Jesse Little Wins In Exciting Finish for Granite State 100 at Loudon

Jesse Little celebrates his win in Loudon on Friday night. Photo from
Jesse Little celebrates his win in Loudon on Friday night. Photo from

The K&N Pro Series East raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday evening and what a race it was immediately from the start, as Ben Rhodes led the field from the pole.  There were battles for first between Chad Finley and Ben Rhodes and third between Gray Gaulding and Sergio Pena up until lap 19, when the caution came out due to Daniel Suarez hitting the wall in turn one.

The green flag period didn’t last long after the restart, when Sergio Pena, who was running towards the front all day, hit the wall in turn three.  Ben Rhodes made a hard battle for first on the restart on lap 33 but developed left side damage on his car and starts slowing down by lap 36.  There was yet another caution on lap 44, when Cameron Hayley and Brandon Gdovic make contact with each other during a battle for position.

After a ten minute break at the halfway mark, Gaulding led the way to the green flag.  However, it only lasted for a few laps as he hit the wall on lap 78 and brought out the caution.  Battles intensified as drivers went three wide for position, baring resemblance to the restrictor plate races at Daytona and Talladega.

As the race wound down, the next green flag period lasted for only for a short time as Brennan Newbury hit the wall and brought the caution back out.  After the restart, there were even more intense battles as drivers went four wide for almost the entire lap.  That didn’t end well, as Ryan Gifford and Mackenna Bell made hard contact with the wall and brought the caution which resulted in the red flag as the race was in its waning moment.

Following the short delay and three caution laps, the race went back to green with five laps to go. Nick Drake and Brandon Jones battled hard, unrelenting and not giving each other any inch of real estate for the lead.  On the final lap, coming off turn three, Drake and Jones tangled and made contact with the SAFER Barrier, resulting in Jesse Little snookering the leaders for the win under the green flag.  Eddie MacDonald, Cale Conley, Jay Beasley, and Chad Finley rounded out the top five.


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