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The Road to Indy

What started with a race kart could likely end with a car in the victory lane at the Indy 500.

Keith Freber, Glendale resident, Kirkwood High School graduate, and third-generation owner of Margay Racing has partnered with Scott Blind, local entrepreneur and owner of St. Louis’ new Ignite Autosport racing team, to facilitate a driver's journey to the Indy 500. Their story starts at the Gateway Kartplex at the World Wide Technology Raceway. 

In 2019, Keith invited Scott, a car enthusiast, collector, and motorsports fan, out to Gateway Kartplex to race karts. Scott recalled, "I knew Keith, but I knew very little about racing. Keith and everyone at Margay Racing and the entire racing community were so welcoming. I became more and more interested in racing."

"One thing led to another, and now Scott owns a race team," laughed Keith.

The Ignite Autosport team is dedicated to helping talented local drivers advance in motorsports, changing the entire racing model and bringing motorsport championships back to St. Louis. The area has not had a National Champion in a major motorsport series since Rusty Wallace in 1989. 

Currently, drivers start in karts and progress into cars and higher levels of motorsports by bringing or raising large amounts of money to continue competing and advancing. The motorsports ladder is similar to baseball's farm club system, starting in karting and moving on to the Road to Indy, just as you would move from a triple-A team, to double-A, single-A teams, and major leagues. "Motorsports has exactly the same program, except you don't move up to the Indy 500 on talent alone," explained Scott. 

"What struck me about the current racing model is that a driver could be great but not have the ability to advance because they might not have the connections to attract sponsors," said Scott. "Motorsport team owners don't seek out the fastest drivers. Drivers come to these teams with money already raised." 

"I thought it would be cool if I funded a team of the best drivers," Scott stated. Scott and Keith, who is the Ignite Autosport team manager, work on promoting the drivers and securing the funding for the team. "This allows the drivers to only focus on getting faster as they race along their way to the Indy 500," stated Scott. 

The Ignite Autosport Team drivers are Kirkwood’s Spike Kohlbecker and Evan Stamer of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

Keith noted, "There are a ton of motorsports enthusiasts in Kirkwood. Now we have Spike, a hometown driver, that we can cheer on. For us, it's about promoting Spike and Evan, and ultimately seeing them in victory lane at the Indy 500." 

Follow Ignite Autosport on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to cheer on the team. Or head over to Gateway Kartplex and take a test drive. 

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