Jacob Wilson to replace Scott Hampton in the Little 500

Anderson Speedway officials have announced that Scott Hampton has decided to withdraw himself from the 75th Annual Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW. His replacement in the #51 Unified Group Services entry will be two-time Little 500 champion, Jacob Wilson. Wilson, from Crawfordsville, Indiana, will look to make his 14th Little 500 start and joins Jeff Bloom, Tyler Roahrig, Bobby Santos III, and Kody Swanson as former winners entered into the event.

“When I couldn’t do the race, the next best person to put in the car was Jacob Wilson,” said Scott Hampton. “I thought what could be better than a two time Little 500 winner getting into the car. I am extremely fortunate to have a great car owner in Ted Slinkard, plus supportive sponsors in Unified Group Services and Mitch Smith Auto Service. They are all “game” and supportive of Jacob getting into the car. 

“I am going to stay around and help with the car all week. I will continue to oversee the car and do whatever Jacob needs to be successful. Our goal is to be standing on the front stretch as a team at the end of the night.”

In his 13 consecutive Little 500 starts from 2008 to 2020, Wilson was a proverbial favorite to compete for wins. Wilson compiled 4,932 laps and led a total of 443 laps across 4 separate races. Wilson finished in the top ten on eight separate occasions along with seven top fives. He joined the distinguished list of winners in 2013 and followed suit with another victory in 2014 to become the seventh driver in Little 500 history to have back-to-back victories. Should Wilson visit victory lane again in 2023, 10 years after his maiden victory, he would join an elite group of drivers to win three or more Little 500 Sprint Car Classics.

“I was definitely not expecting a call from Scotty,” explained Jacob Wilson.  “The call caught me a bit off guard. After Scotty explained he had to withdraw, and hearing about the team, the excited sponsors and an owner that is invested in him as not only a driver but team manager, I was happy to fill in. Scotty has been a friend for a long time and it means a lot getting this opportunity. I’m looking forward to bringing some experience from our family team to what Scott (Hampton) and Ted (Slinkard)  have built.”

Scott Hampton will maintain his presence at Anderson Speedway during Little 500 week as he acts as crew chief for the entry. Hampton and Wilson will continue to receive support from car owner Ted Slinkard, as well as sponsors Unified Group Services and Mitch Smith Auto Service. In 2022, the team had a stressful Little 500 week after being disqualified during the first day of qualifying and had to lock themselves into the field on Bump Day. Hampton rebounded well, qualifying 16th and finishing in 15th position. Hampton has competed in nine Little 500’s including eight consecutive appearances between 2015 and 2022, and has a best finish of fourth which came in 2021.
The 75th Annual Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW is set to be run on Saturday, May 27th at 8:00pm. Practice for teams begins on Wednesday, May 24 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. CB Fabricating Pole Day is scheduled for Thursday, May 25 from 11:30am – 3:30pm. Final practice and Bump Day is set for Friday, May 26 from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Grandstand admission is free for fans Wednesday through Friday and race day tickets are reserved seating only and are $45 each. Tickets for the 75th Annual Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (765) 642-0206 ex. 121 or by stopping by the ticket office. Fans can also stream the event live via MAVTV on Floracing by clicking here to subscribe or stream.