The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Auto Racing

May 24, 2014

Wilson goes back to back in Little 500

Coons, Helberg score podium finishes

ANDERSON — Jacob Wilson repeated as champion of the 66th running of the Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Wilson ran in the top five for most of the race and took the lead for the first time on Lap 328. He surrendered the lead to Shane Cottle when he made his second mandatory pit stop but came out in second.

When Cottle lost an engine on Lap 386, Wilson returned to the point and led the final 114 laps for the victory. He becomes the first back-to-back winner since Eric Gordon accomplished the feat in 2004 and 2005.

Wilson was followed to the checkers by Herald Bulletin rookie of the year Jerry Coons Jr. and Jojo Helberg, who started 20th in the 33-car field.

For the second consecutive year, the race saw a valiant effort for the win in the Contos Racing entry go up in smoke.

A year ago, Cottle was threatening for the win, putting pressure on Wilson, when his engine expired with four laps remaining. This year the engine let go on Lap 387 as Cottle was leading the race chased by Wilson.

Cottle took over the lead on Lap 209 following the first round of pit stops for the leaders, chased by Helberg and Wilson.

Being in the lead early in the race was not the place to be as first Aaron Pierce and then Bryan Clauson were involved in incidents with lapped cars, knocking them from contention.

Pole-sitter Clauson led from Lap 44 through Lap 123 with Coons Jr. running on his tailpipe. On Lap 124, Clauson tapped the back of the lapped car of Tom Paterson, causing Clauson to spin and Patterson to climb over the front of his sprint car.

Clauson was able to continue but lost four laps as a result of the incident. He fought to get a lap back when the leaders pitted and was threatening to get a second lap back near the 300-lap mark when his tires went away.

The back luck that has struck Daleville driver Pierce continued when he made contact with the rear tire of a slower car and hit the Turn 3 retaining wall. Pierce had led the first 43 laps, jumping to the point from the middle of the front row.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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