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Toyota’s Cut-Throat Nature Evident From Recent Richard Childress Capture

Published 11/18/2023, 4:17 PM EST

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Richard Childress and his team made the headlines late in October. To replace the departing Sheldon Creed, Richard Childress Racing signed young sensation Jesse Love. While it was a terrific move, it was unexpected, to say the least. It was quite surprising considering how Toyota spent plenty of time developing the Venturi Motorsports driver.

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Love has been sensational in the ARCA Menards series, making a lot of noise with his performances. Given his talent behind the wheel, it only makes it more confusing how Toyota let him go.

Jesse Love’s signing for Richard Childress shows Toyota’s ruthless approach


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It is no secret how Toyota spends plenty in its racing development program. In its bid to promote and invest in talented drivers, the Japanese manufacturer has productively given the sport some amazing racers. One such driver has been Jesse Love.

Having joined Toyota at a very young age, Love left no stone unturned in putting in strong performances. In his short career, he became the youngest-ever winner in the ARCA Menards Series West at 15 years, 5 months, and 13 days. In fact, his 2023 season ended strongly with an ARCA Menard Series championship to his name.


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It is only understandable why Richard Childress went after Love’s signature. What isn’t digestible is the fact that Toyota let a driver of Love’s capabilities leave. Passionate NASCAR fan and follower Eric Estepp dug deep into the matter and in his recent video pointed how something unheard of.

Estepp took a reference from one of his YouTube videos where he interacted directly with Jesse Love. With this conversation, Estepp deduced how Love had a NASCAR Truck Series deal in hand from Toyota but it fell off for some reason.

Craftsman Truck Series Championship Pushed Into 4th Overtime As Jesse Love’s Ambitions Jeopardize Ty Majeski & Matt Crafton

While that happened, it showed the ruthless approach from Toyota. Estepp said, “Going back to what I said earlier, it’s tough to race for Toyota because they can be cut-throat. They’re a massive organization and with massive organizations, often decisions are made that you have no control over.” 

He continued, “Toyota offers young drivers a great opportunity but it can be ruthless. Obviously, Jesse Love after a few years felt it was the right time to move over to RCR and Chevrolet.” While joining RCR is a big upgrade for Love, it is baffling how Toyota let him go. Here’s what could have possibly happened.

Was Toyota right in letting Jesse Love leave for Richard Childress Racing?

It is worth noting that Toyota is immensely populated when it comes to the lower levels of NASCAR. TRICON Garage already has four full-time drivers and part-time drivers like Toni Breidinger, Jesse Love, and Willian Sawalich. Additionally, Corey Heim is set to return to the team in 2024 alongside Dean Thompson.

While Heim’s return proved a major hurdle for Love’s full-time ambition, a place at Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series also looked dicey. Several drivers are already in the hunt for a place at JGR which only made it difficult for Love. However, the biggest struggle in the youngster’s case could be that of funding.


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Regardless of the talent, without proper funding, it is almost impossible for any driver to race in NASCAR. While it is brutal, that could have been the case with Love and Toyota. At the same, Richard Childress Racing’s #2 car in association with Whelen Engineering is comparatively much settled regarding funding.


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While these are speculations, one cannot write off the possibility of something that might have happened behind the scenes. Irrespective of the reason, Toyota allowed Jesse Love to leave, which is astonishing. Were they right here is something that only time can answer?

WATCH THIS STORY: Rising Star Jesse Love: The New Face of Richard Childress Racing

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani


One take at a time

I was a little kid when Dale Earnhardt said, “The winner ain't the one with the fastest car, it's the one who refuses to lose.” Years have passed and those words could not be more true. Having grown fond of motorsports at a young age, I’m strongly addicted to the adrenaline rush the sport offers.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal