Monday, November 27, 2023

Dominance on The Dirt: Jesse Love Wins Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds

Jesse Love DuQuoin ARCA Menards Series
Jesse Love leads the field to the checkered flag en route to win No, nine in 2023. PC: FS1 Broadcast

A week after a dominant performance in the ARCA Menards Series on a mile track, there was another dominant performance on a one-mile track. This time, however, it was a little more messy as Jesse Love took home the win in Sunday’s Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin.

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Love, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, led 84 of the 100 laps en route to his ninth victory of the season for Venturini Motorsports. The Menlo Park, CA native also picks up an extra $5,000 on top of the purse for his average finish in the Dirt Double.

His Venturini Motorsports teammate, and the winner of the last ARCA Menards Series dirt race, Brent Crews came home in second place on the night, just short of his potential $34,500 payday. However, it wasn’t a total loss, as he still won the Dirt Double with his average finish, leaving DuQuoin with $7,500.

Making his first ARCA Menards Series start of 2023, seasoned veteran Will Kimmel came home in third-place on the one-mile dirt oval. Andres Perez de Lara and William Sawalich, both ARCA rookies, finished fourth and fifth.

Kelly Kovski came home in sixth-place, while Christian Rose earned a seventh-place result. Tim Monroe finished a season-best eighth, while Alex Clubb and Brayton Laster each earned top-10 results. A 10th-place finsih matches Laster’s career-best finish from his last event at Springfield.

The race was fairly tame with a few spins, but the biggest moment came when contact from a late attempt to pass sent Sean Hingorani, Sean Corr, and Frankie Muniz into the wall.

The incident ended the nights for Corr and Hingorani, but Muniz was able to get back on track and finish 12th.

Looking to the points with just four races left in the 2023 season, Love looks to have set sail with a 128-point lead over second place.

While the battle for the lead is distant, the race for second is on. Currently, Perez de Lara is only 21 points ahead of fellow rookie Frankie Muniz. The Scottsdale native, however, is only eight points ahead of Christan Rose.

Up next, the ARCA Menards Series heads to the heartland of America and Kansas Speedway for the Sioux Chief Fast Track 150. You can catch the race live on FS1 on September 8th at 6 PM EST.

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