Eric Gordon of Indianapolis, Ind. became a three-time winner of the prestigious Pay Less/Delco Remy "Little 500" USAC Sprint Car race at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in a 500-lap race which started on Saturday night and ended just after 1...
Eric Gordon of Indianapolis, Ind. became a three-time winner of the prestigious Pay Less/Delco Remy "Little 500" USAC Sprint Car race at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in a 500-lap race which started on Saturday night and ended just after 1 am Sunday morning. A rain delay forced the late start on the 1/4-mile paved oval. Gordon previously won the race in 1993 and 1998.
Gordon, who started second in the 33-car field, led only one lap before taking the lead on lap 352, but led the final 149 laps in his Pay Less Supermarkets/Jim & Polly Booe/Print Express Gaerte-powered machine. His victory was worth an estimated $38,500 out of a total purse of nearly $125,000. On lap 435 he passed second-place Derek Davidson to put a lap on the entire field.
"The car was perfect," said Gordon after the race. "I couldn't have asked for a better car in traffic. On the last stop we decided to put on fresh tires and it paid off. I had a great team."
Dave Steele led 115 of the first 116 laps of the race after starting from the outside of the front row, but slipped a lap down after pit stops. He unlapped himself from Gordon on lap 479 but was unable to catch him in the remaining laps, finishing 10.7 seconds in arrears.
Following runner-up Steele at the checkered flag were Davidson, Gary Fedewa and Brandon Petty. Pole starter Jeff Bloom, in his 25th start, blew an engine after 337 laps and failed to finish.
Gordon's second and final pit stop on lap 281 actually won him the race as he beat Davidson back onto the track. Davidson had also pitted on the same lap.
USAC Sprint Car Champion Tony Elliott appeared to be Gordon's toughest competition, leading 114 laps before losing his advantage on a long pit stop for fuel at lap 320. Other race leaders included Denny England, Brandon Petty, Jason McCord and Gary Fedewa.
The race was slowed 14 times by caution flags but there were no driver injuries in any of the incidents.