CALIFORNIA, Mo. – Clyde Knipp confirmed Friday afternoon that he and his family-owned No. 13 team will be pulling off the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series for the remainder of the season.
Knipp made the original announcement via a video on his Facebook page.
“As many of you know, I’ve competed full-time with the World of Outlaws over the past two and a half years,” noted Knipp at the start of the video. “Unfortunately, myself and the team have made the tough decision to pull off the tour for the rest of 2018.”
The 20-year-old joined the Outlaws full-time just after his 18th birthday in May of 2016, finishing 14th in points during his rookie year and ending up 15th in the final standings at the end of last year.
He scored his first Outlaws top-10 finish at North Dakota’s Red River Valley Speedway last August, rising from 12th to finish ninth in the 30-lap feature, and also brought T-Rex Tape onboard as a primary sponsor ahead of this season.
The team looked primed to take the next step forward in its development with the Outlaws, but that path will now have to detour for the time being, primarily due to a lack of funding.
“The season started off pretty promising, with adding T-Rex Tape on a short-term deal for the season, but their other marketing dollars were tied up in other projects despite some discussions with them about continuing further,” explained Knipp. “That has left our team unfunded for the remainder of the season. The constant rainouts that the series has endured this season were also a factor in our decision.”
Through 29 races this season, Knipp was 16th in points and his best finish was a 16th-place effort in front of his home state fans at Missouri’s Lake Ozark Speedway on May 4.
Despite the setback, Knipp did confirm that he still plans to be in a race car this season. He also left the door open in regard to running select Outlaw events later in the year as well.
“I’m not done racing; I don’t want anyone to think that,” Knipp affirmed. “I’m looking at running locally in Missouri through the summer and hope to possibly race at some of the bigger Outlaw shows later in the year as well. I’m even open to other driving opportunities outside of our team. It may not be a full-time gig for the rest of the year, but I still look forward to getting back to the race track soon.”
Knipp became the youngest driver on tour when he graduated high school two years ago and continued in that capacity through this season.
Its an opportunity he stressed he’ll always be grateful for, no matter what’s ahead for his racing career.
“I’m very thankful for the chance I was given over the past two and a half seasons to race against the best sprint car drivers in the country, as well as for the experiences I gained along the way,” said Knipp. “I wish all my fellow World of Outlaws competitors the best of luck for the rest of the season and invite all my supporters to stay tuned for the next chapter in our journey.”