A Tribute to Bill Knisley By Scott Hall BATAVIA, OH - (10/2/99) - Bill Knisley was not a well known name in sprint car circles, except to fans at the Lawrenceburg, Indiana Speedway and K-C Raceway (Chillicothe, OH). He never won a sprint car...
A Tribute to Bill Knisley By Scott Hall
BATAVIA, OH - (10/2/99) - Bill Knisley was not a well known name in sprint car circles, except to fans at the Lawrenceburg, Indiana Speedway and K-C Raceway (Chillicothe, OH). He never won a sprint car feature. But he was a weekend warrior and liked to go fast.
Bill got interested in motocross racing as a child, and started racing at about age 11 in the Cincinnati area. From the time he was 14 until he was 20, he worked his way up and became one of the top motocross riders in the Southern Ohio area with many moto wins.
From there, Bill's interest turned to stock cars, running at the old Queen City Speedway in West Chester for several seasons. Then he spent a year running quads in off road action.
Then one day in the early 1990s Bill and a friend went to Eldora Speedway to watch the sprints run. Bill was hooked, and knew he had to get a sprint car. He teamed up with his mechanic, Randy in 1993 and he started his open cockpit career racing on the quarter mile at Lawrenceburg. Then he began venturing over to K-C, where he had several career top five finishes and some top tens in their regular Saturday night shows.
Bill's best race, recalls Randy, was the night he led at K-C from lap 2 until he got passed on the last lap. Close, but no cigar.
Bill and his father owned their sprint car together, but Bill didn't get to race much in 1998 and 1999 due to a new house and his business, which was fixing up and selling cars and his specialty, customizing an selling work trucks.
Bill really loved the high speed track at Eldora, and last Saturday he was pumped up and looking forward to ending the season racing on the high banks. Tragically, that love of speed took his life.
Bill left behind a wife, Karen and three children, Amy (16), David (13) and Laura (10). Bill will spend the rest of his days watching his fellow racers from on high.
Rest in Peace, Bill.