WELCOME, N.C. — Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has announced that Jesse Love, the reigning ARCA Menards Series champion, will be making the transition to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the upcoming season.
Love is set to take the wheel of the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet as he embarks on his full-time journey with RCR’s championship-winning Xfinity Series program.
Hailing from Menlo Park, Calif., the 18-year-old driver delivered a standout performance in the ARCA Menards Series this year, securing victory in half of the races on the series schedule on his way to clinching the championship.
Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR, expressed his admiration for Love’s impressive performance: “We’ve been watching Jesse for a while now, and his breakout performance in the ARCA Menards Series was impressive this season. We know that he has the talent and determination to win races and compete for championships within RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program. We are looking forward to welcoming Whelen back for another year on the No. 2 program and feel confident that Jesse will be a strong ambassador for Whelen.”
This move signifies a notable shift for Love, who has been a prominent member of the Toyota Racing Driver Development program for several years. Love achieved an impressive 10 wins in the ARCA Menards Series while driving Venturini Motorsports Toyotas this season.
A two-time ARCA Menards Series West champion and the youngest champion in NASCAR history, Love’s racing journey began at the tender age of five, maneuvering quarter-midgets across the San Francisco Bay area. He later advanced to full midget and sprint cars, accumulating six USAC championships in the USAC Speed 2 Ford Focus division. Love made his stock car debut in a late model at the astonishingly young age of 10.
“I’ve been fortunate to gain a lot of racing experience at a young age, but nothing compares to the opportunity to race for a legendary team like Richard Childress Racing,” Love shared. “I have so much respect for Richard Childress and am extremely grateful to be able to race and learn with one of the most successful teams in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. I’ve dreamed of racing at the highest levels of the sport since I was a young kid, and the path to the NASCAR Cup Series seems more clear with this opportunity.”
Love also expressed his enthusiasm for representing Whelen, a company deeply involved in motorsports and dedicated to crafting American-made products.
As for Sheldon Creed, who has commanded the No. 2 Chevrolet for the past two seasons at RCR, he is currently in the final stretch of his tenure with the organization. The team disclosed on October 11 that Creed would not be returning, and Creed has yet to reveal his plans for the upcoming season.