Love Grabs Top 5 With Late-Race Charge At Gateway

• ARCA Menards Series Showdown Competition

MADISON, Ill. (Aug. 29, 2020) – Jesse Love battled his way to the front in the closing laps to grab a top-five finish in the Dutch Boy Paints 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Saturday.

The 15-year-old from Menlo Park, Calif., made his late-race charge in the Bill McAnally Racing No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry to take fifth in the ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown event at the 1.25-mile track near St. Louis.

Love took advantage of two cautions in the final 20 laps to gain ground on his competition.

“It was a nail-biter,” he said of the final restart. “I wanted it there on the restart and went for it there and charged super hard and pulled it off.

“Overall, I think that I learned a lot today,” he said. “It took me a little bit to figure it out in the race and get better on the restarts. I think I got them down at the end there and it really helped us out.

“We had a great long-run car and everyone seemed to come to me late in the run,” he said. “My NAPA Toyota was super fast and I had fun driving it tonight.”

Love, who was 14th quickest in an abbreviated practice earlier in the day, started 17th on the grid – which was determined by Showdown points. He steadily worked his way forward – running 15th by Lap 10, 13th by Lap 40 and 11th by Lap 60. He settled in at that point and remained in that spot, before mounting a charge in the final 20 laps of the 120-lap event. He was up to eight with less than 10 laps to go and into fifth just two laps from the finish.

He led the way among the three BMR rookies, with teammates Gracie Trotter finishing 12th in the No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry and Giovanni Scelzi coming home 13th in the NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Records Toyota Camry. Trotter, who started in 18th, moved up to 13th early in the race and then gained an additional spot in the late stages of the race. Scelzi came from 16th on the starting grid.

The race was a designated ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown event, one of a series of events on this year’s ARCA Menards Series schedule. The showdown events are considered a series within a series. Love and his BMR teammates are competing in select ARCA Series races this year, while running the full schedule in the ARCA Menards Series West.

Love leads the ARCA West championship standings, with three wins in the first seven races. Trotter is third in the West standings, with Scelzi in fifth – just two points out of fourth.

NAPA AUTO PARTS had a strong turnout at Gateway, with activation and support at the ARCA race. Guests from NAPA Belts & Hoses and Gates Hydraulics, as well as from McKay Auto Group, BBB Industries, NAPA Filters, NGK and ENEOS were in attendance. They received a VIP experience pit tour, a driver meet-and-greet, gifts and food and beverages. An NGK VIP crew member was also honored at the race.

ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown Event:
Race: Dutch Boy Paints 150, Aug. 29, 2020
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile oval)

BMR Drivers:
Gio Scelzi
No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Records Toyota Camry
Age: 18
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
Practice: 15th
Started: 16th
Finished: 13th (Running, completed 119 of 120 laps)

Jesse Love
No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry
Age: 15
Hometown: Menlo Park, Calif.
Practice: 14th
Started: 17th
Finished: 5th (Running, completed 120 of 120 laps)

Gracie Trotter
No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry
Age: 18
Hometown: Denver, N.C.
Practice: 13th
Started: 18th
Finished: 12th (Running, completed 120 of 120 laps)

Race winner: Ty Gibbs

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