Jamie Little is used to breaking down barriers and being the first woman to break new ground in sports broadcasting. She made more history on Saturday when she became the first female broadcaster to do play-by-play for a national racing series.
Jamie Little was the lead play-by-play announcer Saturday for the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Jamie Little shared the Fox broadcast booth with former driver and broadcast veteran Phil Parsons and NASCAR Cup Series rookie driver Chase Briscoe.
Jamie Little has been a pit reporter since 2014 for Fox's telecast of the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. She filled in as the lead announcer for an Xfinity Series race in 2018 and wanted to give it a try again. When her bosses at Fox agreed, she was named the play-by-play announcer for eight ARCA Series races on Fox this year.
“I emailed my boss, Jacob Ullman at Fox Sports LA, and said, ‘Hey, I’m ready to do play by play," Little said in a recent interview with USA Today. "I don’t know what that means or where it’ll happen, but I just want you to know that I’m ready to do it if you guys have an opening.’ Literally, a week and a half later, he calls and he’s like, ‘Hey, we just had some meetings. What would you think about being the voice of the ARCA series?'”
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Jamie Little makes her mark in motorsports
This is not the first time Jamie Little has made history as a broadcaster. She began her career as a reporter for ABC/ESPN covering the IndyCar Series as well as Supercross, Motocross and extreme sports. The California native became the first female pit reporter to cover the Indy 500 in 2004.
Jamie Little moved to Fox in 2014 and in 2015 became the first female pit reporter to cover both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500.
“Anytime you put ‘first woman to do something,’ you know it's a big deal,” Little said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated. “It carries extra weight than just [something] like, ‘Jamie Little promoted to play-by-play.’ I understand that, and it's a responsibility that I take very seriously.”
Jamie Little has been a fixture in NASCAR over the last several years, appearing every week as a pit reporter for Fox. She is one of multiple female pit reporters the network has used, including former pit reporter Shannon Spake, who is now the host of NASCAR Race Hub on Fox.
"I would reach out and give you a big hug if I could," Spake said to Little on Race Hub Saturday. "You made history today."
Jamie Little will be back on pit road on Sunday as Fox broadcasts its 21st consecutive Daytona 500. Little and others will handle pit-road reporting duties while the Fox booth will be manned by veteran play-by-play man Mike Joy, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and former Cup driver Clint Bowyer. Bowyer, who retired as a driver last year, will be doing his first NASCAR Cup Series points race for Fox.
Fox and NBC split the broadcast rights to NASCAR's top three racing series.