Jesse Love wins ARCA race at Talladega
Jesse Love picked up his third career ARCA Menards Series victory and first at a plate track Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
In just his 31st start overall, No. 20 Love led 35 of the 76 laps in the race, gaining maximum ground in the championship battle with Greg Van Alst and Frankie Muniz.
Love quickly ran away with the lead on the start, setting himself as the dominant car in the early stages. The field thinned out quickly as everyone was gaining their bearings and finding their place in line.
Points leader Greg Van Alst had a short day, despite running in the top 10 in the beginning.
On lap 15, the field checked up due to a car blowing up. Then, No.35 Van Alst tried to shoot the gap and had contact with the No.69 of Scott Melton. The contact sent the Van Alst into the wall hard, ending his day early.
Van Alst finished 32nd and lost his points lead, dropping him to third in points.
Coming to the restart, trouble struck again as the No. 97 Jason Kitzmiller spun in front of the field, causing a 7-car accident.
Following this crash, the field thinned out to the point where track position would be key.
No.20 Love would continue to lead as they came to the halfway break caution.
Pitting then put the REV Racing teammates ahead.
It was touch and go as the laps counted down. Then, No.93 Caleb Costner’s hard crash closed the field back up with 8 laps to go.
On the restart, No.20 Jesse Love and No.25 Gus Dean quickly shot themselves to the front and didn’t look back. The field thinned out as a single file line of eight cars pulled away from the rest of the field.
It came down to the last lap. The No.23 of Bret Holmes tried to make a move with the REV cars. However, Dean blocked them and teammate Love won the General Tire 200.
Following a ninth-place finish, Frankie Muniz left Talladega with the points lead. Jesse Love is in second, -3 points to Muniz and Van Alst is third, -13.
Catch the stars of the ARCA Menards Series next time at Kansas Speedway, Saturday May 6 on FS1.
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