Gordon/French take Little 500 win with new J&J Pavement Sprint Car ANDERSON, IN - Last August, Jack French approached longtime friend and chassis manufacturer Jack Elam with an idea. French wanted Elam's J&J Auto Racing company to build him a ...
Gordon/French take Little 500 win with new J&J Pavement Sprint Car
ANDERSON, IN - Last August, Jack French approached longtime friend and chassis manufacturer Jack Elam with an idea. French wanted Elam's J&J Auto Racing company to build him a sprint car chassis "just the way he wanted" in order to chase his fourth Little 500 victory.
On Saturday night after a convincing win in the 55th Payless/Delco Remy Little 500 at Anderson Speedway, French and Elam were all smiles.
"I told him when we first started talking about this that if he built the car the way I wanted it, we would win the Little 500 with it," said French, winner of the last three and four of six Little 500's. "The car is unreal. They threw the green and David Steele took off first, but we pulled him into the corner. The forward bite on the car is better than any car I've ever had. It's a great race car and we're going to keep making it better. To bring out a newly designed car that had never been raced and to win the biggest race of the year with it is pretty impressive. Obviously, I'm tickled. Everyone at J&J and with this race team deserves a ton of credit."
Elam knows how important this night was and was really happy to see everything come together.
"The Little 500 is a race like no other," said Elam. "You have to have a great driver, crew chief, racecar and also a little bit of luck. Eric Gordon is a very smart driver. He stayed out of trouble all night and really could drive the car anywhere on the track he wanted. He ran high, low and through the middle. A lot of work went into this project and this kind of reward really makes it worth everything."
Gordon started the #2 Pay Less / Print Express/ Gould Body Shop J&J second and led the first 69 laps before disaster nearly struck for the Indianapolis, IN driver. Gordon came in to make his first pit stop and found a push truck sitting in his stall. He was forced to be pushed all the way around the track before he could make the stop. The team kept working and used an incredible second stop to get back up front.
Gordon led 221 of the 500 laps and took the lead for good on lap 349.
The victorious number #2 J&J was one of only two J&J sprinters in the field of 33 cars. "Any time you go against a curve like that it's difficult," continued Elam. "We wanted to return to pavement sprint car racing and make a splash. With the number of people that witnessed how good our race car was, I sure hope we can get more involved with other teams on pavement."