A 14th-place run in Saturday’s Arizona Lottery 100 doesn’t define the season Jesse Love had in the 2020 ARCA Menards Series West season, being crowned champion.
With three wins in the 11-race calendar and an average finish of 3.9, Jesse Love beat Blaine Perkins by 25-points for his first crown in the ARCA Menards Series. Love is now the youngest champion of the West Series and in NASCAR history, dating back to 1954 and 1948.
At 15 years, 9 months and 24 days, Love beat Todd Gilliland’s record, set in 2016 at 16 years, 5 months. Gilliland was actually in Saturday’s race from Phoenix Raceway, finishing in fourth and his 44-year-old father, David, won the race, leading 23 of the 100 laps.
The title is the 10th for Bill McAnally Racing in the West division, and the fifth in just six years.
Love’s No. 19 Toyota Camry had to beat Perkins on Saturday to claim the title, and a crash on lap 2 and an eventual engine failure eliminated the Bob Bruncati driver from the championship hunt.
Perkins, driver of the Sunrise Ford Racing No. 9 for Bruncati, won at the Utah Motorsports Campus, Evergreen Speedway and Douglas County Speedway.
Love, the Menlo Park, California native won the opening race at Utah, Irwindale Speedway, and Colorado National Speedway this season. He finished inside the top ten in every event — besides the finale at Phoenix — and never failed to finish. Saturday marked the only time he failed to complete every lap in a race, being one lap down. He completed the most laps out of any driver this season in the West division.
Gracie Trotter, Love’s BMR teammate, won at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this season, being his first career win, and ended third in the standings. She, along with Love and sixth-place driver in the standings, Todd Souza, were the only three drivers to start and finish all 11 races.
Trevor Huddleston and Gio Scelzi rounded out the top five positions in points, driving for Bruncati and McAnally, respectively.