From The Rear To A Nashville Podium For Jesse Love Edit

June 29, 2024: at Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, TN (HHP/Jim Fluharty)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Jesse Love put together one of the more impressive runs of his young NASCAR Xfinity Series career in Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Love, the leading Xfinity Series rookie-of-the-year contender, saw his weekend in the No. 2 C4 Ultimate Energy Chevrolet Camaro get off to a disappointing start, after a puncture in the radiator at the end of practice kept him out of qualifying and forced the 19-year-old to start last in the 38-car field.

With nowhere to go but forward, Love did exactly that at the 1.33-mile concrete oval.

It took him most of the first two stages, but Love worked his way to seventh place by the end of the second 45-lap segment, earning four stage points as a result of that methodical march.

He began complaining of a tire vibration in the final stage, and was about to come down pit road before a lap-136 caution for a multi-car crash saved his entire race.

That yellow flag midway through the final stage allowed crew chief Danny Stockman to make late-race adjustments, as well as a four-tire pit call that benefited Love’s drivability in the closing stages.


Despite restarting 14th with 47 laps left, Love picked his way forward one car at a time. He passed Ryan Sieg for 10th five laps after the restart and drove into the top five coming to 20 to go, when he worked clear of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst in turns three and four.

Love’s final pass of the day was on his Richard Childress Racing teammate, Austin Hill, in turn three coming to seven to go. That gave him a third-place finish in his first race in the Music City.

For a driver who had never even seen Nashville Superspeedway prior to Saturday, a podium finish combined with being the fastest car on the racetrack in the final laps marked a huge day in Love’s book.

“I’m extremely proud of our third-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway,” noted Love, who passed 69 cars total during the 188-lap race. “We had a very fast No. 2 C4 Ultimate Energy Chevrolet; just started in the back due to a crack in the radiator after practice. Then we had a bad pit stop late due to a tether coming loose on the left-rear, which made it hard to get the tire off and cost us a lot of track position. We had to through the field twice, but never gave up because we knew we had a strong car.

“I did feel a vibration late in the race and thought it might be a tire … which almost made us pit under the green flag. Luckily, it managed to go away, and we kept on passing cars,” Love added. “I’m proud to be part of a team that doesn’t quit no matter what. We needed to have a good race today, and passing 69 cars was a testament to how much speed we truly had.”

Love also fought through the grind of a day where ambient temperatures were in the upper 90s and in-car temperatures rose as high as 130 degrees.

“Today’s race was the hottest I've ever been in and I’m happy with how the day ended,” he noted. “Next week, we’ll carry this momentum to the streets of Chicago.”

Love improved one position to sixth in the regular season standings with nine races remaining before the playoff reset. He’s 128 points behind leader and defending series champion Cole Custer.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series season continues on the Chicago Street Course with the running of the Loop 110 at the 2.2-mile temporary street circuit in downtown Chicago, Ill.

Broadcast coverage is slated for Saturday, July 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET, live on NBC, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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