ANDERSON – It has been a record that has stood for 11 years but competitors in the 74th running of the Lucas Oil Little 500 expect that mark to be eclipsed.
During qualifications for the 2011 Little 500 Aaron Pierce set a one-lap record of 10.944-seconds (82.24 miles per hour) and a four-lap record time of 44.030-seconds (81.76 mph).
Several competitors during the open practice at Anderson Speedway were turning laps in the 11.1-second range (81.08 mph) around the high-banked quarter mile oval.
CB Fabricating Pole Day is Thursday with qualifying starting at 1:30 p.m. to lock the fastest 15 qualifiers to the starting field.
Defending race winner Tyler Roahrig agreed that a new track record was possible.
“With the weather conditions and the tires are a little bit better this year,” Roahrig said. “The track record would be nice, but the main goal is to win the race.”
Roahrig said overall the field for this year’s race will be faster than in 2021 when the field average speed was 75.71 mph.
Three-time winner Kody Swanson said it could be the fastest Little 500 ever.
“The track is in pretty good condition,” he said. “The weather is better, usually it feels like 100 degrees. There are a lot of good cars making themselves better and each other better.”
Swanson said the track is sensitive to the weather, so a lot will depend on the conditions Thursday.
He said it’s probably the strongest field that are entered for Saturday’s race.
“There are cars that are really fast and guys that can do it for a long time,” Swanson said. “It makes for a fun race.”
NASCAR veteran Ryan Newman looking to make his first Little 500 start said he is at Anderson Speedway for one reason, to win the race.
“I’ve been in the grandstands here before probably 30 years ago,” he said. “I’ve watched a few of them. This race has always been a big deal where I’m at in my career.”
Newman won a 50-lap sprint car race at Anderson Speedway in the past.
“There are probably a lot of guys here that have not won anything here,” he laughed, “so winning a 50-lap race says something.
“This is kind of home for me being from South Bend and open wheel racing,” Newman said. “I’ll do it (Little 500) whenever it makes sense, it made sense this time.”