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Jesse Love earns first NASCAR Xfinity victory at Talladega




Jesse Love earned his first career NASCAR .

In many ways it was a triumphant redemption for the 19-year-old Californian, who led the race in overtime in Atlanta earlier this season but ran out of fuel before the checkered flag. Love’s win in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet makes him just the seventh driver to score his first win at the 4.26-mile Talladega Superspeedway.

“Just a great group of guys (on my team) and it’s been quite a journey to get to this point,” a grinning Love said before thanking a litany of people who have helped him thus far in his young career.

“I had PTSD flashbacks from Atlanta,” Love acknowledged, adding, “I love Talladega. I love the speedway and I love the fans.”

Love certainly deserved this first victory – starting on the outside of the front row alongside his experienced RCR teammate Austin Hill, he won his fourth stage of the season (Stage 1) and led 28 of the 124 laps. He was top five for most of the afternoon and when he had to start the final restart, he went. Jumping to the lead at the green flag in overtime and staying off the field when it mattered most.

His RCR teammate Hill, the pole sitter, led a race-best 42 laps and was at the front with two laps to go in regulation when he was hit from behind by Parker Kligerman. The incident sent Hill’s car into the wall, eventually collecting nine cars, including many that had been moving to the front for most of the afternoon, sending the race into extra time.

On the subsequent overtime restart, Kligerman was eliminated in a four-car front accident as several cars in the field ran out of gas. Love was in the front row for the final restart among eight drivers racing for their first career wins.

Herbst’s second-place finish in the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was his best performance of the year. Our Motorsports Anthony Alfredo finished third, followed by Young’s Motorsports rookie Leland Honeyman and Alpha Prime Racing’s Brennan Poole. Alfredo equaled the best mark of his career and Honeyman had the best result of his career.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sheldon Creed, Alpha Prime Racing’s Caesar Bacarella, 2023 Talladega winner Matt DiBenedetto of Viking Motorsports, Jordan Anderson Racing’s Jeb Burton and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer rounded out the top 10.

There were 34 lead changes among 16 drivers on a typical Talladega afternoon.

Ryan Sieg, who lost to Sam Mayer in a photo finish last week at Texas Motor Speedway – by 0.002 seconds – won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

An eleven-car accident on lap 65 proved pivotal for several race leaders and drivers eligible for Dash 4 Cash.

Herbst hit the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevy of Justin Allgaier with just two laps to go in the opening stages – both battling for a top 10 and some early stage points. It eliminated Allgaier from the fight. Mayer was eliminated in a later multi-car crash, setting up an intriguing battle between Sieg, who had to make a green flag pit stop late in the race due to a flat tire, and AJ Allmendinger, whose car was damaged in a crash.

Sieg and Allmendinger were in 19th and 20th respectively at the second overtime restart and Sieg was able to pull away to finish 17th with Allmendinger 19th.

“This is huge for our team,” Sieg said. “It was a tough one. I thought I had thrown it away but was lucky enough to get the warning at the end and come back and beat the 16. So it all worked out and it’s pretty exceptional for our little team.

Not only does he win the Dash 4 Cash paycheck, but Sieg will be in Dover, Del. next week. compete against Love, Herbst and Alfredo for the final race of the incentive program.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Chandler Smith, who finished 25th, still has a 14-point lead over Custer at the top of the championship.

The NASCAR Ryan Truex is the defending race winner.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Ag-Pro 300
Talladega Super Speedway
Talladega, AL
Saturday April 20, 2024

  • 1. (2) Jesse Love #, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 2. (8) Riley Herbst, Ford, 124.
  • 3. (11) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 4. (33) Leland Honeyman #, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 5. (27) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 6. (10) Sheldon Creed, Toyota, 124.
  • 7. (29) Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 8. (28) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 124.
  • 9. (35) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 10. (4) Cole Custer, Ford, 124.
  • 11. (38) Mason Massey(i), Chevrolet, 124.
  • 12. (31) Hailie Deegan #, Ford, 124.
  • 13. (25) Kyle Sieg, Ford, 124.
  • 14. (1) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 15. (13) Taylor Gray(i), Toyota, 124.
  • 16. (36) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 17. (24) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 124.
  • 18. (17) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 19. (14) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 20. (9) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 21. (5) Sammy Smith, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 22. (18) Shane Van Gisbergen #, Chevrolet, 124.
  • 23. (26) Blaine Perkins, Ford, 123.
  • 24. (19) David Starr, Chevrolet, 123.
  • 25. (7) Chandler Smith, Toyota, 123.
  • 26. (37) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 123.
  • 27. (20) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, DVP, 120.
  • 28. (30) Dawson Cram #, Chevrolet, 120.
  • 29. (3) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, Accident, 117.
  • 30. (21) Parker Retzlaff, Chevrolet, Ignition, 113.
  • 31. (32) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Accident, 111.
  • 32. (12) Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, Accident, 111.
  • 33. (23) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
  • 34. (6) Ryan Truex, Toyota, Accident, 65.
  • 35. (22) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
  • 36. (15) Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
  • 37. (34) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, Motor, 46.
  • 38. (16) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 24.

Average speed of race winner: 131.323 km/h.
Time of the race: 2 hours, 30 minutes, 42 seconds. Winning margin: 0.141 seconds.
Warning flags: 6 for 28 laps.
Lead changes: 34 out of 16 drivers.

Tour leaders: A. Heuvel 1-23;J. Love #24-26;M. DiBenedetto 27;J. Love #28-30;A. Hill 31-33;C. Custer 34-36;R. Sieg 37-42;C. Smith 43;R. Truex 44;C. Smith 45-46;A. Hill 47-51;J. Anderson 52; J. Love #53-56;B. Jones 57-60;R. Sieg 61;S. Smith 62;S. Van Gisbergen #63;S. Smith 64;A. Hill 65-68;D. Starr 69;A. Hill 70-72;R. Kruidst 73-81;A. Hill 82-83;R. Kruidst 84-86;P. Kligerman 87-88;R. Herbst 89;P. Kligerman 90;A. Alfredo 91-96; P. Kligerman 97;C. Custer 98;T. Gray(i) 99;J. Love #100-110;A. Hill 111;P. Kligerman 112-117;J. Love #118-124.

Leader overview (driver, lead times, laps led): Austin Hill 7 times for 41 laps; Jesse Love #5 times for 28 laps; Riley Herbst 3 times for 13 rounds; Parker Kligerman 4 times for 10 laps; Ryan Sieg 2 times for 7 rounds; Anthony Alfredo 1 time for 6 rounds; Cole Custer 2 times for 4 rounds; Brandon Jones 1 time for 4 rounds; Chandler Smith 2 times for 3 rounds; Sammy Smith 2 times for 2 rounds; Shane Van Gisbergen #1 time for 1 lap; Taylor Gray(i) 1 time for 1 round; Ryan Truex 1 time for 1 round; David Starr 1 time for 1 round; Jordan Anderson 1 time for 1 round; Matt DiBenedetto 1 time for 1 round.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 2,48,21,81,16,20,97,9,98,00
Stage #2, top ten: 21,2,16,39,9,81,48,98,27,00