Little Steals First K&N East Triumph
LOUDON, N.H. – Third-place was the perfect position for Jesse Little on the white flag lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. The end result was him standing in victory lane with his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.
The 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, N.C., drove around the two wrecking leaders in turn three en route to winning the Granite State 100. The NASCAR Next driver and 2013 K&N Pro East Sunoco Rookie of the Year was making his 33rd K&N Pro start.
Nick Drake led the field at the white flag lap, but when second-place Brandon Jones tried a bottom move in turn three, he got into Drake and the two wrecked. That opened the door for Little.
Drake wound up finishing 24th and Jones’ car rolled across the line in 21st.
Eddie MacDonald ended up taking the runner-up finish, followed by Cale Conley and rookies Jay Beasley and Chad Finley.
Rookies Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Austin Hill took sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Gray Gaulding, and rookies Brodie Kostecki and Kaz Grala.
Championship points leader Ben Rhodes, who entered the race with a shot to match the series record of five straight wins, came home 22nd. Rhodes won the 21 Means 21 and battled in the top five for most of the race before a late race procedure infraction on a restart resulted in a green-flag pass-through penalty took him out of contention.
Jesse Little, Eddie MacDonald, Cale Conley, Jay Beasley, Chad Finley, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Austin Hill, Gray Gaulding, Brodie Kostecki, Kaz Grala, Kyle Benjamin, Matt Tifft, Trey Hutchens, Kenzie Ruston, Cameron Hayley, David Garbo Jr., Anderson Bowen, Giles Thornton, Jeremy Burns, John Salemi, Brandon Jones, Ben Rhodes, Codie Rohrbaugh, Nick Drake, Scott Heckert, Ryan Gifford, Mackena Bell, Brennan Newberry, Brandon Gdovic, Sergio Pena, Daniel Suarez.