Fifteen-year-old Jesse Love led the way among Bill McAnally Racing’s four young rookie drivers making their ARCA Menards East debut, as the circuit kicked off its season at New Smyrna Speedway on Monday night.
Love drove the No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry to a 12th-place finish in the 175-lap event that was part of NASCAR Speedweeks in Florida.
His BMR teammates were close behind, with Giovanni Scelzi finishing 13th in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Holley Hollan taking 15th in the No. 50 JBL / NAPA Filters / NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Camry, and Gracie Trotter coming home 16th in the No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry.
Love of Menlo Park, California was quickest of the BMR drivers in practice and also topped his teammates in qualifying – turning in the 14th quickest lap overall.
All four drivers made the move this season to NASCAR’s top developmental series. Scelzi and Hollan are making the transition from open-wheel racing on dirt. Love, meanwhile, has a racing resume that includes competition on dirt and asphalt. Trotter moved up from super late models and racing in the Legends series.
They are slated to run the full schedule in the ARCA Series West, along with other additional select ARCA races.
“With four young rookies on our roster this year, we wanted to take this opportunity for them to get a race under their belt,” said team owner Bill McAnally. “They gained some valuable experience this weekend that should benefit them as we move ahead. In addition to the experience behind the wheel, it gave them a chance to work with the crewmembers under race conditions.”
Leading up to the New Smyrna event, the four drivers participated in a Speedweeks Kickoff Event, hosted by Daytona International Speedway – with BMR’s No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Records Toyota Camry and No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry on display.
BMR treated guests from NAPA and ENEOS to a VIP experience at Monday’s race.
Start / Finish: 16 / 13
Points Earned: 31
Points Standing / Total: 13th / 31 pts.
Start / Finish: 14 / 12
Points Earned: 32
Points Standing / Total: 12th / 32 pts.
Start / Finish: 18 / 15
Points Earned: 29
Points Standing / Total: 15th / 29 pts.
Start / Finish: 20 / 16
Points Earned: 28
Points Standing / Total: 16th / 28 pts.
Next Race: ARCA Menards Series West – Star Nursery 150, Feb. 20, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: NBCSN
Based in Roseville, California, Bill McAnally Racing fields multiple teams in the ACRA Menards Series (formally NASCAR K&N Pro Series), including the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driven by Gio Scelzi. The team has amassed a record 99 wins and nine championships, with four of those titles earned in the last five years.