By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
The 2020 ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love made his Venturini-season debut Saturday at Toledo.
Love found himself in-between the battle that has been brewing all season long between Ty Gibbs and Corey Heim. Though Love battled hard with Ty Gibbs for second with over 50 laps to go, Love fell to fourth late in the going and finished there to tally top-five number one of the 2021 campaign.
Top 5 tonight with the ARCA RACING SERIES at Toledo Speedway! Venturini Motorsports brought a fast Mobil 1Toyota Racing Camry to the racetrack tonight. While battling hard for 2nd an exhaust component broke that hurt our HP. We were able to rally back for 4th place. #TeamToyota pic.twitter.com/kZ27exAhp5
— Jesse Love Racing (@JesseLoveRacing) May 23, 2021
In his first start of 2021 with Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Menards Series, Love qualified the No. 15 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry in third. The effort tied his previous best start from Winchester in his last ARCAR Menards Series start with Venturini.
The storyline of the race was set, Venturini Motorsports teammates Heim and Love vs. Joe Gibbs’ grandson Ty Gibbs. The two Venturini teammates gave it their all through the race with Heim the only other driver than Gibbs to lead and Love having an exhaust part fail to result in a loss of horsepower.
Despite that loss of horsepower though, Love fought on and held his ground finishing fourth in Saturday night’s race and puts himself third in the Sioux Chief Showdown standings. The top-five finish was his first of 2021 and third of his career in six career starts.
Saturday’s race was the first of seven races Love will run in the ARCA Menards Series. He will return to the No. 15 on July 10th at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota for round three of the Sioux Chief Showdown. Between that though, Love will continue to defend his West Series championship in races at Sonoma Raceway and Irwindale Speedway with Bill McAnally Racing.