DOVER, Del. — Report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America photo — On a track where picking a winner is like drawing a name out of a hat, Jesse Little is certainly trying to establish himself as the favorite at the Monster Mile.
Little, a second-generation driver and part of the 2014-2015 NASCAR Next Class, took the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Company for this afternoon’s Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway after pacing final practice earlier in the day. Little’s quick lap timed in at 23.384 seconds (153.951 mph).
The pole award was the second of the season for the Sherrills Ford, N.C. driver, as well as the second of his career, following his pole-winning effort at Iowa Speedway in July.
When asked if he was in fact the driver to beat for the race win at Dover, Little’s response was simple.
“I sure hope so,” the 16-year-old said with a smile. “We’re fast right now.”
Cameron Hayley, the current runner-up in the championship points standings, was second-fastest after posting a lap of 23.526 seconds (153.022 mph) and will join Rhodes on the front-row. Hayley is looking for his first career K&N East victory to close out the season after being held winless through the first 15 races.
Series champion Ben Rhodes, who locked up the title last time out at Greenville-Pickens, was third on the time sheets — just two one-thousandths of a second off of his Turner Scott Motorsports teammate’s time. South Carolina young gun Kyle Benjamin was fourth on the pylon and a third TSM driver, 15-year-old Kaz Grala, rounded out the top five.
Brandon Jones, J.J. Haley, Scott Heckert, defending race winner Austin Hill and returning Daniel Suarez complete the first five rows of the starting grid.
The green flag for this afternoon’s Drive Sober 150 is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m.