Field Set for Pay Less Little 500; Baumgartner Fastest on Day Two

What a difference a day made for Pay Less Little 500 rookie Dave Baumgartner.

Baumgartner, from Ottawa Lake, MI, lost the 22nd quickest time during “Pole Day” qualifying for the 62nd running of the Pay Less Little 500 on Thursday when he failed to report for technical inspection after his run.

But on Friday, Baumgartner posted the fastest time on “Bump Day” at 46.450 seconds to claim the 21st starting position in tonight’s race at Anderson Speedway starting at 8 p.m.

“I was very disappointed,” Baumgartner said of his mistake on Thursday. “On a scale of one-to-ten, it was a 15. The guys were waving to me when I came off the track and I turned the wrong way.”

The team, owned by Dave Durnwald, was confident the car would make the field.

“I’ve always wanted to run the Little 500,” he said. “I would like to win it for him (Durnwald).

Been racing since I was four, started in quarter-midgets and go karts.”

Fellow rookie Tim Jedrezek, Ohio, turned the single fastest lap of the day at 11.540 seconds and a four-lap time of 46.455 seconds to claim the 22nd spot.

Spiceland driver Rex Norris III rode the bubble for most of the final hour with his time of 47.074 seconds for four-laps posted on Thursday holding up to make the starting field.

Florida veteran Stan Butler will start 29th and Anderson driver Jim Sheets will make his first Little 500 start in the 25th position.

It was a tough day for two Little 500 veterans, Illinois driver Tim Cox and Fountaintown’s Brett Berry. Both drivers were bumped from the field, momentarily got back into the show and were then bumped a second time.

Two other veterans of the race Mike Ling and Todd Kane were bumped from the field and unable to find enough speed to make the race.

While veterans were having a bad day rookie driver Scott Hampton found Lady Luck smiling on the team. Hampton was listed as the first alternate, but when Jason Blonde withdrew it put the Greenfield driver in the field.

“We put a lot of hours of work in the car,” he said. “This is my first time on pavement, I’ve run about 30 laps. If it hadn’t been for car owner Jerry Powell, I wouldn’t be here.

“I had a little luck with Blonde withdrawing,” Hampton said. “There is a lot of prestige and respect for the Little 500. I want to run as many laps as I can.”

Five rookies made the starting field with Utah driver Ryan Burdett starting on the inside of the eleventh row and Michigan’s Derek Snyder starting in the middle of the last row.

Yorktown’s Adam Schuyler was unable to find enough speed on his first run and on a second attempt made contact with the turn three wall which ended his day.

Tickets are available for the historic 62nd Pay Less Little 500 at $27 for reserved seating. For more information, contact the Anderson Speedway Ticket Office at (765) 642-0206.