Jesse Little Wins Wild Granite State 100

Photo - Getty Images

Photo – Getty Images

Jesse Little found himself in third on the last lap behind leader Nick Drake and second-place Brandon Jones.

Jones went under Drake in turn three and both drivers spun, allowing Little to take advantage of their mistake and score his first career K&N East win.     

“I was coming off of turn two and the crew chief came on the radio said ‘Be ready’,” Little said.  “I saw that 33 take a really low approach and I knew right then he’s (Jones) gonna try it and I kinda knew that he wouldn’t make it stick.”

The son of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director Chad Little learned something from last year’s K&N West finale at Phoenix International Raceway to help him in the similar move on the last lap in Friday’s race.

“I kinda had a thought in the back of my mind that was gonna happen. My main goal at that point was I was gonna keep myself in contention to where the leaders did get together, I would be able to make a move,” he added.

Points leader Ben Rhodes tried to win his fifth straight K&N East win and tie Ricky Craven’s 23-year-old record, but it wasn’t in the cards.

“I never looked at it (the streak) in the first place for the win for the record,” Rhodes said.

The 17-year-old driver talked with Craven before the race.

“He (Craven) actually gave me some good advice that I was using in the race,” he added.  “I was glad I got to see him beforehand. He’s a good guy and I enjoyed listening to him.”

There was a lot of side-by-side, beating and banging racing in the Granite State 100.  On a few of the late restarts, cars fanned out three and four wide and provided some great racing.

Second-place points driver Gray Gaulding led most of the race until a right-front tire went down late, but worked his way back to an eighth-place finish.

Gaulding appeared to have a good car on the short run, as Brandon Jones started to slowly reel in the No. 20 car the longer the race went.

There were several tire problems, including Gaulding, Daniel Suarez and Sergio Pena.

The win for Jesse Little was also on his mother’s birthday.  He joked around with his mother earlier in the day about a trophy for the occasion.

“I’m not sure what to do with it,” he said jokingly.  “Maybe make a replica or something.”

This isn’t the first time a Little has been in victory lane at New Hampshire.  Jesse’s father Chad won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Magic Mile in 1995.

The Granite State 100 will be on TV on Sunday, July 20 at noon ET on FOX Sports 1.

Granite State 100 Results

#97 Jesse Little

#71 Eddie MacDonald

#47 Cale Conley

#42 Jay Beasley

#29 Chad Finley

#04 Ronnie Bassett, Jr.

#22 Austin Hill

#20 Gray Gaulding

#43 Brodie Kostecki

#31 Kaz Grala

#27 Kyle Benjamin

#52 Matt Tifft

#14 Trey Hutchens

#96 Kenzie Ruston

#98 Cameron Hayley

#1 David Garbo, Jr.

#77 Anderson Bowen

#12 Giles Thornton

#81 Jeremy Burns

#63 John Salemi

#33 Brandon Jones

#41 Ben Rhodes

#05 Codie Rohrbaugh

#15 Nick Drake

#34 Scott Heckert

#2 Ryan Gifford

#21 Mackena Bell

#24 Brennan Newberry

#46 Brandon Gdovic

#4 Sergio Pena

#6 Daniel Suarez