Race Information: Event: PittLite 125, Saturday, April 16 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Local Time Track: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Qualifying: Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. Local Time Track Length: 0.5-mile paved oval.
Back In The Saddle: In his Rette Jones Racing (RJR) debut, driver Jesse Little roared from his 14thplace qualifying effort at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway, used patience and hammered down when it counted and earned a superb third place finish in the inaugural Mobile 150 presented by the Mobile Sports Authority at Mobile.
Round II: With a stout finish behind him, Little will attempt his second race of the season in a limited NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule this weekend in the No. 29 NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) / UTI Toyota Camry. Little’s limited schedule is hopeful of a six-to-eight race schedule.
No Slouch In Thunder Valley: With three career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at Bristol, Little has qualified in the top-10 for all three races, including a pole last April. His best finish in “Thunder Valley” is 13th in 2014 after starting 10th.
Last year, Little proved to have one of the cars to beat, but a mechanical issue halfway through the race parked his No. 97 car vowing for redemption in his next attempt at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”
New Qualifying Procedure: This weekend’s PittLite125 will feature a new qualifying procedure. Instead of the traditional two-lap time trials, group qualifying similar to road course procedures, will be utilized. Each group will participate in a five-minute session and the fastest single lap speed of each car will determine the first 32 starting positions secured into the field by their qualifying lap / speed.
The one-lap qualifying record for the series at Bristol is held by Little at 15.891 seconds (120.748 seconds) and was established on Sat, April 18, 2015.
Meet Jesse Little: Little, the son of former NASCAR driver Chad Little began his racing career in quarter midgets at the age of seven. Moving through the ranks, he moved up to Bandoleros in 2007 and Legends cars two years later. In 2010, Little won the USAC Eastern Focus Young Guns midget car championship and in 2011 competed in the UARA Stars Late Model Series where he enjoyed success.
Just The K&N Facts: In 2012, Little made history by becoming the youngest driver at age 15 to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, making his series debut at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. In 44 races overall, he has collected two wins, three poles, 13 top-fives and 21 top-10 finishes overall.
Proud Partnership: For the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, Rette Jones Racing is proud to welcome a partnership with NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) and Universal Technical Institute (UTI) for the full season. Through a campus-based school system, UTI offers specialized technical education programs under the banner of several brands, including NASCAR.
Students will learn everything you need to know to work on a wide variety of vehicles as part of their core training on top of 15 weeks of NASCAR-specific courses to learn racing fundamentals.
Meet Jesse: Little will meet and greet race fans during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East autograph session on Saturday, April 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in “Lot C” at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Sponsorship Lineup: In addition to NASCAR Technical Institute and UTI serving as co-title sponsors, Rette Jones Racing also welcomes Performance Friction Brakes, Racing Electronics, Penske Shocks and Mac’s Speed Shop as associate marketing partners this season. RJR is co-owned by successful entrepreneur and race car driver Terry Jones.
Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Fast Fact: Opened in 1961 and hosted its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 30, 1961 won by Jack Smith. It was originally named Bristol International Speedway until 1978 and was then renamed Bristol International Raceway until 1996 when it became Bristol Motor Speedway. The Thunder Valley, was .5-miles from 1961-69 before becoming .527-miles for one year in 1969. In 1970, it became the familiar .533-mile track seen today. The concrete oval has 600-foot straightaways with five to nine degrees of banking on the front stretch and four to eight degrees on the backstretch. The turns are progressively banked from 24 to 28 degrees and the racing surface 40 feet wide.
Stay Social With Jesse: Little is active on Twitter. You can follow and tweet with him @JesseLittle97. His team, Rette Jones Racing is also active on Twitter. Follow them @RetteJones30.
Chassis Intel: Crew chief Matt Noyce has elected to bring chassis number 01 to the 0.5-mile paved oval this weekend. This Toyota Camry is making its second appearance with the Rette Jones Racing team. Little maneuvered his No. 29 Toyota Camry to a podium finish at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway last month.
Rette Jones Racing, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Pre-Race Quotes:
Jesse Little, driver of the No. 29 NASCAR Technical Institute / UTI Toyota Camry:
On Mobile International Speedway: “We were real happy with our Mobile International Speedway result. We worked hard to recover from our qualifying effort and we were able to fight hard, never give up and have a good finish. It was important for me and equally important for Rette Jones Racing to debut strongly in the No. 29 NASCAR Technical Institute / UTI Toyota Camry.”
On Bristol Motor Speedway: “Bristol is one of my favorite race tracks that we go to in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. It’s fast, it’s tight and the laps go by in a hurry. I’ve always had fast race cars, but for one reason or another, we haven’t been so fortunate to have a finish that was an indicator of our speed or potential. After last year, I feel like Bristol owes me one. Hopefully with our strong run at Mobile – we can carry the momentum towards the checkered flag on Saturday.”
On New Qualifying Procedure: “I’m open to try it. When you think about it, qualifying will be over in about 20 minutes or so. With our fastest lap setting the starting spot, we’ll need to make sure the car is setup right at the end of final practice and we can head right into qualifying feeling confident. Believe it or not, five minutes go by in a hurry. I sure hope we’re able to have a similar result like we had last April.”
Rette Jones Racing, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Pre-Race Quotes:,
Mark Rette, co-owner of the No. 29 NASCAR Technical Institute / UTI Toyota Camry:
On Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway: “Jesse did a fantastic job in his Rette Jones Racing debut at Mobile International Speedway. He did a good job recovering from his qualifying position and racing to the front and staying there. We felt like if we had a few more laps, we could have gotten second or maybe even if the win. No doubt though, the performance at Mobile has us pumped for Bristol this weekend.”
On Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway: “The schedule this weekend at Bristol is kind of hectic. Practice and qualifying are real tight and back-to-back, so we just need to make sure our cars are as comfortable as they can be at the end of practice and be hopeful for good results in qualifying and see what happens in the race. We should be fast, let’s just hope it’s fun.”
Jesse Little, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway NKNPSE Performance Record:
|Race||Site||St||Fin||#||Sponsor / Owner||Car||Laps||Money||Status||Led|
|2013-01||Bristol||4||14||97||NASCAR Technical Institute (Jason Little)||Chevrolet||125/125||0||running||0|
|2014-03||Bristol||10||13||97||NASCAR Technical Institute (Jason Little)||Chevrolet||132/132||0||running||0|
|2015-03||Bristol||1||25||97||NASCAR Technical Institute / PFC Brakes (Jason Little)||Toyota||63/125||0||electrical||0|
The PittLite 125 (125 laps / 66.625 miles) is the fourth of 14 races on the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice is set for Friday, April 15 from 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 7:00 p.m. – 7:25 p.m.Group qualifying is set a few minutes later at 7:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag the next day shortly after the conclusion of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The anticipated green flag is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with a Friday, April 22 at 1:00 a.m. air date.
Driver: Jesse Little on Twitter @JesseLittle97
Team: Rette Jones Racing on Twitter @RetteJones30.
Sanction: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: NASCARHometracks.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Jesse Little, driver of the No. 29 NASCAR Technical Institute / UTI Toyota Camry for Rette Jones Racing (RJR) in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE).
Credit: Chris Knight