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Jesse Love Captures ARCA Menards Series Reese's 200 Victory At Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park

From Brandon White | ARCA


Victory is sweet: Jesse Love bags seventh win of 2023 in Reese’s 200 at IRP


INDIANAPOLIS — Jesse Love’s seventh win of an incredible 2023 ARCA Menards Series season came down to a restart with 10 laps remaining.


After getting passed in the late stages of the race by Luke Fenhaus, Love executed the final restart of the evening perfectly to regain the lead from Fenhaus and drive away to Victory Lane in Friday’s Reese’s 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.




Love shouldered some blame for surrendering control of the race to Fenhaus, but credited everyone at Venturini Motorsports for giving him a car strong enough to finish what had been a dominant performance with another win.


“This is such a phenomenal team,” Love said. “I didn’t think I did a great job at saving my stuff and that came back to bite me when [Fenhaus] came by. He was really fast and I was giving this thing all it was worth. I cooled [my tires] down as much as I could [before the restart] hoping it would pay dividends and it did.”


Love spent the Reese’s 200 on offense and defense simultaneously. While he led most of the laps, Love faced constant pressure from Fenhaus, William Sawalich and his Venturini Motorsports teammate Sean Hingorani.


Fenhaus provided Love with his toughest test of the night. Using a unique line that saw him drop from the top to the bottom between Turns 3 and 4, Fenhaus chased down Love and pulled ahead until the final caution of the night came out for Christian Rose’s crash in Turn 2.


Fenhaus could not get the jump he needed to keep Love pinned to the bottom during the final restart. Once Love got clear race track in front of him, Fenhaus could only watch as the most efficient driver across the ARCA platform in 2023 added another triumph to his resume.


A second-place run was a disappointing finish to what had been a grueling day for Fenhaus. His fourth-place qualifying run was disallowed due to a technical infraction, which forced him to methodically climb through the field.


Fenhaus was proud of the effort put in by the Pinnacle Racing Group, but stressed he needs to keep improving on late-race restarts moving forward.


“We just got a bad restart,” Fenhaus said. “[Jesse] got a good jump on me and beat me into Turn 1. It was pretty much game over from there. A lot of work goes into these cars and we thrashed our butts off today. Coming from the back to finish second isn’t too bad, but it definitely stinks.”


Despite coming up short of his second straight ARCA Menards Series win and third on the ARCA platform this year, Fenhaus did manage to erase some of his small deficit in the ARCA Menards Series East standings to Sawalich, who came home fourth.


No such deficit exists in the ARCA Menards Series national standings, as Love only added to his substantial advantage over the rest of his full-time competition. With his victory on Friday, Love has now won 58 percent of the ARCA Menards Series races in 2023.


As Love reflected on another successful weekend, he made sure to thank every member of his crew for their hard work, but also honored a vital member of the ARCA Menards Series family during a time of mourning.


“I dedicate this win to Dale Barker, who is our chapel member in the ARCA Menards Series,” Love said. “He lost his father this week and that’s tough. I can’t imagine something like that, so hats off to their family.


“This one is for them.”


Hingorani, Sawalich and Lavar Scott completed the top-five finishers in Friday’s Reese’s 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Rounding out the top-10 were Conner Jones, Greg Van Alst, Andres Perez de Lara, Toni Breidinger and Rose.


A busy week is ahead for the ARCA Menards Series as the series prepares for two races in the span of three days.


First on the calendar is the General Tire 100 at the Glen on Friday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. ET. Once the ARCA Menards Series leaves Watkins Glen International, the drivers and teams will immediately turn around to race at the Springfield Mile at Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday, Aug. 20 for the Dutch Boy 100, which starts 2 p.m. ET.



FS1 will have coverage of both races. The Fox Sports App will have a live stream of the General Tire 100 at the Glen while FloRacing will broadcast alongside FS1 at Springfield.


The final two races of the ARCA Menards Series East season are combination events just like Friday’s Reese’s 200. The next one is the Sprecher 200 at the Milwaukee Mile, which will take place on Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on FS1 and the Fox Sports App.


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Photo's: ARCA | Gunnar Word


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