After capturing the 2023 ARCA Menards Series championship earlier this month, Jesse Love is making a substantial career move, jumping directly into the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a full-time basis in 2024.
Love, 18, will be partnering with Richard Childress Racing, taking over the driving duties of the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, which will be vacated by Sheldon Creed at the end of the current Xfinity Series season.
“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.”
The Menlo Park, California native will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the February 17th season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, a race in which Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has won the last two seasons.
For the third straight year, Whelen Engineering, a long-time partner of Richard Childress Racing, will continue to serve as the full-season primary marketing partner of the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro in 2024.
“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.”
First establishing his name in the ARCA Menards Series West, Love captured back-to-back championships for Bill McAnally Racing in 2020 and 2021, en route to becoming the youngest-ever NASCAR champion.
Love would then graduate to the ARCA Menards Series, where he easily captured the series championship for Venturini Motorsports in one of the strongest seasons in series history, netting 10 wins, 17 top-fives, and an average finish of 4.1.
This season, Love also ventured into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on a part-time basis, competing in three events for TRICON Garage – the final of which will be next weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
The 2024 season will mark the first time since debuting in the ARCA Menards Series that Love will not be directly affiliated with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) or the Toyota Driver Development (T2D) program.