66th Pay Less Little 500 Features Seven Former Champions and Strong List of Challengers

(May 18, 2014) -
Seven former champions and talented list of drivers will compete in the 66th Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson Speedway on Saturday Night, May 24. Over $123,000 will be up for grabs in the richest asphalt Sprint Car race in the country with the winning team earning a minimum of $25,000.

Defending winner Jacob Wilson returns with goals of winning back-to-back in Pay Less Little 500s. Eric Gordon is the most recent driver to accomplish that impressive feat when he scored five consecutive victories from 2001-2005.

Other former champions that will be racing include Brian Tyler (2012, 2007), Chris Windom (2011), Dave Steele (2009), Shane Cottle (2008) and three-time Pay Less Little 500 champion Jeff Bloom (1972, 77, 91). Both Steele and Windom earned Little 500 victories in their previous starts.

1979 Co-Winner Danny Smith will return in the Mike Blake Racing entry. The World of Outlaws and accomplished Dirt Winged Sprint car competitor will make his first start in 35 years.

The talented list of returning drivers includes 20-time race starter Tony Elliott, who has seven top-five finishes with a best performance of second in 2008. Two-time pole winner Aaron Pierce has finished second on two occasions in 2004 and 2007. Defending Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series Champion Brian Gerster has a best performance of third in his eight starts. California’s Jo Jo Helberg finished second in 2013 after earning his first pole position. He has led 132 laps in Little 500 competition.

Former multi-time USAC Champion Bobby East made his first appearance last year, but an early race accident knocked him out of contention. A second appearance is also on tap for Bryan Clauson as he moves over to Hoffman Auto Racing. Clauson scored one of the crown jewels in open wheel racing with capturing the 2013 Chill Bowl Midget Nationals in January at Tulsa (OK) Expo Center. 2006 Rookie of the Year Russ Gamester will be looking to make his ninth start. He has a pair of fifth-place finishes.

Florida’s Troy DeCaire has made eight consecutive appearances with his best finish of sixth in 2010. Donnie Adams Jr. was the 2007 pole winner and finished a best of third in 2009. Canada’s Ryan Litt returns after being unable to race last year. Litt has finished in the top five on three occasions in his eight starts and also led 135 circuits. Shane Butler will be looking to make his fifth start and first since 2010, he has a best result of ninth. Shane Hollingsworth has six Little 500 starts with a best showing of third, which took place in 2011. Garrett Green looks to improve on his impressive debut last year when he finished 10th and garnered top rookie honors. 2012 runner-up Billy Wease reunites with car owner Jerry Powell as they chase their elusive first victory. Others that have filed entries include veteran starters Travis Welpott, Tom Patterson and Rex Norris lll.

The Herald Bulletin Rookie of the Year Class will once again feature a stout group of drivers. USAC and open wheel standout Jerry Coons Jr will be in the Gene Nolen entry. Sprint Car and Modified star Bobby Santos lll, Glen Niebel Classic winner Caleb Armstrong, third-generation driver Jarett Andretti, former Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series Champion Geoff Kaiser, Spartan (MI) Sprints competitor Doug Dietsch and Winged Sprint Car veteran Jason Fuller will also attempt to make the starting field.

First round qualifications for the 66th Pay Less Little 500 will take place on Thursday, May 22, beginning at 1:30 p.m. with the 33-car field set during second round of qualifications on Friday afternoon. The 66th Pay Less Little 500 goes green approximately at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

Tickets are available for the 66th Pay Less Little 500 at $30 for reserved seating. For more information, contact the Anderson Speedway Ticket Office at (765) 642-0206.