Love Knocked Out Of Contention For Vegas Win
A flat right front tire knocked Jesse Love out of contention for the win in the Star Nursery 150 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday night, cutting into what had been a sizable lead in points for the defending ARCA Menards Series West champion.
The driver of the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry was going for his third win of the season and aiming to extend his 19-point lead in the championship standings.
A few laps after charging into the lead on Lap 69, Love began to fall off the pace. During subsequent cautions, he made multiple stops for repairs and returned to competition four laps down. He gained a few spots in the remaining laps and finished 13th.
His rookie BMR teammate, Cole Moore, was in the heat of the battle throughout the night. He charged from 10th on the grid in the No. 99 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry and fought to gain a top-five spot – getting to fifth by Lap 100. He continued in a fierce dogfight for each spot, before slipping back to finish sixth.
BMR had two additional entries in Thursday’s race, with Jolynn “JoJo” Wilkinson in the No. 1 Instacoat Premium Products Toyota Camry and Amber Balcaen in the No. 19 Icon Technologies Unlimited Toyota Camry. Wilkinson ran a stead race early, after starting 16th. She was up to 13th by the midway point of the race, before getting tangled up in an incident and eventually finishing 17th. Balcaen ran into trouble early and finished 22nd.
Despite his problems, Love retained his lead in the standings – with an unofficial seven-point advantage going into the final two events of the year. Moore remains third in the overall standings, 14 points out of the lead and seven points behind second. He is second in the rookie standings.
Prior to the event, Moore and Wilkinson visited NAPA AutoCare shops in the Las Vegas market. BMR welcomed special guests from NAPA Los Angeles and the Las Vegas district stores to the track. Sponsor activation also included a NAPA VIP Guest Crew Member.
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