KNPSE QUALIFYING: Still Got It; Jesse Little Nets Bristol Pole in K&N East Season Debut

Marshall Gabell Featured, MidSouth, Touring Series 0 Comments

BRISTOL, Tenn. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Report by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Getty Images for NASCAR photo –

Jesse Little has not been involved in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race since the season finale at Dover International Speedway last fall.

On Thursday, the NASCAR Next driver returned to the track in fashion and scored the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Little, who will compete in select races with Larry McReynolds Racing this season in a technical alliance with his family-owned Team Little Racing operation, set a new track record with a lap of 15.891 seconds (120.748 mph) en route to his third career pole in the K&N Pro Series East.

Brandon Jones will start alongside Little after posting a fast lap of 15.893 seconds (120.732 mph), just two one-thousandths of a second (0.002) off of the pole lap laid down by Little. Both of the front row starters broke the old track record of 15.898 seconds (120.694 mph), established by Michael McGuire back in the spring of 2013.

Jones’ NTS Motorsports teammate, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Daniel Hemric, qualified third for the event after winning the pole in his series debut last time out at Greenville.

The most recent winner in the K&N Pro Series East, William Byron, will start fourth with his HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks teammate and fellow rookie J.J. Haley rounding out the top five positions.

Scott Heckert, Rico Abreu, Kyle Benjamin, Codie Rohrbaugh and Nick Drake closed the top ten spots.

Points leader Austin Hill will start 11th and defending race winner Eddie MacDonald will roll off in the 16th position.

K&N Pro Series drivers will return to the track on Saturday evening for the PittLite 125, which is slated to start at approximately 4:25 p.m. Eastern time following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol.

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