Jesse Love Cinches ARCA West Championship

Hailie Deegan

Fifteen-year-old Jesse Love clinched the championship in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, becoming the youngest champion in series history, as well as the youngest champion in the history of any NASCAR national or touring series.

The series rookie from Menlo Park, California clinched the title by 25 points after driving the Bill McAnally Racing No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry to a 14th-place finish in Saturday’s season finale.

Love finished the season with three wins, four pole awards, nine top fives and 10 top 10s in 11 races.

This marks the 10th series championship for BMR, the fifth title in six years for the Roseville, California-based team. The 10 titles mark a record for the series and for NASCAR Regional Touring overall.

BMR’s Gracie Trotter wrapped up her rookie season on Saturday with a ninth-place finish in the No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry. She finished the season just six points out of second place in the championship standings. Her third-place ranking matches the highest position by a female driver in the final standings in the ARCA Menards Series West or East.

Trotter scored one win, seven top fives and 11 top 10s in 11 starts this season.

NASCAR Euro Series competitor Alex Sedgwick of Brighton, England, made his series debut at Phoenix – driving BMR’s No. 12 BELFOR Property Restoration Toyota Camry to a 13th-place finish.

Saturday’s race ended early for BMR regular Giovanni Scelzi, who was sidelined after being involved in an incident in the opening laps of the event. The driver of the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS/Curb Records Toyota Camry concluded his rookie year fifth in the championship standings, just 12 points back from the fourth-place driver.

Scelzi had one win, one pole award, seven top fives and nine top 10s in 11 races this year.

After celebrating his championship, Love took some time to reflect on the accomplishment.

“What a great season for the No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota team,” he said. “We had a lot of fun today and were really smart throughout the whole race. I can’t thank everybody at Toyota, NAPA and Bill McAnally Racing enough for all their hard work this year.

“It’s super cool to be the youngest champion in NASCAR and to be able to write my name in the history books is something I am so grateful for,” he said. “Thank you, again, to everyone at BMR, NAPA and TRD and to God. And thank you to all the fans for their support.

“I can’t wait for what is to come,” he said.

Love won the championship at the age of 15 years, 9 months, 24 days. He broke the series record set by former BMR driver and two-time series champion Todd Gilliland, who was 16 years, 5 months old when he won his first title in 2016.

The Arizona Lottery 100, which was won by David Gilliland, will be televised to a national audience on NBCSN on Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. PT.

ARCA Menards Series West Event:

Race: Arizona Lottery 100 (Race 11 of 11) Nov. 7, 2020

Location: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Ariz. (1-mile oval)

Television: NBCSN on Nov. 11, 3 p.m. PT

BMR Drivers:

Hailie Deegan

Jesse Love

No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry

Age: 15

Hometown: Menlo Park, Calif.

Qualified: 13th

Finished: 14th (Running, completed 99 of 100 laps)

2020 season series stats:

Races: 11 starts, 3 wins, 4 poles, 9 top fives, 10 top 10s

Series standings: 1st

Rookie standings: 1st

Brittney Zamora

Gracie Trotter

No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry

Age: 19

Hometown: Denver, N.C.

Qualified: 15th

Finished: 9th (Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)

2020 season series stats:

Races: 11 starts, 1 win, 7 top fives, 11 top 10s

Series standings: 3rd

Rookie standings: 2nd

Derek Kraus

Giovanni Scelzi

No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Records Toyota Camry

Age: 18

Hometown: Fresno, Calif.

Qualified: 19th

Finished: 27th (Accident, completed 1 of 100 laps)

2020 season series stats:

Races: 11 starts, 1 win, 1 pole, 7 top fives, 9 top 10s

Series standings: 5th

Rookie standings: 3rd

Alex Sedgwick (Wiley X)

Alex Sedgwick

No. 12 BELFOR Property Restoration Toyota Camry

Age: 21

Hometown: Brighton, England

Qualified: 20th

Finished: 13th (Running, completed 99 of 100 laps)

Phoenix – ARCA West debut


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