Jamie Little developed a passion for motorsports at a young age. However, she quickly realized something — no women were covering it. Fast forward to 2020, and that has completely changed. It has a lot to do with Little’s work, too, as she has ultimately opened many doors for women over the years. Whether it’s been while at ESPN or FOX, Little has continued to help create more opportunities for women in motorsports throughout her entire career.
Jamie Little started her career at ESPN
At only 14 years old, Little developed an interest in motorsports after she had met some guys who were racing motocross.
“I just thought it was so cool,” Little said in a recent interview with Sportscasting. “So, I tagged along and rode dirt bikes with them and just realized that, ‘Gosh, these guys have really cool stories, and they’re all so young. They’re teenagers, yet they’re traveling around without their parents.'”
Little soon realized that people like them deserved to have their stories told. She then also realized that no women were telling these stories. This then led to her ultimately taking a big step to ensure that she could be the one to do just that.
“I moved out when I turned 18, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life, and just stayed involved in the racing community, and decided I wanted to pursue announcing,” Little said. “So, I went up to a guy with an ESPN microphone at a race, and he said, ‘Well, I’m a freelancer, and if you want to tag along around here to the local races, you can.’ And I ended up doing that for two-and-a-half years and kind of climbed the ranks pretty quickly.”
While still in school, Little worked at ESPN. She ended up working there for 13 years, according to her FOX bio.
However, Little didn’t just work there. She thrived. She ultimately became one of the first female reporters in X Games history, and was the first female TV pit reporter to cover the Indianapolis 500.
“When you look at the history and that I was given an opportunity to be the first of somebody that looks like me and sounds like me — it’s awesome,” Little said. “I think most people in those positions, they don’t really realize it at the time, maybe the impact that they could make.”
She moved to FOX in 2015
Little ended up covering NASCAR for ESPN from 2007 through 2014. However, the network’s NASCAR contract only went through 2014, so Little then made the move to FOX soon after.
“They signed me, and I was shocked. I didn’t see that coming again,” Little said. “It was one of those surprise things. So, very, very grateful that they did come on board and sign me because I got to stay in the sport that I love so much.”
Since working for FOX, Little has continued to take on some cool, monumental tasks. She became the first female pit reporter to cover not only the Indianapolis 500 but also the Daytona 500. Also, in addition to covering pit road for the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series, she is a reporter for NASCAR RaceDay, a pre-race show for Cup Series races.
“They’ve been so great,” she said. “If I bring an idea to them, ‘Hey, I would like to host a pre-race show one day.’ So, they let me host the pre-race show for the Xfinity Series at one or two races.”
Jamie Little continues to open doors for women in motorsports
At a young age, Little wanted to see women work the same jobs covering motorsports that only men were working. She ultimately helped make that possible, as her work has opened doors for other women across the sport.
She is continuing to do that, too. FOX recently announced that Little will become the first woman TV play-by-play announcer for a national racing series. She will do play-by-play for the ARCA Menards Series, starting with the season-opener in February at Daytona.
“I called my boss and told him, ‘I’m ready, that I want to try play-by-play, so to please keep me in mind because we’re going into the offseason,” Little said. “It was very surprising when he called me a week later and said he had met with NASCAR and the ARCA series and all those people involved and said, ‘We just want to know if you want to be the voice of the series?’ … It was a great surprise. I didn’t see that coming. It happened obviously quick. So, it’s just kind of been a whirlwind and really exciting.”
No matter what stage of her career she has been in, Little’s work has helped other women enter the NASCAR and motorsports world. They are all there to stay, too.