LOUDON, N.H. — official release — NASCAR via Getty Images photo — Third-place was the perfect position for Jesse Little on the white flag lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. The end result was him standing in Victory Lane with his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.
The 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, drove around the two wrecking leaders in Turn 3 en route to winning the Granite State 100. The NASCAR Next driver and 2013 K&N Pro East Sunoco Rookie of the Year was making his 33rd K&N Pro start.
Nick Drake led the field at the white flag lap, but when second-place Brandon Jones tried a bottom move in Turn 3, he got into Drake and the two wrecked. That opened the door for Little.
Drake wound up finishing 24th and Jones’ car rolled across the line in 21st.
Eddie MacDonald ended up taking the runner-up finish, followed by Cale Conley and rookies Jay Beasley and Chad Finley.
Rookies Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Austin Hill took sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Gray Gaulding, and rookies Brodie Kostecki and Kaz Grala.
Championship points leader Ben Rhodes, who entered the race with a shot to match the series record of five straight wins, came home 22nd. Rhodes won the 21 Means 21 and battled in the top five for most of the race before a late race procedure infraction on a restart resulted in a green-flag pass-through penalty took him out of contention.
Rhodes still leads Gaulding by 62 points and Cameron Hayley by 65 after 10 of 16 races. Little is fourth in points, followed by Jones.
The Granite State 100 will air on FOX Sports 1 on July 20 at noon.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race next in the JEGS 150 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 19.