Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year and 2014-15 NASCAR Next class member, Jesse Little, makes his second trek West this season as the 17-year old will compete at Kern County Raceway Park for the running of the Bakersfield “150” presented by GPS.
The race is the 11th of the season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competitors and marks Little’s second race of the year on the half-mile California speed plant.
“We had a great NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet at the West’s first race at Kern County. The handling was solid and (crew chief) Kris (Bowen) and the team really had us in position to challenge for a win,” Little said. “I loved the track and am really looking forward to getting back there this weekend.”
Kern County Raceway may be considered a short-track, but it drives like a much bigger facility, he added.
“Kern County feels like an Iowa Speedway or Richmond when you’re behind the wheel. You carry so much speed into the corners, the car sticks and it seems like you’re not out of the gas for very long before you get back after it. We learned some things from our May race (where Little finished fifth) that we’re putting into our racecar for Saturday night. Being able to go back to the track for second time this year should prove to be a great thing for our race team to get another strong finish on the West series,”
Little has plenty of momentum on his side as he heads to Bakersfield this weekend. Holding the fourth place position in the chase for the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship, Little has posted a win, a pole, three top-5 and six top-10 finishes in his last six starts. Little has also posted two top fives in two career K&N Pro Series West starts at Phoenix and Kern County Raceway Park.
“We’ve posted some good results this summer and have been in contention at nearly every race for quite a few weeks. That really gives the team and I confidence when we unload the car that we’re going to be one to watch when everything gets going on race day. We have the New Hampshire win under our belts and would love to add a West series victory to this season’s results,” he noted.
With West series history in his pedigree, posting a solid result when the weekend is concluded is the goal, Little added.
“The series means a lot to our family (Jesse’s father, Chad, was the 1987 series champion and has multiple wins on the circuit, and Jesse’s Grandfather Chuck was very successful in the West Series in the 60’s and 70’s). “It’s always big to race out West when we get the chance. We’re planning to run Phoenix again this year so this weekend gives us another chance to support the series and compete against the best the drivers from that part of the country.”
As the summer break winds down for Little with a return to school having come this week, the California trip also allows for a rare outing to visit friends and family from the Western United States.
“With so much of our racing the last couple of seasons coming on the East series our team doesn’t get the chance to race in front of everyone who supports us from the other side of the country,” Little said. “With the two Bakersfield races and the upcoming event in Phoenix, we get that chance to do so and it’s great to be able to see everyone while we’re out West.”