NASCAR: Another top prospect leaves Toyota for 2024

Jesse Love is set to replace Sheldon Creed at Richard Childress Racing, marking a move from Toyota to Chevrolet ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

After confirming that Sheldon Creed would not return for a third year with the team in the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Richard Childress Racing confirmed that Jesse Love is set to take over behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevrolet, joining Austin Hill in the team’s driver lineup.

Love has won championships in each of his last three full seasons competing in ARCA. He won the 2020 and 2021 titles competing for Bill McAnally Racing in ARCA Menards Series West, and after running a partial schedule in 2021 and 2022, he competed full-time for Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Menards Series in 2023 and dominated en route to winning the title.

The 2023 season also saw the 18-year-old Menlo Park, California native make his NASCAR national series debut, competing for Tricon Garage at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and Kansas Speedway.

Jesse Love has never made a NASCAR start for a manufacturer other than Toyota.

Love’s career, which began back in 2020, includes starts in the Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East, or ARCA Menards Series West.

The list of young drivers Toyota has lost in recent years continues to grow, and although Love is only 18 years of age and has just two career NASCAR national series starts to his name, this is a big one, given how he has dominated at the lower levels over the last four seasons.

The 2020 ARCA Menards Series West season saw him record three wins and nine top four finishes in 11 starts, and the 2021 season saw him add two more victories in a shorter nine-race season.

Despite not competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series until 2023, he found victory lane in both 2021 and 2022 as a part-time driver. His 2023 title-winning season was as dominant as they come, featuring 10 wins and a further seven top four finishes in 20 starts.

It’s far too early to tell, but depending on how Love performs in the Xfinity Series, it could put him in a prime position to join Richard Childress Racing’s Cup Series team at some point down the road, possibly as the replacement for Kyle Busch whenever Busch decides to retire.