After what has felt like the absolute perfect season, issues hit the No. 20 of Venturini Motorsports and ARCA Menards Series points leader Jesse Love at Kansas Speedway.
On lap 21, Love slapped the wall hard off turn two with a blown right front tire. He was running second at the time to teammate Dean Thompson.
BIG TROUBLE for ARCA Menards Series championship points leader @jesselovejr1!
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) September 8, 2023
After climbing from the car in the garage area, Love confirmed that it was a blown right front tire that ended his day.
“Tighter than I thought we were gonna be,” Love said of the handling on his No. 20 car in the early portion of the event. “Hindered us a little bit…Obviously once the right front tire blew you’re just along for the ride.”
Due to the severe nature of the damage, crew chief Shannon Rusch and the team had to take the car behind the wall in an attempt to repair it, but the damage was too much, and it put an end to the No. 20 car’s day.
Love started the day from the pole in the Sioux Chief 150, and was in the hunt for his 10th win of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season. A dominant summer run in the series came to an end though. This will also mark Love’s first finish outside the top 10 since the second race of the season back at Phoenix Raceway.
The good news for Love and VMS is the large points lead that they had going into the race on Friday evening. Going into the race, The Menlo Park, CA native led the points by 129 points over second place Andres Perez de Lara who had his problems hitting the wall early in the race as well.
With Love and the No. 20 falling out, it will make it a historic night as whoever wins the race will be a first-time winner in the ARCA Menards Series.
Love and the team will look to rebound next weekend at the Bush’s Beans 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway next Thursday night.