DOVER, Del. – Heading to one of his favorite tracks on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule, Jesse Little (@JesseLittle97) treks to Dover International Speedway hoping for his second consecutive top-10 finish this season in Friday afternoon’s JEGS 200.
Little and his family-owned JJL Motorsports team competed in the second race of the season at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March and turned heads.
In the Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the team thrived and even contended for the race win before a botched restart left Little with a career-best eighth place finish.
Still upbeat about the team’s performance two and a half months later, Little believes his team can continue the momentum in their first short track race of the season.
“I love Dover,” said Little, who holds a track-best second place finish in K&N Pro Series East competition.
“The track is so unique with its layout and demeanor that it really brings out the best in a driver’s ability.
“You have to have a good handling race vehicle though. Even though it’s just a one-mile track, handling is so critical, and I’ve been fortunate to always have good driving pieces there.”
JJL Motorsports crew chief Matt Noyce and crew have been vastly preparing a brand-new No. 97 JJL Motorsports Ford F-150 for Friday’s race. Little says the downtime has allowed Noyce and his crew to go over this truck with a fine-tooth comb.
The finished product has him antsy to hit the track.
“Our race truck is really nice,” Little said. “Our Ford Performance truck looks fast and Ford has been able to do some good things in Truck Series this season and at Dover in the past. Even though we’re a small team, we’re proud to be carrying the blue oval and look forward to leaving our mark over 200 laps this weekend.”
While JJL Motorsports is still actively searching for sponsorship for its truck, the team has a plethora of support, including a relationship with Performance Friction Corporation. JJL is proud to represent PFC and use their brakes on their race truck.
The Sherrills Ford, N.C.-native knows when it comes to performance at Dover, brakes are a crucial element.
“PFC has been a great supporter of ours,” Little added. “You try to stay off the brakes as much as you can when it comes to Dover – but there are points of the weekend – including practice, qualifying and the race when they are a necessity – so I’m glad we have PFC bolted in.”
While confident in their team’s ability – Little returns to the Miles’ Monster Mile looking for some redemption too. After qualifying fifth last spring, the 21-year-old found him in contention for his first career NCWTS triumph using pit strategy.
Unfortunately, the strategy backfired when a late caution waved keeping the team trapped outside the top-10 and ultimately settling for a 14th place finish.
“We’ve always run well at Dover,” Little sounded. “Last year, we had a great truck – but just got shuffled from a good finish when a late caution ruined our game plan. So, while we’re confident in our team’s approach after Atlanta, we still feel like we have some unfinished business after last year and hope to finish what we started Friday afternoon.”
Looking ahead, JJL Motorsports plans to compete in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 18, while also having open inventory for funded drivers aboard their Ford F-150s during the summer and fall stretch.
In 14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Little has earned two top-10 finishes at Iowa Speedway (2017) and Atlanta Motor Speedway (2018) respectively.
The JEGS 200 (200 laps | 200 miles) is the fifth of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., May 3 from 2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:05 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., May 4, beginning at 1:05 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 5:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).
For additional information on JJL Motorsports, please visit JJLRacing.com.
Stay tuned for a new JJL Motorsports website, but in the meantime, find JJL Motorsports on Twitter @JJL_Motorsports
Credit: JJL Motorsport