Friday, November 24, 2023

Love Excites In On Track Battles, Wins the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway

Jesse Love Elko Speedway ARCA Menards 250
Jesse Love celebrates after taking the win from the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. PC: Fox Sports 1 Broadcast

After a heated finish and some pit road tempers, last weekend at Berlin Raceway, Jesse Love and the Venturini Motorsports No. 20 were able to take the checkered flag in Saturday night’s ARCA Menards Series Menards 250 at Elko Speedway.

While Love led 233 of the 250 laps in the event, he felt that he had no shot of winning the race when his No. 20 team unloaded his car earlier in the day at Elko. However, after his crew chief took some massive swings on the setup, the No. 20 car emerged as the top contender.

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“Man we unloaded today and we know when we’re getting beat, and we were getting beat pretty bad. Shannon (Rursch) just went to work and fixed center first, and then first break we fixed the entry, and then next break we fixed the exit,” the 18-year-old said in victory lane.

“Last week, we lost one that we probably should have won, a I feel like tonight that we might have won one that we probably should have lost. Just gotta muscle up sometimes and take what’s yours,” Love added.

Here is a video of the finish of the Menards 250:

Love was dominant all race long after starting second to runner-up William Sawalich, who had an up-and-down race of his own.

Contact between the Eden Prarie, MN native and rookie VMS driver Sean Hingorani sent the 18-car for a spin in turn three with 100 laps to go. Both would rebound as Hingorani would end up finishing third behind Sawalich.

Sawalich felt he held his own pretty well throughout the race, despite being the target of Venturini Motorsports retaliation. Sawalich was scratching his head as to why Hingorani chose to stick his nose in the feud between he and Love.

“I almost felt like it was two against one, but I held my own. Didn’t really feel like I raced too dirty. They got me a couple of times which I felt like they would get me back from Berlin. I don’t know why the 15 would get me back. It’s not really his deal,” said hometown driver Sawalich post-race.

Hingorani’s Venturini teammate Conner Jones finished fourth and Andres Perez de Lara rounded out the top five.

It was a tough night for ARCA rookie Frankie Muniz as contact with the 01 of Davey Callihan sent the No. 30 into the outside wall. Muniz would end up 16th on the night.

With Love scoring his fourth win of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season, and Muniz suffering the hard crash and DNF, Love extended his points lead over Muniz to 40 points after Saturday night’s race at Elko.

In their return to the ARCA series since Daytona, fan-favorite driver Willie Mullins was able to bring home his throwback no. 10 in eighth place on the night.

Official Results from the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway:

FinStNo.DriverTeamLapsDIFFBEST LAP
1220Jesse LoveVenturini Motorsports
2118William SawalichJoe Gibbs Racing
Starkey / Sound Gear
3415Sean HingoraniVenturini Motorsports
Yahoo / Mobil 1
4325Conner JonesVenturini Motorsports
Jones Utilities
592Andres Perez de LaraRev Racing
Max Siegel Inc.
6801Davey CallihanFast Track Racing
CW Metals
71945Tony CosentinoTamayo-Cosentino Racing
2491 lap14.866
8610Willie MullinsFast Track Racing
CW Metals
2491 lap14.902
9755Toni BreidingerVenturini Motorsports
2481 lap14.854
101032Christian RoseAM Racing
West Virginia Department of Tourism
2463 laps14.998
111166Jon GarrettVeer Motorsports
Venture Foods
2427 laps15.313
121512Ryan RouletteFast Track Racing
VFW / Bellator Recruiting Academy
2409 laps15.476
131311Bryce HaugebergFast Track Racing
Haugeberg Farms
23316 laps15.845
141631Rita GouletRise Motorsports
Auto DNA Collision & Repair
21732 laps16.189
151206AJ MoyerWayne Peterson Racing
River's Edge Cottages
21633 laps16.068
16530Frankie MunizRette Jones Racing
19950 laps14.883
171403Casey CardenClubb Racing, Inc.
Denton Carden Racing
113137 laps16.137
181748Brad SmithBrad Smith Racing
3247 laps17.263
191843Jalen MackTamayo-Cosentino Racing
0250 laps0.000

Up next, the ARCA Menards Series takes on the road course of Mid Ohio on July 7th. You can watch the race live on Fox Sports 1.

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