Cutters win Little 500

Munster grad rides through abnormal conditions at the Little 500
2010-04-25T00:00:00Z Cutters win Little 500By Jim Hunsley - jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com

A victory in the 60th annual Little 500 would've been the perfect 20th birthday present for Munster's Eric Anderson.

Taking part in one of the crazier races in the event's history and picking up a top-five finish along the way were enough of a consolation for the Indiana University sophomore.

"It was awesome," said Anderson, whose Beta Theta Pi squad finished fifth overall. "There were moments out there today that were just unreal.

"Just being a part of this was pretty special."

The Cutters won for the fourth straight time, but the event might even be more memorable for what transpired during the race. Lightning forced a red flag just a little over halfway through the 200-lap event.

The stoppage brought about some confusion in the pits.

"We thought we were told before the race started that any red flag after lap 200 would end the race," Anderson said. "A lot of teams started to put out their sprinters around laps 80 and 90 because they knew the lightning was coming to the area.

"We were relieved to hear that they would be restarting the race."

At that point, Beta Theta Pi was just one of five teams on the lead lap. After dry conditions remained throughout the 40-minute delay, the rains accompanied the riders for the final laps of the event.

Anderson and his teammates weren't upset with the wet conditions.

"At that point, we were already soaked," he said. "Having the rains there just added to the drama of the race.

"We didn't totally welcome it, because some puddles started to form around laps 170 and 180. It was still fun to ride in the rain."

Anderson finished the ride for his team, and he was completely exhausted.

"I was actually exhausted right after the race ended," Anderson said. "I rode probably the slowest lap of my life. I just passed out. I was absolutely dead.

"I'll definitely remember this race."

Ogden Dunes' Jordan Bailey also left with some vivid recollections from the event. Bailey's team, the Black Key Bulls, finished ninth.

"I couldn't believe the red flag came out," Bailey said. "I don't think that's happened in 30 years."

Bailey endured 46-degree air temperatures and 54-degree water temperatures at last week's USA Triathlon Collegiate Championships in Lubbock, Texas, but Saturday's conditions were just as memorable.

"The (Little 500) conditions were very muddy and soupy. Guys would take off their sunglasses and there would be a mud outline on their faces. I was ready for anything, but this was still pretty bizarre.

"This will no doubt go down in legend as one of the crazier Little 500s."

COLLEGE SPORTS

Westville's Floor finishes third at Grand Prix

Westville resident and Purdue freshman John Floor placed third at Saturday's 53rd annual Grand Prix go-kart race in West Lafayette.

Justin Penix of IUPUI won the event. Munster's Andrew Stevens, driving for Tarkington Hall, was seventh overall after starting 21st, while Portage's Adam Kilgore (Kappa Sigma) placed ninth.

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