Greg Nolen, owner of Nolen Racing, announced on Monday that his team will once again enter a pair of asphalt sprint cars for Shane Hollingsworth, 38, of Lafayette, Ind., and Emerson Axsom, 18, of Franklin, Ind., to drive in the Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW in 2023. The 75th edition of the world’s greatest asphalt sprint car race is slated for Saturday night, May 27 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. It is part of the 500 Sprint Car Tour, and it will be broadcast on MAVTV by Flo Racing.
In addition to that, the Whiteland, Ind.-based team will field a USAC Silver Crown car for Axsom at that series’ season opener April 16 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track and its races on 1-mile dirt tracks: Aug. 19 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and Sept. 2 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Ill.
Also, one or two other USAC Silver Crown races on asphalt tracks will be added to the mix as scheduling permits.
Nolen Racing won the Little 500 in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019 with driver Kody Swanson. Swanson and Hollingsworth led an unprecedented 499 of the 500 laps of that race in 2019. Hollingsworth nearly made it three straight but came up just short in 2020 with a runner-up result.
The team won the USAC Silver Crown championship with Swanson in 2019, winning half of the events that year. They then finished second in the point standings in 2020.
Hollingsworth and Axsom were Nolen Racing teammates at the Little 500 for the first time in 2022. Both were involved in on-track incidents but still finished in the top 10. Hollingsworth was as high as fourth and finished eighth. Axsom ran as high as second and finished tenth in his rookie appearance in that event.
Hollingsworth also finished third in the inaugural Gene Nolen Classic last July at Anderson Speedway in the famous bright yellow Nolen Racing No. 20. Axsom finished third in the Tony Elliott Classic driving for Nolen Racing at the same track in October. Nolen Racing fielded a car for Axsom for his first USAC Silver Crown race ever, which was last year’s Sumar Classic at Terre Haute. His drive was the talk of the event, as he came from dead last to finish fifth.
The team is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings. It uses Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engines.