The No. 2 Xfinity Series ride at Richard Childress Racing had been open but now is not, as the team has found its next driver.
It comes as a huge surprise, much like the news that Sheldon Creed wasn't going to return to the Whelen-sponsored Chevrolet. RCR has tabbed 18-year-old Jesse Love from the ARCA Menards Series to take over No. 2 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024.
NEWS: Richard Childress Racing welcomes reigning ARCA Menards Series champion Jesse Love to the organization?s NASCAR Xfinity Series stable in 2024.
— RCR (@RCRracing) October 25, 2023
Love was well accomplished this year, setting plenty of records and making headlines as he won 10 of the 20 ARCA races this season en route to the series championship.
The most noteworthy part is he did so behind the wheel of a Toyota. That's what makes this move so huge, as Toyota once again loses one of its top up-and-coming talents.
As for Love's future, team owner Richard Childress said he has had his eye on the young driver for some time and is excited to have him in the fold.
"We've been watching Jesse for a while now and his breakout performance in the ARCA Menards Series was impressive this season," Childress said in a press release. "We know that he has the talent and determination to win races and compete for championships within RCR's NASCAR Xfinity Series program. We are looking forward to welcoming Whelen back for another year on the No. 2 program and feel confident that Jesse will be a strong ambassador for Whelen."
Love made an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio after the announcement became official. He discussed how the deal came about and how he believes RCR will give him the best path to reach the Cup Series in the future.
"It made so much sense for me to go to RCR, where I can have a much more clear path to Cup and have a multi-year deal to develop," Love said.
As for Creed, whom Love is replacing, mystery still remains about where the 2020 Craftsman Truck Series champion will be going. With one puzzle piece in place, it shouldn't be long before everyone knows what's next for Creed.
Being only 18, Love will have plenty of time to get acclimated in the immediate future, but he looks to be set up to succeed for years to come in NASCAR.
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