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Jamie Little lands history-making play-by-play assignment

Updated November 16, 2020 - 3:49 pm

Auto racing’s first lady of pit road is moving up to the play-by-play booth.

After becoming the first female pit reporter at the Indianapolis 500 and reprising that role at both the 1995 Indy and Daytona 500s, Jamie Little on Monday was named the play-by-play voice of the ARCA Menards Series on Fox TV.

The Green Valley High graduate will make broadcast history during Daytona 500 week in February, when she becomes the first woman to call play-by-play for a national motorsports series.

“I look at this new role as a responsibility, too, not just that this is my next job,” she said of being a pioneer and role model. “There’s going to be eyes on me not just in the racing world, and what it’s going to sound like and look like, but for a younger generation of females … I think this shows there are no more jobs in television you cannot attain.”

Little, 42, will continue her pit road duties for Fox’s NASCAR coverage. She will be joined by analyst Phil Parsons and pit road reporter Kate Osborne for the ARCA races on FS1.

She said the first person who congratulated her was former NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, via text. Leigh Diffey, the play-by-play voice of IndyCar on NBC, was the one who encouraged her to seek the position despite her only play-by-play experience being two 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series practice sessions at Michigan.

“I never really thought I could make it to that level because I was a pit reporter, and it just wasn’t a job I ever saw a female do,” she said. “I got a phone call about a month ago from Leigh Diffey, and he said, ‘I have this crazy idea and you might think I’m nuts, but they’ve been promoting women in other sports to play-by-play positions, and you need to be the first woman to do it in racing.’

“That was a huge compliment and the kick in the butt I needed to go for it.”

Little also has covered pit road for NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series broadcasts. Prior to moving to Fox, she spent 13 years at ESPN/ABC as a NASCAR, IndyCar and X Games reporter.

The San Diego State graduate and her husband, Cody Selman, made their home in Las Vegas before moving to Indianapolis in November 2018. The couple still own two Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in the valley. Selman is an Indy 500 pit crew member for driver Sage Karam and also was business manager for NASCAR champion and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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