girls, Dee, and Mary Jo.
During the mid 1950’s the mechanical talents of the Weld boys like their father was coming into its own. And by the mid 1960’s, Jerry, Greg, and Kenny. were all household names in open wheel racing. The Weld boys were such prominent racers by this point they developed the nickname the “Kansas City Mafia” when they traveled outside the KC area to run at venues that included Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.

During the racing careers of Jerry, Greg, and Kenny, along with car owner and builder father Pappy, and later Ricky, they would be fondly remembered for racing and winning, but also for some of the revolutionary cars they created. Among those were, Jerry’s Modified “The Flying Suitcase”, Greg’s Roadster Super, and Sprint, the second one, with its two brothers being dubbed “The Mechanical Rabbits”. As well as Pappy and Kenny’s ”Tank”, and later a car banned after just one victorious outing in East Coast Modified competition, Kenny’s ” Batmobile”.

While as a collective, some of the titles won by the Weld boys included 5 Knoxville Nationals, the USAC Sprint Car Championship, racing in the Indianapolis 500, and multiple victories across the nation in Sprint Car, Super Modified, and Modified competition.

And out of the cockpit being involved in track promotion, car building, and parts production that have all significantly advanced the sport of auto racing. Including the highly successful businesses Weld Wheels, and Weld Tech, over the years.
We salute this great family of Kansas City racing, and hope you will be able to attend the Weld Memorial in KCK at Lakeside Speedway this Friday night, August 18th, featuring a 2,000 to win first place prize for the MWRA Sprints on “The Road To A Championship” in 2023.

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Article Credit: Ray Cunningham

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