DUQUOIN, Illinois – It doesn’t matter the style of race track, Jesse Love keeps finding ways to win ARCA Menards Series races.
After winning races on superspeedways, intermediate ovals, short tracks and road courses this year, Love added a victory on a dirt track to his 2023 list of accomplishments with a victory in Sunday’s Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
The triumph, his ninth of the ARCA Menards Series season and 11th of his career, came in dominant fashion.
After qualifying fourth, Love quickly moved past Brent Crews and Will Kimmel before chasing down and passing polesitter William Sawalich for the race lead on Lap 21.
Love maintained the race lead for the rest of the race, but he did have to survive a pair of restarts late in the 100-lap event. The first came with nine laps left after Tim Monroe stalled on the frontstretch and the second came with four laps left when Monroe spun in Turn 2.
In both instances, Love held off advances from his Venturini Motorsports teammate Crews, who was attempting to win the $20,000 Performance Seed Dirt Double bonus for sweeping the dirt track events at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, and DuQuoin.
9th win of the season for @jesselovejr1!
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) September 4, 2023
Despite falling short of earning that $20,000 bonus, Crews’ finishes of first and second, respectively, were enough to garner him a $7,500 bonus from Performance Seed. Love banked an extra $5,000 based on his average finish between the events at Springfield and DuQuoin.
Kimmel finished third in his first ARCA Menards Series race of the 2023 campaign, with Andres Perez de Lara coming home fourth to earn $2,500 from Performance Seed as the driver with the third best average finish in the events at Springfield and DuQuoin.
Polesitter Sawalich finished fifth, followed by Kelly Kovski, Christian Rose, Monroe, Alex Clubb and Brayton Laster.
The ARCA Menards Series season resumes with the 17th race of 2023 next Friday, September 8 with the running of the Sioux Chief Fast Track 150 at Kansas Speedway. The event will be broadcast live on FS1.