2019 TOP TEN – Jesse Loveadmin
Today we will begin the countdown of the top-10 drivers in the “Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil” Championship Standings. It was a record setting season for the series, as well as a record setting season for the driver of the Naake – Klauer Motorsportsentry, Jesse Love. Love became the youngest driver to ever start a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event, when he made his debut at the Irwindale Speedway season opener, at the age of 14 years, 2 months and nine days.
Love completed his first season in the SRL, tenth in the final championship standings, and second in the Rookie-of-the-Year chase. Love had one top-five and three top-10 finishes, in a season that started out with a string of five DNF’s. The young driver, from Atherton, CA, rebounded in the second half of the schedule, showing the potential of the driver and team. The Toyota Racing Development (TRD) driver succeeded in scoring his first top-10 at Irwindale Speedway in July. The eighth-place run was followed by another strong effort at Madera Speedway, where he crossed the line ninth.
The two-time Madera Speedway Junior Late Model Champion tallied his best finish of the season, in the next event at Kern County Raceway. Love was able to come from 15th starting, to finish in the fifth position, at the October Classic. It was the highlight of the season, for the youngest winner and champion in the history of the Bay City Racing Association. The 31-car field was one of four events, with fields of 30 or more cars, and showed the young phenom’s ability to traverse the larger half-mile tracks on the circuit. It was also his third consecutive top-10.
Although the season ended with a 27th place finish, in the “$10,000-to-win Retro Custom Metals 150 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse San Dimas”, at the LVMS Bullring and Dirt Track, the talented rookie showed that he will be a potent contender in any future endeavors. On the season, Love finished with an average qualifying effort of 11.2 with an average car count of just over 27. His feature finish average was hindered by those six DNF’s, ultimately closing at 15.9. Of the events he completed, that number improved to an impressive 7.3 average.
Throughout the season, the 2018 INEX Road Course World Champion found the competition to be extremely stiff, and to his credit, he enjoyed the challenge. It was cause for his improvement as a driver, during his first season in the SRL.
“My first season, in the SRL, was one I’ll never forget, due to the fact that I’ve gained so much knowledge as a racing driver, in so many ways”, Love told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “The SRL ‘Tour’ was huge for my development, and I know it’s going to help me for years to come. Not only did I learn how to race at 100%, for an entire race, but the ‘Tour’ has taught me a higher level of race craft as well. The ‘Tour’ is no joke… going wheel to wheel, door to door with guys like Derek Thorn, Preston Peltier, Cole Moore, and Jeremy Doss, as a regular occurrence, has taught me a new level of respect for drivers like themselves. There is a common theme here, which is that the ‘Tour’ has taught me things at a level I never would have imagined! I’m very grateful for the opportunity to run this series for Naake-Klauer Motorsports, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Love has had the good fortune to be hooked up with Naake – Klauer Motorsports, and to have great marketability, as a young successful racer. He is thankful for his team, and the sponsors that have helped him achieve the success he has seen thus far in his career.
“I can’t thank Mike Naake and the entire team enough for all of their hard work this year, giving it 100% all of the time, day in and day out”, Love expressed. “And I can’t thank my sponsors 51 FIFTY LTM, Mobil 1, and everyone at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) enough, for giving me the opportunity to do what I love, and pursue our dream.”
Celebrating its nineteenth season in 2019, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series..…Where the Champions Race”.