On the heels of their impressive sixth-place outing last weekend at Iowa Speedway, JJL Motorsports and driver Jesse Little look to duplicate or better their performance in Saturday night’s Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park.
The team’s third top-10 performance in four races has certainly grabbed the attention of their competition and series insiders alike, but the family-owned team’s impressive performance in their season debut at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway captured the attention of a local business who will support Little in his Gateway attempt.
Founded in 2016 by U.S. Air Force veteran and restaurant entrepreneur Grindstaff, Rustic Rub Co. started as a BBQ rub company initially releasing All Purpose and Three Kings rubs, however, the company’s success has evolved into a brand and lifestyle since releasing their own version of a Bloody Mary mix.
Now, the Belleville, Ill. company – located just 10 miles east of St. Louis, Mo. – – the heart of Midwest BBQ country, products can found in over 50 retailers within the St. Louis and metro-east area; as well as online at rusticrubs.com.
“Coming off a finish like we had at Iowa Speedway, it’s great to be going to Gateway this weekend and to have the local support of Rustic Rub Co.,” said Little. “We showed great resilience in our team last weekend at Iowa and that is something I think we can build on this weekend at Gateway.”
While the team would be satisfied with their fourth top-10 performance of the year, Little, a Sherrills Ford, N.C.-native hopes the opportunity could easily present itself for his JJL Motorsports team to pull off an upset win on Saturday night.
Of course, the NASCAR Next alumnus and his Matt Noyce-led team also know that luck, a good handling race truck and perfection behind the wheel must fuse together to provide that priceless moment.
“There aren’t words to describe what a win would mean to this team,” Little mentioned. “I think we’re making great strides with our team and doing big things with not a lot to work with.
“Our effort though is in our results. Our team is spending the week in the Midwest working on the truck – going through it piece by piece, part by part to make sure everything’s in place to make our Gateway debut a memorable one.”
Looking at the schedule, the Truck Series will embrace three practice sessions on Friday. For Little and Noyce, the extra track time is beneficial.
“Three practice sessions is huge for the Truck Series,” added Little. “For us, we have to balance the practices to make sure we’re making the most of every lap on the track. We can’t afford to make any mistakes or use up the equipment before the race.
“We know though that the extra track time on Friday will be prime for dialing in the trucks, especially that final practice where we think it will be comparable to race time. We’ll see though. One practice at a time.
“Our biggest objective on Friday is to get our No. 97 Rustic Rub Co. Ford dialed in where we feel we can make changes and the truck will respond and send us forward and not backwards. Matt has a niche for those things. I think we’ll be surprisingly good.”
Rustic Rub founder Jim Grindstaff says after Iowa, he’s excited for Gateway and the team’s potential.
“Man, I was really impressed with the team again at Iowa,” said Grindstaff. “Jesse and the entire JJL Motorsports team have made us feel most welcome and they are proving themselves both on and off the track. We’re looking forward to seeing what Saturday night’s race has in store and hope it’s a good finish for Rustic Rub Co. and our rusticrubs.com