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The Weld’s: KC’s First Family of Racing!

The Weld’s: KC’s First Family of Racing!

KCK: This Friday night August 5th the Wholesale Batteries USAC MWRA Sprint Cars will take to Lakeside Speedway once again in honor of the Weld Family for the 3rd straight season.

The history of Lakeside Speedway and the Welds dates back over 60 years to the first Lakeside track located at 91st and Leavenworth RD. And it was there in 1973 that the late Jerry Weld was honored by his brothers, family, friends, and fans with the first Weld Memorial.

The Weld family is synonymous with auto racing across the nation, and around the greater Kansas City area as well where they competed and won at tracks including Lakeside, Riverside, Olympic, and the Topeka Fairgrounds among other venues.

Father Taylor Weld also known as “Pappy” started the open wheel racing tradition of his family by building and owning a midget raced at Olympic Stadium in the 1930’s.

By the 1950’s oldest brother Jerry “Butch” Weld would be competing in modified jalopies that would turn into super modifieds, and eventually sprint cars, over the years. Jerry, a fan favorite would race his legendary modified jalopy the “Flying Suitcase” to many victories during that time, while also starring later in supers and sprints, before turning his focus to promoting.

His brother Greg would follow next winning in the super modified ranks with his roadster styled super modified. And would win the Knoxville National’s as a baby faced teen in 1963 at age 19 with valued crewman Ted Hall. Still a fixture today in Sprint car racing with the MWRA and his THR Racing Machines driven by Grandson Cody Baker.

At age 21 Greg would go to the USAC Sprint Car division narrowly losing the national championship to future Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford. Two years later in 1967 Greg would win the USAC championship racing for Dr Ward Dunseth. While also developing his “Mechanical Rabbit” Roadster Sprint Car for great success on both pavement and dirt, while achieving the dream of racing in the Indy 500 in 1970. On the business side of racing, Greg would establish “Weld Wheels” with 2,500 dollars in sprint car winnings, and promote races at Lakeside, and I-70 Speedway, during his versatile career.

Kenny Weld was the next brother to compete in the super modified ranks. Teaming with his father Pappy he would win back to back Knoxville Nationals in 1964-65 as a teen driving to many wins in the car affectionately known as the “Tank”. By the late 1960’s Kenny had moved to Pennsylvania to race with the “Pennsylvania Posse” where he would become one of the top outlaw sprint car stars during that time before the World Of Outlaws would be formed in 1978.

Racing back East in sprint cars, and modifieds, “heavies” Kenny would become both a excellent craftsman and driver. In 1972-73 this Weld brother would return to the Heartland to win two more Knoxville Nationals racing for Bob Weikert. While also designing and building with Don Brown the infamous “Bat Mobile” modified. Driven by driver Gary Balough to a win on the “Moody Mile” at Syracuse in 1980, before being banned from competing again immediately after! Following his retirement as a driver, Kenny would start a business with his brother Greg and his daughter Debra naming it Weld Tech. Kenny would revolutionize the industry of porting cylinder heads during that time.

Youngest brother Ricky would be the last of the brothers to strap into a racing machine. Driving first for his father Pappy to many wins. Before branching out to race successfully for many other owners in sprint car racing.
Unfortunately all have passed away now. Jerry at the young age of 33 after being hit by a car in a hit and run accident. Followed by Pappy in 1983, Kenny in 1997 from Cancer, Greg from complications from Cancer in 2008, and Ricky later that year from throat Cancer. Though this family of great racers may have passed their legacy in racing lives on thru family members including Linda Weld, daughter of Jerry, and a great supporter of the MWRA with the Parkinson & Weld Racing #93, painted and designed in honor of her father who always raced with the number in competition.

Join us this Friday night August 5th for the Weld Memorial at Lakeside Speedway in KCK. Featuring the USAC MWRA Non Winged Sprint Cars as we honor the first family of KC Racing, The Welds.

USAC Racing
Wholesale Batteries, Inc.
Country Kids Daycare
Christy's Tasty Queen
TJ Forged
Seeburg Mufflers
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