Florida Drivers at Little 500

Over the years the Little 500 sprint car classic at Anderson (Indiana) Speedway has been a favorite of Florida based drivers and teams. This year the Payless Supermarkets Little 500 will run on May 29 and as of May 15 the only Florida drivers entered are Johnny Gilbertson in Mac Steele’s car and Shane Butler in his own car. We’ve heard that Troy DeCaire will also enter but as yet has not done so.

Former winners of the “Little 5” from Florida include Frank Riddle, Dave Scarborough, David Steele, Jim Childers and Wayne Reutimann. Others such as Billy Yuma, Doug Heveron, Bobby Allen, Stan Butler, Robert Smith and Sonny Hartley have done well but have not been able to claim the big prize.

Here’s wishing the best of luck to the Florida boys in this years event.

Once USAC got a hold of this race it went down the tubes in a hurry… Still pays well but the cost of travel plus making your car USAC legal has left most of the Florida guys staying home… I remember when it was an accomplishment just to make the field… Now they barely get enough cars to fill the starting grid… Hmm… ain’t there a big race a few miles north of there that is pretty much a carbon copy of what’s happened at Anderson?

The race does NOT use USAC rules…and they have not ever officiated the race to my knowledge. There were a few years that they sanctioned the race but they did NOT use USAC officials or rules…USAC just put their name on the event since it is the highest paying pavement sprint car race in the world!

It is absolutely STILL a “must see” event for any true sprint car fan. The sight of 33 sprints cars in 11 rows of 3 coming to the green flag on a high banked 1/4 mile is worth the price of admission itself!

These days…due to the “outlaw” nature of the event…you actually see more winged sprint cars take off their wings and race than USAC regulars.

It is pretty much a must-see, at least once. The pit action is my favorite part – watching guys try to refuel using a 55-gallon drum teetering on wooden stilts is worth the price of admission.

for track chasers–

Anderson Raceway is a tight little quarter-miler, really high-banked asphalt oval in a downtown, yes downtown, section a a semi-big city, kind-of like the Lake City area.
The Track has a vast history behind it, kind-of like Hialeah Speedway. The granstands are always full to the brim for a weekly event, and the car counts are full also. The grandstand boards that you sit on are awfull.
They run the wingless sprints, and figure-eight races all the time as a weekly event, from what I remember.