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Jesse Love in ARCA Menards Series victory lane this season. (ARCA photo)

Jesse Love Going Full-Time Xfinity Series Racing With RCR

WELCOME, N.C. — Reigning ARCA Menards Series champion Jesse Love will join Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

Love will compete for RCR’s championship-winning Xfinity Series program on a full-time basis aboard the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet. 

The 18-year-old Menlo Park, Calif., native posted one of the most dominating performances in recent ARCA history, winning half of the races on the series schedule this year en route to the championship.

“We’ve been watching Jesse for a while now and his breakout performance in the ARCA Menards Series was impressive this season,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. “We know that he has the talent and determination to win races and compete for championships within RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program. We are looking forward to welcoming Whelen back for another year on the No. 2 program and feel confident that Jesse will be a strong ambassador for Whelen.”

The move also marks an interesting change of direction for Love who has been a prized member of the Toyota Racing Driver Development program for several years. Love won 10 ARCA Menards Series races driving Venturini Motorsports Toyotas this season.

Love is a two-time ARCA Menards Series West champion and the youngest champion in NASCAR history. He began his racing career at the age of five driving quarter-midgets throughout the San Francisco Bay area before advancing to full midget and sprint cars, accumulating six USAC championships in the USAC Speed 2 Ford Focus division. He made his stock car debut in a late model at just 10 years old.

“I’ve been fortunate to gain a lot of racing experience at a young age, but nothing compares to the opportunity to race for a legendary team like Richard Childress Racing,” said Love. “I have so much respect for Richard Childress and am extremely grateful to be able to race and learn with one of the most successful teams in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. I’ve dreamed of racing at the highest levels of the sport since I was a young kid, and the path to the NASCAR Cup Series seems more clear with this opportunity.

“It’s even more special to be able to represent a company like Whelen who has a long-standing involvement in motorsports and strong focus on building American-made products.”

Sheldon Creed, who wheeled the No. 2 Chevrolet for the last two seasons for RCR, is in the midst of his final season with the organization after the team revealed he would not return on October 11. Creed has not announced his plans for next season.