Race Weekend Central

Jesse Love Wins ARCA Race at Pocono

Jesse Love won in the ARCA Menards Series for the fifth time this season, taking the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway in Saturday’s (July 22) Sunset Hill Shooting Range 150.

Despite not starting on the pole, Love went the point early, and despite losing it briefly to Andres Perez de Lara, he gained it back to lead the most laps en route to victory. 

“I didn’t mind the rain delay, it let me do more homework on starts and restarts that I wasn’t sure about,” Love told FS1. “Just being able to drive away when your car is that fast makes it real easy.” 

Connor Mosack brought home Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 in the runner-up position, with Perez de Lara in third. The Rev Racing driver showed good speed throughout the event, but after sustaining damage on a late restart, he was unable to compete for the win.

To round out the top five, Venturini Motorsports teammates Dean Thomspon and Conner Jones finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

Toni Breidinger narrowly missed out on her third consecutive top five, finishing sixth, with Andy Jankowiak finishing seventh in his return to the series. Cody Coughlin came across the line in eighth, while Christian Rose and Jake Finch completed the top 10.

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When the green flag dropped, Love made quick work on his teammate Thompson, making the pass for the lead from the pole-sitter in turn 1. Come lap 9, Perez de Lara got around Love for the lead, but a caution was brought out shortly after for Logan Misuraca, who had a tire go down in turn 1.

Under that first caution period, championship hopeful Frankie Muniz spent time on pit road after losing power under the first green flag run. Muniz and the Rette Jones Racing team ended up behind the wall due to the issue. 

Upon the lap 11 restart, Perez de Lara retained the lead over Love, as the two pulled away from the rest of the field. After about 10 laps of largely single-file green flag action, Bryan Dauzat made hard contact with the turn 3 wall, bringing out the second caution. 

After some pit strategy under the caution period, the field was shaken up a bit, as Alex Clubb led the field to the green, leading his first career laps. However, the field capitalized quickly, as Love got around for the lead into turn 1. It ended up being a very short green flag run, as a few laps later, the lap 30 halfway race break caution fell. 

As the second half of the race began, Love again jumped out to the lead on the restart over Perez de Lara. The field settled into yet another green flag run from there, with most of the front runners getting strung out in a single-file manner. 

The caution once again fell on lap 42, as Stephanie Moyer went for a spin in turn 3, though avoided contact with the wall. 

When the race restarted again, it set the field up for a 15-lap dash to the finish. It proved to be a wild one. Perez de Lara got a bump from behind and got turned into the wall, and he made contact with Thompson and Mosack in the process. All three cars were able to continue, though damaged. 

A caution soon fell again, as Sean Corr spun in turn 3. He nearly gassed his No. 8 car up in front of two slower cars further back in the field. 

The last restart of the race came with 10 laps to go, and Love emerged with the lead once again. Chaos ensued further back in the pack over the next few laps. Breidinger and Jankowiak made contact into turn 1, and a few laps later, Jankowiak had a run-in with Rose as the field sorted out after the restart. 

However, out front, Love had no competition, and he never looked back after that final restart. He took the checkered flag with a lead of well over two seconds in hand. 

ARCA Results from Pocono

The next time ARCA takes to the track, it’ll be the ARCA Menards Series West drivers tackling Shasta Speedway in Anderson, California, next Saturday (July 29) night. The green flag will wave at 11:30 p.m. ET that evening. The national division of ARCA returns in two weeks, on Friday, August 4, at Michigan International Speedway.

About the author

Josh joined Frontstretch in 2023 and currently covers the ARCA Menards Series. Born and raised in Missouri, Josh has been watching motorsports since 2005. He currently is studying for a Mass Communication degree at Lindenwood University

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