Shane Cottle Wins 60th Pay Less Little 500

NHI Indiana

Kokomo’s Shane Cottle scored the biggest win of his racing career capturing the 60th running of the Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Cottle took the lead for the final time on lap 378 with an outside pass of Ryan Litt going down the back straight. He then held off former Kokomo resident Tony Elliott during a 25-lap sprint to the finish to record the win.

Rounding out the top five were rookie Johnny Rodriguez, Litt and Peru native Russ Gamester.

Cottle’s victory was the first for a Madison County based team since Wayne Alspaugh captured the event in 1958. It marked the first victory for team owner Larry Contos.

“This is my first pavement win ever,” a smiling Cottle said, “it’s a good race for that first win.”

Cottle said he knew Elliott was closing at the finish but made some final adjustments inside the car and took off a little at the end.

“I love racing here,” he said after collecting a minimum of $25,000 for the victory.

Elliott said the team was n a position to win at the finish, which is the position we wanted to be in.

“With 20 laps to go we lost a cylinder, but were still able to close on Shane (Cottle),” he said. “Then with five to go we lost a second cylinder so I slowed down to finish the race and not destroy the engine.”

Rodriguez, who captured rookie of the race honors, appeared to have the fastest car on the track just before the mid-point of the race and led from lap 148 to 212, when he pitted under the green.

“The crew has been here before,” he said of the veteran team, “they have a number of top five finishes. We had one bad pit stop which killed us.”

Rodriguez said the race was not as tiring as he expected but admitted that his “butt” was sore.

For much of the race it was a classic short-track battle between Cottle, Elliott and Ryan Litt after seven of the front running cars were eliminated from competition or suffered mechanical damage in a spectacular crash on lap 96.

With Elliott leading the race, pole-sitter Doug Heveron passed Jimmy McCune for the second spot coming off the fourth corner, but before Heveron could get to the first turn the engine on his car erupted, spewing fluids on the track.

That resulted in Heveron, McCune, Eric Gordon, Brian Tyler, Dave Steele, Mat Neely and Troy Decaire coming to a stop in the corner. Gordon seeking a ninth Little 500 victory was unable to continue. Only Tyler, Steele and Decaire were able to restart the race.

After the 200-lap mark Cottle, Elliott and Litt all took extended turns at the point as the drivers made their mandatory pit stops. Litt’s hope of a Little 500 victory was hampered when he twice had to pit under the green when his sprint car ran out of fuel.

The race was slowed a total of 14 times by caution periods for 109 laps and was red flagged twice. The first stoppage came on lap 48 when Jacob Wilson flipped in Turn one and the third came on lap 134 when Tyler flipped in Turn three, neither driver was injured.

There were 11 lead changes among four different drivers with Cottle leading a race high 164 circuits.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, May 30 with Ed Martin Chevrolet SuperTrucks, Street Stocks, Figure 8’s, ThunderCars, KOIL Legends and Thunder Roadsters.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway, visit or contact Anderson Speedway at
(765) 642-0206.