By Denny Adams, PA Announcer
Anderson Speedway management and staff and it’s thousands of fans are devastated today to learn of the passing of Little 500 legend Tony Elliott of Warsaw, Indiana. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tony’s family and friends. Tony and three others passed away in a small plane crash on the way to the Notre Dame/Clemson football game on Friday, October 2nd.
Tony Elliott first came on the scene at Anderson Speedway in 1990 to drive the familiar Clarence Miller sprinter in the Little 500 Sprint Car Classic. Tony would be involved in a lap one incident that night and finish 33rd. A determined Tony Elliott returned to the Little 500 and in 1993, driving for Debbie Conroy. In 1994 he would lead more laps than any other Little 500 that he would compete in during his career…a total of 269. Tony finished 5th that night.
Tony hooked up with Gene Nolen and made the Trantor V-6 hum! His best run at a win came in 2008 when he started 3rd and finished 2nd on the lead lap, a race in which he led 131 laps. 2009 would appear to be a great year as Tony captured his only Little 500 pole. Mechanical problems would spoil the night, and Tony finished 11th. Another superb performance by Tony in the V-6 was 2013 when Tony again finished on the lead lap, just missing the podium, finishing 4th.
All in all, this champion started the Little 500 22 times, had 1 pole, 7 top 5’s, 9 top 10’s, led 1059 laps and completed 7,690 laps. But, above all of this, Tony Elliott will be remembered for being a mentor to others, being the awesome gentleman that he was on and off the track, for being a great competitor and the kind of person that all racers and all people would like to be like. That is exactly why my friend, Tony Elliott, became a member of the Little 500 Hall of Fame in 2012. The Little 500 will be very different this coming year without Tony there.
It was truly my honor to have known him!