By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
After competing in nine NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races in 2018, Jesse Little and his JJL Motorsports team are set to run between 12 and 15 races in 2019.
Despite competing part-time in the Truck Series in 2018, Little excelled in his limited starts. He earned six top-10 finishes in his No. 97 Ford F-150. Little led the first laps of his career at Dover International Speedway and was in contention for the win until a late-race pit road penalty relegated him to a ninth-place finish. He also earned a career-best sixth-place finish at Iowa Speedway last season.
Little will have a new crew chief in 2019 as Matt Noyce departs the team. Replacing him will be JR Norris. Also joining JJL Motorsports is Jamie Smith as the truck chief, and Josh Frankos as the lead mechanic. Little worked with Norris in 2016 at Texas Motor Speedway in a collaborative effort with Hattori Racing Enterprises. The duo started 21st and finished 19th that day.
“We’ve had some changes during the off-season, but we believe we haven’t missed a beat,” said JJL Motorsports team principal Jason Little. “Even with the personnel changes since Homestead, the guys have been working hard in the race shop getting us prepared for the new season.
“Like last year, we expect a competitive season with strong finishes and hopefully a win or two by Homestead. We’re also aggressively continuing our sponsorship search efforts in hopes we’ll be able to at least double our presence from 2018. We may be a small team, but we have big things to offer both on and off the track.”
The first race of the 2019 season for the family-owned team will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb 23. Wings Over North Georgia Air Show will return as the primary sponsor of the No. 97 Ford F-150. Other returning sponsors include Grindstaff Rub. Co, Skuttle Tight, PFC Brakes and Penske Shocks. JJL Motorsports is still looking for sponsorship for additional races.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on track,” said Little. “It’s been a busy off season, but our team continues to put the effort and devotion into putting the strongest product on the race track.
I’m eager to build my relationship with JR and our new crew members. I’m also thankful to have the support of Wings Over North Georgia Air Show, Grindstaff Rub. Co, Skuttle Tight, PFC Brakes and Penske Shocks and hope we can continue to go out there and bring them finishes they can be proud of.”