PIT BOX: Jesse Love’s championship celebration extends to ARCA Menards Series finale at Toledo Speedway

An eventful ARCA Menards Series season filled with many thrilling battles and compelling storylines concludes Saturday afternoon at Toledo Speedway for the Shore Lunch 200.

Last year, Toledo returned as the ARCA Menards Series finale for the first time since the 2011 season. The battle for the victory came down to the closing laps, with 2022 ARCA Menards Series East champion Sammy Smith muscling his way around Jesse Love and Grant Enfinger to close out the year with a victory.

Smith’s bump-and-run on Love is one of many iconic moments at Toledo Speedway since the ARCA Menards Series ran there for the first time in 1964. The most memorable of these occurred in 2008, when multiple collisions between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Scott Speed ultimately awarded Justin Allgaier his lone championship.

The 2023 title fight has been decided before Saturday’s Shore Lunch 200, as Jesse Love clinched the championship just by starting last week’s race at Salem Speedway. Love looks to add one more victory on his stellar year when the green flag waves at Toledo on Saturday afternoon.

Tickets for the Shore Lunch 200 can be purchased here. Below is everything you need to know about Saturday’s race.

Sammy Smith, driver of the #18 TMC Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Shore Lunch 200 for the ARCA Menards Series at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio on October 8, 2022. (Luke Hales/ARCA Racing)
Sammy Smith won a thriller over Jesse Love in last year’s season finale at Toledo Speedway. (Photo: Luke Hales/ARCA Racing)

Shore Lunch 200 at Toledo Speedway


23.02.20.sl 200 Tracksignage Logo Final

Although Jesse Love cruised to his 10th win of 2023 at Salem Speedway last weekend, the triumph did not come without one major hiccup.

While battling for the lead, Love collided with William Sawalich in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, sending him into the outside retaining wall. The damage was significant enough for Sawalich to lose five laps and limp his car home in the sixth position.

The contact between Love and Sawalich at Salem was a continuation of an on-track feud that has been ongoing since their first race together. Love voiced his displeasure toward Sawalich after the latter denied him a win at Berlin Raceway, a grievance that carried over into the following event at Elko Speedway, which Love won after a hard battle with Sawalich.

With last year’s incident surrounding Venturini Motorsports and the No. 18 team still fresh on everyone’s minds, Toledo is primed to host another contentious-but-intense battle between Love and Sawalich as each young prospect looks to end the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season on a high note.

Love and Sawalich will have plenty of competition from the usual contingent of ARCA Menards Series regulars that consist of Andres Perez, who currently sits second in the point standings, along with Love’s teammate Sean Hingorani, Christian Rose, Frankie Muniz and others.

The complete entry list for the Shore Lunch 200 will be released later this week.

Amber Slagle, driver of the #42 MMI Services-Sunwest Construction Toyota, and Brad Smith, driver of the #48 Copraya.com Chevrolet, race during the Shore Lunch 200 for the ARCA Menards Series at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio on October 8, 2022. (Luke Hales/ARCA Racing)
With the Shore Lunch 200 being the 2023 ARCA Menards Series finale, plenty of drivers are seeking to end the year with a win. (Photo: Luke Hales/ARCA Racing)



Race Shore Lunch 200
PLACE Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio
DATE Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023
TIME 4:30 p.m. ET
RADIO ARCARacing.com
TRACK LAYOUT Half-mile paved oval
LAPS 200
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, Oct. 7: Final Practice from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET… General Tire Pole Qualifying (Timed Session) 1 p.m. ET… Shore Lunch 200 (200 Laps/100 Miles) at 4:30 p.m. ET.

CREW CHIEF HANDOUNT: The starting field for the Shore Lunch 200 is limited to 28 starters plus provisionals. This event will be run under the 2023 ARCA Menards Series rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive laps of qualifying. No adjustments or repairs may be made on car after taking the green flag at the start/finish line.

RACE PIT STOP: Break pit stop procedure. Breaks at or near the conclusion of laps 75 and 125. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to the last 10 laps of the race. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box once race has started. (Learn about all of ARCA’s pit stop procedures here.)

TIRE ALLOTMENT: The maximum tire use at track (purchased plus from home ties) is 14. Per ARCA Rulebook, the maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race = 8 (EIRI).