Love Nabs Fourth-Straight Xfinity Series Top 10

April 05, 2024: NASCAR races at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. (HHP/Chris Owens)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – It might not have been pretty at times, but Jesse Love and Richard Childress Racing still got out of Martinsville Speedway with a ninth-place finish over the weekend.

After qualifying 11th for the DUDE Wipes 250, Love scrapped among the top-10 runners for most of Saturday night’s race before an overtime scramble shuffled the deck late in the going.

Love climbed from his car and appeared puzzled before debriefing with crew chief Danny Stockman.

“We were just not how we wanted to be,” tipped the 19-year-old native of Menlo Park, Calif. “I mean, I think we all wanted to be a little bit better there, especially on the back end of runs. I was giving all that I could on [corner] entry and [the competition] was still just hauling on entry. I don’t really know what we have to do to be able to get in the corner like that, but we’ll go to work and figure some things out.

“I have so much faith in Danny that I know that once we come back to these places, he’ll have it figured out how we need to be,” Love continued. It’s a rough night by our standards, but still solid. I tried to keep the duct work in it until the end there and then I was done with it.”

Despite the rough-and-tumble nature of Martinsville short-track racing, Love still tipped that he had a good time returning to the style of competition that launched his career.

“It was hard racing,” he said. “It was kind of fun, because you were knocking everybody out of the way and everybody’s knocking you out of the way [in return], and you’re just trying to be on the right end of it. I thought that we were okay at the end.”

Saturday’s result marked Love’s fourth top-10 finish in a row in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, allowing him to maintain fourth place in the regular-season standings.

It’s a stretch that continues to showcase the resiliency of a rookie driver and the veteran team around him.

“That’s just what we do, man,” said Love of finding ways to salvage even the rough on-track outings. “It’s ridiculous. Like, the one thing that you can’t take away from us is that we can finish races decently. We want to get better. I think with how we’re completing races, once we have the whole package how we need it to be and I’m doing everything right … that we’ll be able to consistently win races.”

Love will return to action in the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro Saturday, April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway for the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300.

Coverage of the event will air at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, the Performance Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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