Two veteran Pay Less Little 500 drivers were able to bump their way into the starting field for the 68thrunning of the iconic event at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.
The front row consisting of New Castle resident Caleb Armstrong, Chris Neuenschwander and Bobby Santos III will lead the 33-sprint cars to the 8 p.m. start.
The field consists of former winners Jeff Bloom, Brian Tyler, Dave Steele, Chris Windom,
Jacob Wilson and Shane Cottle are in the field. Rookies Tanner Swanson and Brad Wyatt are
making their first Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW/GM start.
Cottle, who was caught up in a crash during practice on Thursday, turned in the fastest four laps on Friday at an average speed of 78.41 miles per hour. Cottle will start 23rd.
Cottle’s time was good enough to bump Canadian driver Ron Larson from the field. There would be plenty of drama surrounding Larson later in the day.
Larson went out a little while after Cottle and turned four-laps at 76.64 mph to bump his way back into the field, knocking out Florida driver Troy Thompson.
But following his qualifying run Larson failed to report for technical inspection as required by Anderson Speedway rules. He eventually was disqualified.
Peru veteran Russ Gamester turned in a qualifying average speed of 77.38 mph which bumped out Brian Vaughn. Gamester will start 31st.
Several other drivers failed to find enough speed to make the field until Vaughn made a qualifying attempt with only minutes remaining.
Vaughn’s average speed of 76.78 mph was good enough to knock Brad Wyatt from the field.
Wyatt made a final attempt that failed to make the field. But when Larson was disqualified Wyatt was awarded the 33rdstarting spot.