The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Auto Racing

May 23, 2014

Smith returning to Little 500 after 35 years

Sprint car classic runs tonight

ANDERSON — Jimmy Carter was president, a gallon of gas cost 90 cents, and “My Sharona” by The Knack was the top song in 1979, which was also the last time Danny Smith competed in the Pay Less Little 500.

Smith, 57, is returning to Anderson Speedway to drive the Mike Blake-owned sprint car in tonight’s Little 500 classic at the Anderson Speedway.

The Indianapolis driver was named rookie of the race in 1975 when he finished third. Smith started on the inside of the front row for the 1978 race, leading the first 19 laps before his night ended in an accident.

He was the co-winner in 1979 with Wayne Reutimann.

“I had run 400 laps in my car and it blew up,” Smith recalled of the 1979 race. “Wayne crashed and they hauled him to the hospital, I hopped in and finished the final 10 laps.”

Smith said that during his first year at Anderson Speedway in 1975 he was supposed to be graduating from high school.

“They threw a cap and gown on me here, so I graduated at Anderson Speedway. Still trying to learn ever since,” he said with a laugh.

After the 1979 race, Smith started racing on dirt with the World of Outlaws and All Stars tour.

“I’ve always had a special place for the 500 in my heart and every year said I was going to do it,” Smith said. “This year I did it.

“Back in the day it was the biggest race in the United States and it still is for pavement sprint car racing,” he said. “It’s still a unique event.”

Smith planned to build his own car for the Little 500, but when that wasn’t going to happen he contacted veteran car owner BIake.

“It’s a big, unique event, glad to be back and seeing people I haven’t for a long time,” he said. “This race is a big part of my history to be a co-winner and finish third. I wanted to come do it one more time before I got too old.”

Text Only
Auto Racing
  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0728 - Gordon art Rain doesn't dampen Brickyard fans' spirits

    Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast Sunday. Fans expected the race to be completed and were anticipating an exciting race for the Sprint Cup event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0728 - Gordon art Fifth Brickyard for Gordon Indiana racing fans roared their approval of the kid they watched growing up in open wheel cars as Jeff Gordon scored his record fifth Brickyard 400 victory Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dorer scores JEGS win at Anderson Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300. The next year he flipped in Turn 1 during the CRA Super Series event. He scored another highlight Saturday night by winning for the first time with the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour event in the Edgewater Woods 100.|ANDERSON — Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Fre

    July 27, 2014

  • Jones perfect in ARCA competition Georgia driver Brandon Jones remained perfect in the ARCA Racing Series by winning for a second time Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway, but he needed some misfortune to strike another driver for the victory.

    July 26, 2014

  • Chris Hacker image Hacker helping kids go to camp Born with an injury that affects the nerves controlling the muscles in his left arm hasn’t slowed Chris Hacker when he climbs behind a race car.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway mourns death of Garner

    The death of three-time Indianapolis 500 pace car driver James Garner is rippling through the motor racing community.

    July 20, 2014

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • Ken de la Bastide: Disappointing short track news abounds During the past two weeks, there has been disappointing news coming out of the local short track racing community.

    July 15, 2014

  • Atkinson wins Street Stock 75 New Castle’s Jason Atkinson appeared headed to a dominating win Saturday night at Anderson Speedway in the CRA Street Stock feature.

    July 13, 2014

Latest Racing News