MENLO PARK, Calif. – Fifteen-year-old Jesse Love will pull his belts tight over the next week and a half for a loaded stretch of eight races in five states over a 10-day span.
The wild journey, which spans two different types of cars and two vastly-different disciplines, starts Friday in the ARCA Menards Series West at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., for Bill McAnally Racing. Love will pilot the No. 19 NAPA Premium Plus Toyota as he looks to extend his point lead in the division.
Then it’s on to race two of an ARCA West doubleheader at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., on Saturday, where the Toyota Racing Development driver will take on the four-tenths-mile paved oval for the first time.
Love currently leads the ARCA Menards Series West points, with two wins and two runner-up finishes so far this season.
After his weekend double in the stock car, Love will trade in his ARCA West hat for a 360 winged sprint car on the dirt, participating in the entirety of the recently-announced ASCS Sprint Week.
His dirt path starts in the state of Kansas for three consecutive nights of racing. First up is the four-tenths-mile Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., on Aug. 11, where Love will pilot the No. 44 Cox Racing entry.
On Aug. 12, the Cox Racing team will head to Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan., and the quarter-mile clay oval before visiting the three-eighths-mile dirt track of 81-Speedway in Park City, Kan., on Aug. 13.
The sixth race in the sequence takes Love south to the state of Oklahoma and the quarter-mile clay of Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla., for night four of ASCS Sprint Week, before the state of Arkansas wraps up the five-state trip.
I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., and the quarter-mile, high-banked red clay oval on “Hammer Hill” marks the penultimate stop for Love, before he wraps up nearly two weeks of action at Diamond Park Speedway in Nashville, Ark., on Sunday, Aug. 16.
It’s a stretch that might be considered exhausting – or even too much – for someone his age, but Love is taking the opportunity to be on the race track “as much as I have been since the virus hit” in stride.
“I just think it’s cool that I’m going to get to race this much again,” Love admitted. “It’s something that we haven’t been able to do near as much until recently, so just being able to stay in the seat for a bunch of nights really close together is a great feeling – no matter what type of car I’m driving. I’ve said it before, but whether it’s the ARCA car, a sprint car or a midget, I just want to be behind the wheel as much as I can.
“These next 10 days are going to be a ton of fun, and it’ll be good to build on our foundation in the sprint car with Cox Racing as well,” Love added. “All in all, we’re hoping we can chase some wins across the board and really make this stretch memorable for both my teams.”