By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
2020 ARCA Menards Series West Champion Jesse Love will make the move up to the ARCA Menards Series in 2021. Love, the 16-year old driver from Menlo Park, CA, moves from Bill McNally Racing to Venturini Motorsports, picking up nine ARCA Menards Series and one ARCA Menards Series East start.
“Stepping up a level and running more races in the ARCA Menards Series gives me a great chance to gain more experience and continue improving my skills,” says Love. “I’ve been very fortunate at a young age to race with some great teams. Running the full west schedule and coming back over to Venturini Motorsports means a lot. I feel when you have great people behind you it shortens the learning curve and helps the progression of my development. I’m thankful to TRD and Mobil 1 for giving me this opportunity.”
Love has four starts in the ARCA Menards Series to his credit last season with two top-five finishes. He tallied his career-best finish of fourth in his last start at Winchester driving the No. 20 for Venturini Motorsports. As noted above though, Love earned the championship in the West series beating out Blaine Perkins. He earned three victories, nine top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes. Love led 369 laps in 2020 en-route to the championship.
Love will run nine of the 10 Sioux Chief Showdown Series events with Watkins Glen being the sole race that he will not run. He’ll make his season debut at Toledo on May 22nd. He’ll also run Elko, Berlin, Iowa, Springfield, Milwaukee, DuQuoin, Bristol, and Salem. He will also run the ARCA Menards Series East event at Dover.
Adding to his busy schedule, Love will defend his ARCA Menards Series West championship with BMR. In his championship season, he won three races, and had nine top-five finishes. Love only failed to finish on the lead lap in one of the 11 ARCA Menards Series West races in his championship campaign.
He will have ARCA veteran Kevin Reed on the pit box for his effort this season. Reed has 166 starts as a crew chief in the ARCA Menards Series tallying 24 victories, 72 top-five, and 120 top-10 finishes. Reed led the Michael Self team to a second-place finish in points.
Photo: Dominic Valente/ARCA Racing