Jesse Lowe relishing success in new CVR Race Car

Jesse Lowe

Jesse Lowe has had a remarkable 2020, particularly over the past couple of months. After winning two features at the beginning of the season at Georgia’s Boyd’s Speedway and Clarksville(TN) Speedway, the 28-year-old racer went through a bit of a dry spell leading up to and just after the coroavirus-related shutdown.

However, the Crossville, Tennessee driver’s fortunes took a major upturn in June as Lowe has pieced together a string of victories in the Crate Late Model division at tracks such as Crossville Speedway, 411 Motor Speedway and the newly renovated Mountain View Raceway in Spring City, TN.

Lowe attributes much of his recent success to his team’s new CVR Race Car. And more, the driver believes his relationship with that organization’s chassis guru Chip Vineyard has served him well as he works to get the most out of the new ride.

“I don’t know about this year but the past few weeks have been pretty good,” Lowe said to when asked why his season has been so good. “I think that the credit for that goes to Chip and this new race car he’s built. It’s by far one of the best cars I’ve ever sat in and that’s saying a lot for being in an XR1(Rocket) and a Longhorn both. I think that’s a lot of it.”

Even more encouraging is the fact that the No. 5J’s trips to victory lane have come at multiple tracks, each with its own unique qualities.

“Yeah, we had never been to Mountain View, ever, and luckily we’ve won both times we’ve been there,” Lowe explained. “We’ve been to 411, I wouldn’t count last weekend as being a win with the best race car but sometimes that’s how it goes. You’ve got to finish the race and do things right to win. But the other times we’ve won there, I feel like we were pretty good.”

So what makes this new car so good?

“There’s just a lot of new, different things on this car that wasn’t on our old car,” Lowe pointed out. “A lot of the changes aren’t the same as our old car so we’re just trying to figure out all the tweaks. In this crate racing stuff, you’re racing against some of the best people so a tenth is like a mile. We’re just trying to make sure we’re on our game every time we pull out and that’s a big part of it.”

Jesse Lowe in his No. 5J

The driver who has been so good in the Crate Late Model division around east Tennessee over the past few years has recently branched out into Limited Late Model(or Steelhead) racing. And while that foray hasn’t gone exactly as he hoped, Lowe is ready to get back into that mix when the Topless Outlaws Dirt Racing Series comes to 411 on August 29th.

“In our limited stuff at first it was a little rough and we didn’t do too good, but the more we ran the better we got,” he stated. “It’s just totally different driving styles. In the crate you’ve got to attack the whole time and you really charge the corners and deal with what the outcome is on the other end. With the steelhead, you’ve kind of got to set your corner up halfway down the straightaway. I’m excited because we’re going to go back steelhead racing in a few weeks. Phantom Engines is getting us a motor together and hopefully we’ll be at the Topless race at 411.”

Jesse Lowe(5J) and Jason Manley fight for position in a Topless Outlaws Limited Late Model race

There are numerous examples of Dirt Late Model racers who perform well in one type of chassis but struggle in others. Lowe can’t explain why that is true for others but he has a good idea of why he has found success with CVR.

“Honestly, I don’t have a great answer for that because everyone is just a little bit different,” he remarked. “It’s mostly just driving styles and comfort. The Longhorn is a good car but I struggled in it, and I usually struggle at Smoky Mountain in other cars, but in the Longhorn I was best at Smoky Mountain. It’s all about the help you get too. Chip goes to a lot of these race tracks around here and he has a lot of notes for people in his stuff around here. That’s where we race at so I think that’s why we’re better around home.”

Whether it’s with his previous car or the current one, Lowe has always felt most comfortable with the Lenoir City, TN brand.

“Our old car was good even if we went to Clarksville or Tri-County but the XR1 and the Longhorn are more of a base chassis and they have engineers and the shock guys to kind of figure things out where more of your local people have to go to the race track and figure things out for themselves.”

Lowe believes CVR is small enough to serve the needs of individual customers but innovative enough to keep pace with more nationally known brands such as the Rockets built by Mark Richards.

“Yeah, Mark Richards does have a bunch of XR1’s out there and that’s a lot of people he can call and ask and bounce notes of off where Chip may have thirty cars, or fifteen cars, out there. The relationship is a lot more personal but what takes us two or three weeks to figure out, Mark can make one phone call and figure it out.”

But Lowe is willing to put Vineyard’s skills up against anyone else in the racing business.

“The good thing about Chip is that he is getting good people in his cars, some of the best drivers in our area are in his cars, and there are a lot of good notes coming back. I’m excited to get back into the steelhead stuff and see how good this car is. And I really think Chip has got something to do in some super stuff with enough testing and enough money. I’ve told people a hundred times that if you gave that guy a million dollars he’d have the baddest race car in the country.”

Respond to this post on Twitter by following @RichardAllenIDR and @MichaelRMoats or by liking the Facebook page.

Also, NASCAR and pavement racing fans can check out InsideCircleTrack.

Comments are closed.