Jesse Little Back In The Saddle At Texas Motor Speedway

After the misfortunate of missing his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race of the season due to inclement weather at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway three weeks ago, Jesse Little is set to try again in Friday night’s Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Things are a little different this week though as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series springs back into action.

This time, different isn’t a bad thing.

Little and Rette Jones Racing have combined their efforts for Texas with Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) which puts Little aboard the No. 81 The Carolina Nut Co. Toyota Tundra for the seventh race of the season. Rette Jones Racing team principal Mark Rette will call the shots for Little Friday night as crew chief.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Hattori Racing Enterprises this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway,” said Little. “Shigeaki (Shige) Hattori (truck owner) has done a good job building his team this season and I hope we can continue to help build that foundation with a good run on Friday night.”

Thankfully for Little, a NASCAR Next alumnus he has prior experience in the Lone Star state which should prove to be beneficial for the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina native in his fifth career start. Last October in a partnership with ThorSport Racing, Little made his third series start finishing a respectable 15th after qualifying 16th.

“I learned a lot at Texas last year,” added Little. “It’s very much a temperature sensitive track and no doubt with practice and qualifying held during the day – we’ll have to make sure we’re adjusting our No. 81 The Carolina Nut Co. Toyota Tundra to the best of our ability with the hope we can be in contention for a top-10 finish. It’s going to be tough, because the fields are stout right now, but if we work hard, I know we can deliver a good effort.”

Rette, the 2009 ARCA Racing Series championship crew chief echoes Little’s thoughts.

“Charlotte was a bummer, but it allowed us some time to put this partnership together with Shigeaki and Hattori Racing Enterprises,” said Rette. “No doubt that they have had a strong season and we want nothing more than to build on that with Jesse at the wheel. With the help of Shige’s group and our resources – we have the capabilities of really putting on a good showing Friday night.

“I’ve said it time and time again Jesse is a wheelman and I’m glad he’s behind the wheel. I can’t predict anything that’s going to happen this weekend, but we’re going to go out there and give 100 percent and hope everything else falls into place.”

In four 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 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.


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Steven B. Wilson

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