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Nov 05, 2012 - 06:43 PM
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Jesse Little Wheels No 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey Chevy To Top Five Finish
Posted by: newsla on Nov 05, 2012 - 06:41 PM
Jesse Little Wheels No 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey Chevy To Top Five Finish At Rockingham Speedway

Jesse Little and the No. 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey, Coulter Motorsports Chevy team finished fifth in Saturday’s Classic 3 Championship at Rockingham Speedway, earning their second consecutive top-five finish.


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Little started the championship weekend with a pair of practice sessions Friday morning around the historic 1-mile track. While making his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start, Little had seen racing action three other times at “The Rock” in the UARA-STARS Series. Working closely with crew chief Kris Bowen, Little quickly adapted to the often-tough racing line, posting the seventh fastest time in the first session at 25.225 seconds at 142.716 mph. After laying down several solid runs in the final session, Little once again ended seventh posting a fast time of 25.011 seconds at 143.937 mph. After a quick turnaround, Little would take to the track for his qualifying run where he would again show his consistency and post the seventh fastest lap at 24.747 seconds at 145.472 mph.

NASCAR K&N Series officials waved the green flag Saturday afternoon to start the Classic 3 Championship and Little immediately settled into conservation mode, saving his No. 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey Chevy for his planned charge. As the first caution wave don lap 10, little reported his car was neutral all around the track and that he was just biding his time.

As the field took lap 25, the halfway point until the break, spotter Joey Coulter let Little know it was time to start moving forward. Wasting no time whatsoever, Little moved his way into fifth by lap 26, before taking third on lap 32. He would continue to track down the leaders, taking over second on lap 49 and going for the lead when the caution fell on lap 50 for the halfway break. Little’s Coulter Motorsports crew serviced the No. 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey Chevy with four fresh tires, fuel and tape off the grill as the 15-year-old racer said his car felt perfect.

With the break complete and the field coming to the green on lap 51, Little would restart in the first position and set sail. Within 10 laps, the Sherrills Ford, N.C. native had created a substantial gap between his car and the rest of the field. Bowen began reading off lap times while Coulter would pick him through lapped traffic as he went back into conservation mode. With the caution and subsequent red flag waving on lap 78, Little radioed that his car felt really dialed in.

Green waved again on lap 83 with Little in first, but pressure was mounting from the top competitors. Little would race side-by-side for the lead for several laps before being shuffled to sixth. Gaining his composer and showing his true racing spirit, Little began another charge towards the front, but with too few lap remaining could not manage to get back to the leader. He would take the checkered flag in the No. 97 Charlotte Checkers Hockey Chevy in the fifth position, earning another solid top-five finish in his young career.

“I couldn’t ask for a better car than I had today,” commented Little. “We led 33 laps at Rockingham, a track steeped with such history and known for its rough, hard action racing and that is a true testament to my Coulter Motorsports team and crew chief Kris Bowen. I was really going for the win today but I will take a solid top five to end our 2012 season. I can’t thank Charlotte Checkers Hockey enough for all of their support and I can’t wait to get out to some games this season.”

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