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ARCA Power Rankings: Jesse Love Wraps Up 2023 In 1st

The 2023 ARCA Menards Series is now in the books, and it was a historic season for Jesse Love, winning 10 times in 20 races, and only finishing outside of the top 10 in two races.

However, it was William Sawalich who got the job done at Toledo Speedway, leading 111 laps in the process, using a late race bump and run to get around Love, and never looked back. It was Sawalich’s fourth win of the 2023 season, in only 13 starts.

See also
William Sawalich Earns 4th ARCA Win of 2023 at Toledo

Love and Sawalich were the stars of the show at Toledo, but who else joins them on this week’s edition of the 2023 Frontstretch ARCA power rankings?

1. Jesse Love 

By no surprise, Love tops this week’s edition of ARCA power rankings, as he was officially crowned champion following Saturday’s (Oct. 7) race at Toledo. Love won half of the races in the 2023 season, and finished inside of the top five in all but three races. 

It was no different at Toledo, as Love led 89 laps, finishing second to Sawalich after getting passed late in the race. It put Love one win shy of Ty Gibbs’ 2021 season, in which the Cup Series rookie won 11 times. By taking the checkered flag on the season, Love officially completed 94.2% of the laps run this season, an impressive number for a rookie of the series.

Love will not return full time to defend his title as he will only contest a part-time slate in 2024. 

2. William Sawalich

Sawalich ended his rookie season on a high note, winning his fourth race of the season at Toledo. Overall, Sawalich only finished outside of the top 10 once in 13 races, and outside of the top five twice this season, giving him an average finish of 3.6, and completing 99.8% of the laps run, missing only five, all at Salem Speedway. 

The win at Toledo came after he led 111 laps, his third-highest total on the season. All told, Sawalich won six races across the entire ARCA platform this season and is set to return to the series in 2024, again with Joe Gibbs Racing. 

3. Andres Perez de Lara

Though he didn’t find victory lane, Andres Perez de Lara had a very successful rookie season in ARCA. He ended up runner up in the points standings to Love, 141 marks behind. 

The Rev Racing driver finished fourth at Toledo, the last car on the lead lap, ending his season finishing inside the top five in four of the last five races on the schedule. All told he ended the season with 15 top 10s, 10 top fives and a near win at Michigan International Speedway.

At this point, Perez de Lara intends on returning to ARCA competition with Rev. 

4. Christian Rose

Only a few years removed from pitching in Division 1 college baseball, Christian Rose has found his footing in ARCA. In his first full season on the circuit, Rose and AM Racing finished third in the overall standings, 167 marks behind Love, and only 25 behind second place Perez de Lara.

The season finale race at Toledo treated Rose well, giving him his second top five of the season, both coming consecutively to close out the year. Rose ended the race one lap down, losing touch of the lead lap to Sawalich with only a handful of laps remaining, but still came across the line fifth. 

FOX announced during the Toledo race broadcast that Rose would return to ARCA in 2024.

See also
Christian Rose Returning to AM Racing's ARCA Seat in 2024

5. Frankie Muniz

Rounding out the top five is rookie Frankie Muniz, who completed his first full schedule as a racecar driver with an eighth-place finish at Toledo. Muniz ended the season fourth in the overall standings, 196 points behind Love.

Muniz kicked the 2023 season off with a bang, finishing inside of the top 10 in nine of the first 11 races. However, a rough second half full of mechanical issues and incidents seemingly derailed his season, moving him from second in the points at mid-season, to fourth by season’s end. The finale race at Toledo saw him finish inside of the top 10, the 11th time he had done so this season.  

Like Perez de Lara, it’s unclear where Muniz will end up racing in 2024 at this point. 

While the national division of ARCA is through for the 2023 season, the ARCA Menards Series West still has three races left on its schedule. The next of which is Friday, Oct. 13, at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with the green flag scheduled at 10 p.m. ET.

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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