Love Extends Xfinity Series Top-10 Streak In Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas – After starting from the pole and slipping back early, Jesse Love soldiered to his fifth-straight top-10 finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Love started his weekend off at the 1.5-mile quad-oval by writing another chapter of history into the Xfinity Series record books, earning his third career pole in just his eighth series start behind the wheel of the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro.

It made the 19-year-old native of Menlo Park, Calif., the first series regular in history to win three poles within their first eight starts – besting the record of three poles in nine races set by past full-timers Sam Ard (1982) and Carl Edwards (2005).

From there, Love’s Saturday became a fight. Despite leading the opening lap of the race, hot and slick track conditions led to the driver and team throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at the race car in an effort to improve its handling.

Love’s Chevrolet gained enough speed through the second stage to allow him to drive up to eighth place at the second stage break, adding three bonus points to his regular-season total.

The final stage saw Love battle among the back half of the top 10 for much of the final 100 laps before he ultimately finished ninth in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300.

It gives Love an average finish of 10th through the first eight races. He’s also one of eight drivers to be running at the finish of every Xfinity Series race so far this year, completing all but one of the available laps.

Afterward, Love tipped that the hole he slipped into early from a track position standpoint was simply too much to overcome in an effort to fight for the win, but that he was pleased with the team’s continued consistency.


“Our race today at Texas Motor Speedway played out differently than we expected,” said Love. “I felt like conditions at the start of the race were different than what we had prepared for. I asked for too many adjustments after slipping back, and the Whelen Chevrolet didn’t take to those adjustments well. At the end of stage two, we realized that we had adjusted too far, and Danny (Stockman, crew chief) went back on some changes.

“Starting at the beginning of the final stage, our No. 2 Camaro handled much better, but by that time, it was just an uphill fight to the checkered [flag],” Love continued. “We will go back to the shop, look over the data, and figure out what caused the handling issues we fought. My Richard Childress Racing team never gave up and we were still able to get another top-10 finish with stage points.”

Leaving Texas, Love ranks fifth in the regular season point standings, 76 markers back of leader Chandler Smith. He’s sixth in the playoff rankings through the first eight races of the season.

Love and the rest of the Xfinity Series field will return to action next at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with the running of the Ag-Pro 300.

Coverage of the event airs Saturday, April 20 at 4 p.m. ET, live on FOX, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Share this...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter