Chad Little

Chad Little
Chad Little
Born April 29, 1963 (1963-04-29) (age 48)
United States Spokane, Washington

1986 NASCAR Winston West Series Rookie of the Year

1987 NASCAR Winston West Series Champion
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
217 races run over 16 years
Best finish 15th - 1998 (Winston Cup)
First race 1986 Budweiser 400 (Riverside)
Last race 2002 MBNA Platinum 400 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 16 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
134 races run over 9 years
Best finish 2nd - 1995
First race 1992 Fay's 150 (Watkins Glen)
Last race 2002 Sam's Town 300 (Las Vegas)
First win 1995 Goody's 300 (Daytona)
Last win 1995 Ford Credit 300 (South Boston)
Wins Top tens Poles
6 44 1

Chad Little (born April 29, 1963 in Spokane, Washington) is a former NASCAR driver. He holds a degree in marketing from Washington State University, and a law degree from Gonzaga University. While attending Washington State University he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

Little currently works as NASCAR Director of Racing Development for Mexico, and oversees the NASCAR Mexico organization. He keeps regular office hours in the sanctioning body's research and development center in Concord, N.C. He also was a part-time studio analyst for Speed Channel.

In 1989, he missed United Airlines Flight 232. About a third of the passengers aboard the flight perished during its emergency landing in Iowa.


Early years

Little began racing the short tracks in Washington in the mid-1980s. He soon began American Speed Association West Late Model series, the NASCAR Northwest Tour Series and the NASCAR Winston West Series. One year after being named the NASCAR Winston West Rookie of the Year, Little clinched that series' championship in 1987.

Little made his NASCAR Winston Cup debut in 1986 at Riverside International Raceway, driving the #28 Ford owned by George Jefferson. He started 25th and finished 13th. He ran the other Riverside race that year, but finished 35th after suffering engine failure. He ran both the Riverside races the next year, finishing 15th both times in the #95 Coors Ford. In 1988.

The following year, Little declared for NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors and signed to drive the #90 for Junie Donlavey. Unfortunately, his best finish was an eighteenth at the Coca-Cola 600, and he was released early in the season. In 1990, Little and his father Chuck teamed to field their own entry, the #19 Ford sponsored by Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce. He ran eighteen races and had seven top-twenty finishes, garnering a 33rd place points finish. The following season, Little made his first full-time attempt at winning the Cup championship, qualifying for 28 out of 29 races and posting a tenth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 27th in points.

Busch Series

In 1992, Little signed to drive the #66 TropArctic Ford for Cale Yarborough, but was released six races into the season. Later he caught on to the #9 Ford fielded by Melling Racing, and had an eighth place finish at Talladega. He also made his Busch Series debut that year, starting and finishing 29th in the #37 Maxx Race Cards Oldsmobile at Watkins Glen International.

In 1993, Little, along with Greg Pollex and former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, formed Mark Rypien Motorsports, running the #23 If It’s Paper/Bayer Select Ford on a limited basis that year, posting a second-place finish at Dover International Speedway. The next year, the team went full-time and Little had ten top-five finishes, finishing third in points. He also drove the #97 Ford at the Daytona 500 that season, finishing 29th. In 1995, Little broke through and won six races during the course of the season, including the first two races of the season at Daytona and Rockingham, and finished 2nd in points, behind Johnny Benson. His other wins were at Loudon, Charlotte, Talladega and South Boston. Little did not win a race the following season, however, and slipped to sixth in points. He also ran nine Cup races, five in Pollex’s #97 Sterling Cowboy Pontiac Grand Prix, and another four for Diamond Ridge Motorsports, posting a twentieth-place finish at Darlington Raceway,

Winston Cup

1997 racecar

In 1997, Little returned to the Cup series, running the #97 Pontiac for Pollex with sponsorship from John Deere. He finished seventh at the Food City 500, but the team struggled making races. Late in the year, Jack Roush purchased the team to be added to his stable for 1998. Little ended 1997 36th in points.

In 1998, Little drove for Roush full-time with Jeff Hammond as crew chief. Running 32 out of 33 races, he had seven top-tens, including a second-place run at Texas, finishing behind Mark Martin, and finished a career-high 15th in points. He was unable to duplicate that performance in 1999, posting just five top-tens and finishing 23rd in points. After just one top-ten in 2000, Roush announced Little would not drive the 97 the following season. Late in the year, Little was pulled out of the car and replaced by his successor, Kurt Busch with Jeff Hammond still as crew chief. During the season, he also ran a handful of races in the Busch Series. Originally running the #30 for Innovative Motorsports, he was released and posted a top-ten in a one-race deal with PPI Motorsports.

Little had 217 career Cup starts in all.

Final years

In 2001, Little signed to drive the #74 Staff America Chevrolet Monte Carlo for BACE Motorsports in the Busch Series . He had six top-tens and finished 9th in points. He started of 2002 running for BACE, but the team closed after 3 races due to sponsor issues. He made his final Cup start in a BACE car at Dover that year, finishing 33rd. He has not run NASCAR since.

Chad later provided competition support for the NASCAR Mexico Corona Series. He is now the Tour Director for the Whelen Modified Tour.

External links

Preceded by
Hershel McGriff
NASCAR Winston West Series champion
Succeeded by
Roy Smith (racecar driver)

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