SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. – NASCAR Next alumnus Jesse Little is going to be a busy driver this week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
In addition to running the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race for JJL Motorsports on Thursday night, he will also make his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) start driving for Gaunt Brothers Racing.
Little will drive the team’s No. 96 Toyota Camry in the Aug. 18 running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race after successful making his Cup Series debut last month for Premium Motorsports at Kentucky Speedway.
Little, 21, has two Truck Series starts at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” in addition to his four NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) races at the 0.533-mile oval including a pole in 2015.
“I can’t begin to describe to emotion of racing a Truck and a Cup car at Bristol on the same weekend,” said Little. “This is a huge opportunity for me and I want to thank Marty Gaunt (Cup team owner) and Jason Little (Truck team owner) for giving me the tools to race double duty at one of my favorite race tracks.”
Knowing the vary differences between competing in the Truck Series and Cup Series in a span of two days, Little is keeping his expectations realistic but is also eager to put his teams in the headlines for the right reasons.
“I really think we’re going to have a truck capable of a top-five finish on Thursday night,” Little said. “My Truck crew chief Matt Noyce and the guys on our JJL Motorsports team have been working hard to make sure we can go there this week and be very competitive and keep building our “little team” in the right direction.
“When it comes to the Cup race on Saturday night, I just want to get more experience in a Cup car, be respectful and bring Marty and the team a solid finish they can be satisfied with. It’s going to be a long race. The longest race of my career – but I feel like if I can remain patient and stay out of trouble, hopefully we can leave Bristol with a top-25 finish and call it a successful weekend.”
The third-generation driver has had an exceptional season in the Truck Series driving for his family-owned JJL Motorsports team.
In five starts this year, Little has maneuvered four top-10 finishes including a career-best sixth place result at Iowa Speedway last month. Most recently, Little finished seventh at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park with support from Rustic Rub Co. on June 23.
The year started off with an impressive eighth place showing at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway with a marketing partnership with Wings Over North Georgia Air Show (WONG) Air Show presented by Parker FiberNet.
Noted as North Georgia’s No. 1 fall family event, the seventh annual Wings Over North Georgia Air Show returns October 13-14 at Rome’s Russell Regional Airport.
The air show will feature an elite lineup of world-class military and civilian performers, static aircraft displays and premium infield camping.
Little will offer exclusive fan pack giveaways for the WONG Air Show through his social media channels following the race weekend.
In addition to Wings Over North Georgia Air Show, the team is proud to announce a relationship with Visit Kingsport Tennessee for the UNOH 200.
Promoting the city’s “Get Into the Outdoors” campaign, Kingsport offers a variety of activities including nestling in the Bays Mountain with hiking, biking and zip-lining, kayaking and tubing on the Holston River – or at sunset enjoying the overall beauty of Kingsport while sipping on the city’s original Long Island Ice Tea.
The UNOH 200 is set for Thurs., Aug. 16 with coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90. Event coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race is set for Saturday night, Aug. 18th with coverage on NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90. Event coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
For additional information on Gaunt Brothers Racing, please visit gauntbrothersracing.com
For all that Visit Kingsport has to offer, please visit visitkingsport.com.
For more on Jesse Little, please like him on Facebook at Jesse Little Racing.
Little tweets too. Follow him @JesseLittle97.
For additional information on JJL Motorsports, please visit JJLRacing.com.
JJL Motorsports tweets too. Follow them @JJL_Motorsports.