Hometown Driver Cracks Little 500 Field Hours After Entering The Race

Jack Kessler Photo

Colin Grissom had been in attendance at the 76th Annual Little 500 Presented By UAW all week helping out the Travis Welpott race team in their preparations for the event.  As Bump Day Practice was about to begin on Friday morning, he received the word to go get the backup car and that he was now entered for the biggest pavement Sprint Car race on the planet.

Just a few hours and a few practice laps later, the hometown Anderson native found himself locked in to his first Little 500, despite having never turned a lap in a pavement Sprint Car before Friday afternoon.  His qualifying time of 47.656 was good enough to put him 28th on the speed charts, ensuring his spot in the 33-car field for Saturday night.

“Honestly, my nerves were kind of shot.  I’ve never been in a pavement Sprint Car until today,” stated Grissom after his qualifying run.  “We only had so many practice laps before we went out and qualified for the race.  I calmed down, we got going and got everything good so we could race tomorrow.”

Grissom is a former USSA Mel Kenyon Midget Series champion with 11 wins to his credit, five of which came at Anderson.  He’s also won a School Bus Figure-8 race and a Vintage Wrench Ford Division feature at the ¼-mile in the past.

Now, he gets to realize a dream and compete in the Little 500.

“This is awesome, this is my hometown and my home track when we run pavement.  It’s going to be fun, it’s a dream come true.  I’d like to thank Welpott Racing for everything and for letting me grab the car this morning and come back.  We’re going to have a good time tomorrow and see how everything plays out.”

The 76th Annual Little 500 Presented by UAW is tomorrow night, May 25th at 8:00pm.  Grandstand gates open at 3:00 for the Little 500 driver’s meeting, which is open to the public.  Teams will get a warm up session at 4:30, followed by an autograph session at 5:30.  Pre-race is slated to begin at 7:00, with the green flag set to wave at 8:00.

Tickets for the event are still available and are reserved seating only. All tickets are $45 and can be purchased online HERE or at the gate on Saturday.  The race will also be streamed live on DIRTVision.

For more information on the Little 500, visit us at andersonspeedway.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

  • Story by Koty Geyer