LOUDON, N.H. – Jesse Little had a thought that he was getting ready to see fireworks.
Fireworks that he hoped would set off his own personal celebration.
Running third on the final lap, Little watched the leaders in front of him take each other out and he capitalized to win the K&N Pro Series East Granite State 100 Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“I was in shock,” Little said. “I knew in the back of my mind something like that could happen and put us in contention and I’ll be damned if I’m siting here in victory lane. … I kind of had a thought in the back of my mind that that was going to happen. My main goal at that point was just keeping myself in contention so that if the leaders did get together I would be able to make a move.”
It was the first career K&N Pro Series East victory for Little, of Sherrils Ford, N.C. Little is the 17-year old son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Chad Little. He was making his 31st career start Friday.
Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass. was second and Cale Conley of Vienna, W.V. was third.
Nick Drake looked like he was on the path to his first victory on the final lap until second place Brandon Jones made contact with him in turn three on the final lap.
“I saw [Jones] going in real low,” Little said. “I knew right then ‘He’s going to try it.’ And I knew right then that he probably wasn’t going to make it stick. He got into the side of [Drake]. Once they started to break sideways I just knew, ‘Just check it up and be smart and get a good clean line up ahead.’”
Ben Rhodes, looking for a series record fifth consecutive victory, saw his win streak snapped with a 22nd place finish.