SHERRILLS FORD, North Carolina –NASCAR Next driver, Jesse Little, continues his K&N Pro Series East season Friday evening with the running of the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway.
The race marks the halfway point in the K&N Pro Series East season for the 17-year old.
“We’re inside the top-10 in the chase for the championship,” Little noted. “Our NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet has had some strong runs this year. Getting back to half-mile track will be nice since we had a good car in Bakersfield (Kern County Raceway is also a half-mile) so that’s encouraging for this tight schedule we’re on.”
Little will go from Pensacola’s half-mile to the .400-mile Langley (Virginia) Speedway on June 21.
“It’s important to keep aiming for race wins to stay in the hunt for the championship. We had excellent speed last year at both Five Flags and Langley and expect a solid performance If we can do that over the next eight days that will really help with momentum heading into the summer stretch of our schedule,” he said.
This summer finds Team Little Racing competing in 12 events over a 16-week period with two trips to the West Coast among those races.
“Schools out and I’ll be helping (crew chief) Kris and our team in the shop this summer. That’s something I’ve been doing for several years and it pays off in learning more about the racecar. Continuing to learn the mechanical side of the car helps in my feedback with Kris on adjustments we can make,” Little said.
Spending time in the shop also builds an appreciation for the equipment, the third-generation driver explained.
“To be able to keep our equipment in top condition is key to having success at the track. Preparation in the shop leads to victories. When you know the car being loaded into the hauler is something you’ve worked on that week it’s a great feeling of accomplishment”
This week’s work will focus on getting the car to handle the corners at Five Flags Speedway, Little added.
“The track has some banking to it so carrying speed into the corners that allows the race car to exit well is one of the challenges of Five Flags. We have had good set-ups for the half-miles and last time out on a track this size (Bakersfield) Kris and the guys gave me something that we were able to run strong with for a top-5 finish. I know if we take the same approach we can do well this week.”
Little has added incentive to perform well this weekend, he said
“It’s Father’s Day on Sunday and my dad (Chad) has been there for me every step of the way. Whether you’re racing, playing stick and ball sports, involved in school activities or community projects having an encouraging family is a big part of what drives a person to succeed. We’ve got a Happy Father’s Day decal on the car for all of the dads out there and I’m proud to be running it this weekend.