Pete Smith



This year at the 65th running of the Little 500 you will see a huge field of pavement sprint cars trying to make the big show, some operations very well-funded some on shoe strings budgets but all with just a desire to compete in the race. This year’s field promises to be among the hardest to make if not the hardest ever, and if you look down the list of drivers vying for those 33 starting position many names will stand out. One entry though the 100 piloted by Tom Patterson should italicized in everyone’s books because there effort this year truly embodies the spirit of the event. The  number  100 PDP racing sprint car is owned by a group of three friends Tom, Chad Delagrange and Jim Payne who all pooled assets to continue racing when the price of the sport became too much for each of them to bear individually. The number 100 is used on the car to commemorate partner Chad Delagrange’s father who used the number when he raced modifieds. The 100 machine is hauled in an open trailer by an older model truck that will stand out parked next to the modern haulers typically seen in the pits for this event.  Yet, Tom who normally drives the car is unfettered by the disparities in equipment , in fact driven by it. He says if he makes the field it makes it that much sweeter  “to have the guy pitted next to you having his equipment hauled in a semi”. The PDP racing trio consider it a win just to make the prestigious event eventhough they already have several Little 500 appearances to their credit.  The group is fully committed to the effort. Tom’s  commitment to the event  goes as far as him going on a bologna sandwich diet for the week to make his budget work.  

                Teams like this are what makes the little 500 the great event we all know and they need all the help they can get. Without a sponsor to help foot the bill PDP racing has extended the offer to anyone for as little as $5.00 to put their name on the car not just for the Little 500 but for an entire year. Their goal is to reach $2000 to help foot the bill for the little 500. IF you want to help or would like to see your name or business on a sprint car you can call Tom  at (574) 532-7747 or email him at Most importantly though If you see Tom or any of the PDP racing trio at Anderson this week stop by hi and thank them for their commitment to sprint car racing. They have great stories from decades of experience, probably a story from every track in the tri-state area dirt or pavement and are a group that makes our sport what it is.














Copyright © 2001 []
All rights reserved.
Revised: May 21, 2013