Reigning ARCA Champion Jesse Love to Race Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup at Sebring
 March 7, 2024| 
  • Series News
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SEBRING, Fla. (March 7, 2024) – Jesse Love, driver of the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series will join the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin grid for Rounds Three and Four at Sebring International Raceway.

 

Mazda MX-5 Cup continues to attract high-profile fans, many of whom are accomplished professional drivers; add Jesse Love to that list. The 2023 ARCA Menards Series Champion was introduced to the series via shared sponsor Whelen Engineering and instantly wanted a chance to participate.

 

“I’m excited for the opportunity to compete at Sebring for the first time,” said Love. “Our season with the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet has been off to a strong start, and with an off weekend early in the Xfinity Series schedule, it allowed for this to come together. I have driven a lot of different cars throughout my career, from sprint cars to stock cars, so this is another tool that I can use in the future.”

 

Love will drive the No. 2 Team Fox (the marketing arm of the Michael J. Fox Foundation) car entered by a new team, Hendricks Motorsports. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, the team is led by Kimberlee Hendricks, a second-generation racer. Hendricks operates a race-prep shop founded by her father Buddy Hendricks in 1989. She took over in 2014 and sees MX-5 Cup as an opportunity to expand the business.

 

"We are excited to announce our two-car program for the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin and confirming driver Jesse Love for our debut race at Sebring International Raceway,” Hendricks said. “It is a blessing of momentum and confidence. For many years we have been working diligently toward growing into a professional-level series. We now have the opportunity to combine our passion, dedication and race experience to build a top performing team. Thank you to our partners and everyone that has been involved in aiding us, to make this dream a reality. We look forward to the future possibilities as we expand this program!"

 

With the Xfinity Series off the weekend of March 16 – 17, Love has the opportunity to race MX-5 Cup as part of the celebrated 12 Hours of Sebring event week. The 3.741-mile circuit uses portions of Hendricks Field, a former WWII airstrip. It is famous for its rough track surface that gave birth to the slogan ‘respect the bumps.’

 

“The level of interest in Mazda MX-5 Cup from prominent drivers across all racing disciplines is incredible,” Mazda Motorsports Senior Manager Jonathan Applegate said. “It proves we’re doing something amazing in this sport, with just the right mix of driving skill and fun.

 

“I’m also excited to welcome a new team to the MX-5 Cup paddock led by a woman, Kimmie Hendricks. That makes two female-led teams in our series, with the other being BSI Racing and Shea Holbrook.”

 

Love will have two practice sessions on Wednesday, March 13, before qualifying the same day. Race One takes place on Thursday, March 14 at 1:05pm ET. Race Two is scheduled for 11:15am ET on Friday, March 15. Both races will be streamed live on RACER.com and IMSA.tv.

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