BRISTOL, Tenn. – Jesse Little is a big fan of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, even though Thunder Valley hasn’t always been so kind in return.
And much like his first truck race of the season, things are a little different, but for good reason.
Little and his team Rette Jones Racing have combined their efforts again for Bristol with Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) which puts Little aboard the No. 81 The Carolina Nut Co. / Sumitomo Toyota Tundra for the 13th race of the season. Rette Jones Racing team principal Mark Rette will call the shots for Little Wednesday night as crew chief, with longtime Motorsports veteran Matt Noyce serving as truck chief.
“I’m stoked to head to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend,” said Little who lone start of 2016 came at Texas Motor Speedway in June. “Like Texas, we are incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Hattori Racing Enterprises at Bristol.
“There was a huge benefit when we worked together at Texas a couple months ago and I know Shigeaki (Shige) Hattori (truck owner) wants to continue to build his organization, so we’re happy to continue to help with that foundation with a good run on Wednesday night.”
Like Texas, Little, a NASCAR Next alumnus has prior experience at Bristol in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division. In three starts, Little has a pole and a worse start of 10th and a best finish of 13th in 2014.
That’s a statistic he is hoping to change in a big way with his No. 81 The Carolina Nut Co. / Sumitomo Toyota Tundra.
“We’ve been fast, just had some bad luck in the races that have hurt us in the finishing department,” added Little. “As a driver, I know what it takes to be competitive at Bristol. You have to be patience, but you have to have a good handling car or truck. You just want to be able to get off the corners where you can carry the speed down the straightaways while trying to avoid the chaos around you.
“We’re hoping we can get our truck qualified somewhere in the top-15 and then work on it from there. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty strong pack of trucks this week, so we’ll see what we can do in practice and apply that to qualifying and give it our all during the race.”
Rette, the 2009 ARCA Racing Series championship crew chief is eager to get to Bristol and deliver a good result.
“With the help of Shige’s group and our resources – I think we have the capabilities of putting together a good showing Wednesday night,” said Rette. “Jesse knows what to do at Bristol. He knows how to hustle a race car around there and that’s really half the battle. After a so-so finish at Texas, we’re hoping for a big boost with a strong finish this week.”
In five truck starts, Little owns a best finish of 14th at Homestead. In addition to Dover (Del) International Speedway, he has additional starts at Chicagoland Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway (twice) respectively.
The No. 81 Toyota Tundra will carry additional support from Performance Friction Brakes, Racing Electronics, Penske Shocks, Mac’s Speed Shop,Russo’s Tinting and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems as associate marketing partners.
In addition to his limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, Little will also run select NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events run exclusively under the Rette Jones Racing banner.
For more on Jesse Little, visit JesseLittle.com and follow her on Twitter @JesseLittle97.
The latest on Rette Jones Racing is available at the team’s Facebook page, while also active on Twitter @RetteJones30.
Hattori Racing Enterprises tweets too. Follow them @hattori_racing.
The UNOH 200 (200 laps / 106.6 miles) is the 13th of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the 2016 schedule. Practice begins Wednesday, August 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. A second practice has been etched in from 11:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day, beginning at 4:45 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
About The Carolina Nut Co:
For more than 60 years The Carolina Nut Co. has used unique handcrafted family recipes to create gourmet nut flavors for every nut lover. Located in Henderson, N.C., The Carolina Nut Co. is a family-owned company that is spreading its delicious nut creations throughout the nation.
Credit: Mark Rette