Motorsport News

Venturini Powers Jesse Love to Points Lead

2023 ARCA Kansas I Jesse Love trophy (Credit: Ed Zurga/ARCA Racing used with permission)

Venturini Motorsports is on fire right now. The organization has won back-to-back ARCA Menards Series West races as well as the most recent ARCA Menards Series East event. In the ARCA Menards Series, talented teenager Jesse Love has piloted the No. 20 VMS Toyota to back-to-back victories.

Love didn’t just win in the Dawn 150 at Kansas Speedway last weekend. He dominated, leading 96 of the 100 laps. In fact, his leading all but four laps matched his VMS teammate Corey Heim, who led all but four laps in the second ARCA Kansas event in 2022. Heim also drove the No. 20, so that racecar is fast at Kansas.

The Dawn 150 also shook up the ARCA point standings; nine of the top-10 positions changed.

As such, who stood out at the first 1.5-mile racetrack of the 2023 ARCA season to make the Frontstretch ARCA power rankings?

1. Jesse Love

Love has now led a series-high 169 of the 416 laps this season (40.6%). Furthermore, he has led 169 of the 339 laps (49.8%) that he’s been on track this season, as he wrecked at Phoenix Raceway.

Crew chief Shannon Rursch guided Heim to a runner-up finish in 2021, then the No. 20 team to a second-place result in the owners’ standings in 2022. Might 2023 finally be the season he is a championship-winning crew chief?

Though Love won at Talladega Superspeedway, I was a little skeptical for two reasons. First, VMS is always fast at superspeedways. Second, ARCA docked Love eight points for a post-race tech violation. So I was curious to see how Love fared in his first intermediate race.

Love thoroughly squashed my concerns on Saturday (May 6). In addition to winning, he reaffirmed his talent level when he jokingly questioned his place on FOX Sports NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass’ 2023 preseason prospect rankings.

If Love keeps winning, he will ascend Pockrass’ list.

2. Frankie Muniz

In 2022, Rette Jones Racing scored six top 10s with rookie driver Amber Balcaen. Four races into the 2023 campaign, RJR rookie Frankie Muniz already has half of that (three).

Yes, the team upgraded its equipment over the offseason, but the…

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