Qualifying Results -
23, 2014) - For the first time in
many years there wasn’t a mad dash of cars
looking to make their way into the starting
field for Saturday’s running of the Pay Less
Thirty-three drivers made qualifying
attempts on Thursday and although drivers in
the 11th and final row were concerned about
someone attempting to bump into the field.
The front row of Bryan Clauson, Aaron Pierce
and Jerry Coons Jr. will bring one of the
fastest fields in the history of the Pay
Less Little 500 to take the green flag at 8
The only incident during the Friday practice
session is when rookie Geoff Kaiser lost a
power steering and barely missed making
contact with the turn four wall.
Two drivers Jo Jo Helberg and Chris
Neuenschwander withdrew their Thursday
qualifying times in an effort to improve
their starting positions.
Neuenschwander recorded the fast time of the
day, picking up $250, with a four-lap
average of 78.81 mph. He improved his
starting position from 26th to 17th.
Helberg climbed from the 23rd to 19th
starting position with a four-lap average of
Argos driver Tom Paterson, who had a
memorable front straight flip at Anderson
Speedway in 2011, rode the “bubble” as the
slowest qualifier with a four-lap average
speed of 75.24 mph.
Ron Koehler made a run to make the field but
didn’t have the necessary speed to knock
Paterson from the field and is the first
alternate for the Little 500.
“It always seems like I’m on the bubble,”
Paterson said Friday. “I’m very concerned.
That’s why I’m out there practicing and
doing all we can.
“I think we found some speed in the car, but
we’re still working at it,” he said. “I
would like to find more than just enough,
have a cushion there.”
Paterson said in hindsight the team should
have waved off their Thursday qualifying
attempt because the car was loose in the
corners for the first time all week.
Concerning the 2011 flip, Paterson said he
is reminded of it constantly.
“The pavementsprints.com website had a
picture of it this week,” he laughed. “For a
full year Must See Racing showed it at the
beginning of every telecast. My girlfriend
never wants to see it again. I would rather
have my 15 minutes of fame holding the
Paterson said the Little 500 is the most
important race he competes in and would be
devastated if he didn’t make the starting
“I work really hard for this race, every
other race we do is inconsequential,” he
Pendleton driver Travis Welpott was
celebrating his 43rd birthday at Anderson
Speedway with a story behind his birth.
“I was literally almost born at this race,”
he said. “My parents were at the Little 500
and my mom wasn’t feeling well. After the
race they went to a Pizza King and she said
it was time. They went to St. John’s
Hospital and I was born that night.”
Welpott in the Smith Family Farms entry will
start 29th. It will be his third start with
a career best finish of 15th last year.