After confirming Sheldon Creed’s release, Richard Childress Racing have announced a new driver for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
Richard Childress Racing recently confirmed that Sheldon Creed will not be back for what would have been a third year with the team in the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, leaving the No. 2 Chevrolet without a driver.
Now they have confirmed Creed’s replacement, announcing that reigning ARCA Menards Series champion Jesse Love is set to join the organization.
Love has won championships in each of his three most recent seasons as a full-time driver. Competing for Bill McAnally Racing, he won the ARCA Menards Series West championships in both 2020 and 2021, winning five of 20 races across both seasons.
In 2023, he won the ARCA Menards Series championship in his first season as a full-time driver, doing so for Venturini Motorsports. He competed in select races for the team in 2021 and 2022 and won twice, and his 2023 title-winning season was as dominant as it gets, featuring 10 wins in 20 starts.
Sheldon Creed’s release comes despite the fact that he remains in this year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contention.
However, it is not all that surprising. There has been some tension between Creed and teammate Austin Hill on more than one occasion this season, and after missing the playoffs last year, Creed is still searching for his first career Xfinity Series race victory in a season that has seen Hill win four times.
The move solidifies the team’s 2024 driver lineup, as Hill recently signed a multi-year contract extension to remain behind the wheel of the No. 21 Chevrolet.
While Hill has certainly performed at a high enough level to the point where might be considered a replacement for Kyle Busch at Richard Childress Racing’s Cup Series team whenever he retires, the Love signing also gives the team a much younger option to whom they could turn for their Cup Series team.
The 18-year-old Menlo Park, California native has made just two career NASCAR national series starts, both in the Truck Series with Tricon Garage this year. He finished in ninth place at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and 13th at Kansas Speedway.
Across the Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East, and ARCA Menards Series West, Love has never competed for a manufacturer other than Toyota, but that is set to change in 2024.