An Annual Pilgrimage; Fans Make Annual Trip to Anderson
cnhi news service

Outside of the Anderson Speedway there is a small
community of race fans that gather to camp during Pay Less Little 500 week.

There is an array of camping equipment that covers the spectrum from tents, pop-up campers, 5th wheel trailers to RVs.

But they all have one thing in common a love affair for open wheel racing and the Little 500.

Gary and Carol Becker have been traveling to Anderson from
Lansing, MI since 1978. Since that time Gary has been two races and Carol has failed to attend three events, the last time in 2000 for the birth of their granddaughter.

Carol Becker went to school with former Little 500 competitor Gary Fedewa, who is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend.

“We were at the fairgrounds in Iona and Steve Chassey asked if we were coming to the Little 500,” Gary said. “I’m going what is the Little 500. Gary (Fedewa) got us hooked on coming and then he missed a number of years.

“When I first saw the race I thought somebody’s nuts, but you have to see it,” he laughed. “We’re race fans, predominately open wheel. I tell everyone there is only two races a year the Little 500 and the Supermods at Oswego (NY).”

For the Becker’s it is the start of the summer racing season. The couple arrived in Anderson on Tuesday and will leave on Sunday.

“We plan on coming every year,” Gary said. “We always sit three rows from the top by the scoring tower.”

The Becker’s brought Gary and Carl Waldron five years ago and Bill Duffield for the first time.

“I’m giving seminars on drinking beer and having a fun time,” he said “I think it will be a good race after what I saw last night (Winged sprints on Wednesday). I’m taking it all in.”

Carol Becker said she plans on sitting behind Bill because his jaw will drop at the start.

“I liked it from the first time I saw it,” Carl said. “Seen a lot of good racing here.”

Carl said Tony Elliott is probably the best driver to never win a Little 500 and said Eric Gordon is probably a better racer than Jeff Gordon in an open wheel car.

“ Dave Steele is always fast and Gordon,” he said. “Lot of good drivers, I always liked Den England, Donnie Adams Sr.

“The thing that makes this race is all the guys were the tops in their separate racing associations and were the best out there,” Carl said.

Like the Becker’s, Gary and Phyllis Smith from Ontario Province in Canada make the trip to Anderson to follow their favorite drivers, Mike Ling and Ryan Litt.

This is their second trip to Anderson.

“When they run, we come,” the couple said of Ling and Litt. “We had heard of the Little 500 and always wanted to experience it,” Gary  Smith said.

“I was very impressed,” he said of his first Little 500 in 2009. “I liked the strategy behind it, to be there for the last 50 laps.”

The couple attended the Winged Sprint event at Winchester
Speedway last Sunday and have been staying in the impromptu campground on the Anderson Speedway grounds since Monday.

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.