Bill McAnally Racing was celebrating on Saturday as Jesse Love scored his first ARCA Menards Series West win, taking home the hardware in the first race of a doubleheader on the 2.2-mile road course at Utah Motorsports Campus, west of Salt Lake.
The victory by the 15-year-old from Menlo Park, Calif., also marked a milestone for BMR – with the team capturing their 100th win overall in the West and East divisions of the ARCA Menards Series, which evolved this year from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
Love put his No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry into the lead on Lap 9 and held on with a green-white-checkered finish in the first race of the ENEOS Twins presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
He credited his team with providing him with a fast Toyota.
“I can’t thank all those guys enough,” he said. “They did a heck of a job the whole weekend. These guys are just awesome. I’m super fortunate and blessed by the Lord above to be able to come here and do what I love to do.”
Although he appeared to have command of the race, Love admitted he had concerns.
“I was a little worried,” he said. “We didn’t have the fastest turning car sometimes, but (crew chief) Kyle Wososek got me tuned up and it helped me get through the turns real well. Bill McAnally was spotting for me and that was pretty cool. I was able to know where everybody was the whole time. Overall, it was a team effort by all these guys right here. I’m just a wheel holder,” he said with a grin.
Love finished off the doubleheader with a second-place finish in the second race.
Love was not the only BMR driver to celebrate at Utah. Giovanni Scelzi drove the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS/Curb Records Toyota Camry to a career-best third-place finish in the first race and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the second race.
Gracie Trotter and Holley Hollan came away with top-10 finishes in both races. Trotter, driving the No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry, was seventh on both occasions. Hollan piloted the No. 50 JBL / NAPA Filters / NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Camry to a ninth-place finish in the first race and backed that up with a 10th-place finish.
BMR’s Lawless Alan was fast early in the day, but ran into problems in the first race. He qualified second quickest in the No. 12 AUTOParkit / NGK Toyota Camry and ran at the front of the pack in the first half of the race. Just past the midway point, however, he was sidelined with suspension trouble. He went to a backup car for the second race, but was not able to make up ground and finished 12th.
Love leads the championship standings in the series, with Scelzi third in points and Trotter in fourth. Alan is seventh in the standings, followed by Hollan in eighth.
Utah Motorsports Campus followed state and county regulations, which allowed a limited number of fans to attend the races.
BMR, meanwhile, worked with NAPA Salt Lake, ENEOS, NAPA Power Premium Plus, NAPA Belts & Hoses and NGK. A group of NAPA Store and Shop owners, employees, and key customers attended the event, had a meet-and-greet with the BMR drivers and viewed the races from the VIP suites. The BMR drivers and teams were grateful to have activation at the event with sponsor partners and guests in attendance.