Little Scores Big At New Hampshire

Jesse Little

Jesse Little, son of former NASCAR driver Chad Little, celebrates after his win at New Hampshire on Friday. (Photo: Getty Images)

Race Results

LOUDON, N.H. - Nick Drake walked away frustrated with Brandon Jones. Jesse Little, though, couldn’t have been more pleased with what happened on his mother’s birthday.

Little, the 17-year-old son of former NASCAR driver Chad Little, won Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when the leaders wrecked on the final lap.

Little’s victory also ended Ben Rhodes’ bid to win a record-tying fifth series race. Rhodes, who started on the pole, finished 22nd after serving a pass-through penalty for passing too soon on the final restart.

Drake led entering Turn 3 on the final lap when Jones charged from the inside. Jones hit Drake and they both spun, clearing the path for Little to score his first career series victory.

Drake thought he was headed for his first career series win until Jones hit him.

“I just figured people at this level would be smarter,’’ Drake said after finishing 24th. “It’s just stupid and not fair to drive like that. That’s twice this year. He got us at Bowman-Gray. This one was just stupid. He just ran us over.’’

Kevin Harvick sided with Drake, tweeting: “Just watched one of the dumber moves I’ve ever seen in the K&N race by the 2nd-place car trying to win.’’

NASCAR called Jones to the hauler after the race.

Efforts to reach Jones after the race were unsuccessful.              

Eddie MacDonald finished second with Cale Conley, who started 30th, Jay Beasley and Chad Finley completing the top five.

Little, who started second, joked this week with his mom Donna about if she would like a trophy for her birthday. It looked more likely as the race progressed.

While Rhodes overcame a tire rub and hung near the front, he fell back late and then was penalized. Gray Gaulding led a race-high 53 laps only to have a tire go down while leading with 21 laps left.

“I feel like I can’t catch a break,’’ said Gaulding, who finished eighth. “A small cut in the tire from probably running over something. There’s so much crap on the track. I feel like I should be in Victory Lane right now. We had a great car. It will all come together one of these days.’’

With those drivers out of the way Little set his sights on the lead.

“I tried my hardest to keep myself in a position those last 20 or 30 laps that if something did happen I would be able to capitalize, and I sure did,’’ Little said.

“I’m super relieved. I feel like I have all this pressure lifted off me. At the same time I’m that much more ready for Columbus (next week).’’

 

Related Topics:

NASCAR, NASCAR Pro Series East

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