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SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. - While most of the teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series prepare for next month's inaugural Battle at the Beach as part of Daytona Speedweeks, Jesse Little and his Coulter Motorsports team are quietly working towards the regular season opener set for March 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Little has spent the winter honing his road course skills by participating in the Boundurant Driving School and taking part in selected Legend car events on the twists and turns of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Turing right and left has been fun, but, Little looks to Bristol as the beginning of an ambitious new season.
"Words can not describe how excited I am for the 2013 racing season," he said. "I feel more confident going into this season than any prior year that I have competed in racing. I know that my crew chief Kris Bowen, Coulter Motorsports and myself are all hungry to go out and accomplish our primary goal this season, winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Rookie of the Year and championship."
Signing with Coulter Motorsports last summer, Little enjoyed tremendous success under the guidance of Bowen and his experienced crew culminating with two top-5 finishes in the K&N Pro Series, Greenville-Pickens and the season finale held at Rockingham Speedway where Little paced the field for 32 laps.
"The conclusion to our 2012 season was a great jump start for this year's preparations. I learned so much in the last couple of K&N Pro Series East races that going into this year I feel more confident than ever in myself and the ability to work with everyone at Coulter Motorsports. The team and I are optimistic knowing that we are as competitive as any other team and believe that we have the potential to finish strong each week," Little noted.
Potential exists for Little and his team to challenge for wins and awards on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, according to crew chief Kris Bowen.
"I feel that Jesse and I made a great connection with the limited amount of time we worked together in 2012. Our expectations were met, if not exceeded for a new team. It will be important to use the momentum we've gained to begin our chase for the 2013 championship and rookie of the year title. Hopefully we can continue to develop our communication as a team; as well as our set-up packages to stay on top of the competition."
Having a proven NASCAR veteran providing feedback and occasionally spotting has also aided in Little's growth at Coulter Motorsports. Showcasing a smooth driving style and quick instincts are something that Joey Coulter, driver of Kyle Busch Motorsports entry on the NASCAR Camping World Series and son of CMS owner Joe Coulter sees as a natural ability to drive at all levels, he explained.
"Jesse has a lot of natural ability and talent and he combines that with great listening and understanding of how his car works. Working with Jesse last year was a privilege," Coulter said. "There are a lot of young drivers out there that have won a lot of races and have decided that they know everything. Jesse is far from that. He knows that each race can teach him something that will help him win the next one. That comes from his maturity that really shows when you hand him a steering wheel."
With the recent announcement that NASCAR has set the age of 16 as the mark for competing on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Little hopes to one day battle Coulter on the race track, he said.
"Just being able to compete in a Camping World Truck Series event when I'm 16 would be an incredible accomplishment. All I can do is go out each and every weekend and get as much out of the car as I can. With that, hopefully opportunities will come knocking."
Fans can follow Little's progress throughout the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series season by logging onto jesselittle.com, following Jesse Little Racing on Facebook or on Twitter @jesselittle97.
Keep up to date with Coulter Motorsports at coultermotorsports.com on Twitter @CoulterMtrsprts or via the team's Coulter Motorsports Facebook page.