Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Jesse Love starting last at Nashville with mechanical issue

LEBANON, Tenn. -- Jesse Love will have to start at the rear of the field for Saturday afternoon's race at Nashville Superspeedway (5 p.m. ET on USA Network) due to an unexpected issue.

The No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro did not make a qualifying lap Saturday at the 1.33-mile track. The NBC Sports cameras showed the crew pushing the car back to the garage while other drivers lined up for their qualifying laps.

Richard Childress Racing posted an update on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying the team found a hole in the radiator. This led to a water leak in the car.

Love was the 11th-fastest driver during Saturday's 20-minute practice session. He completed his best lap in 31.485 seconds at 152.072 mph.

Saturday's race will mark a first for the California native. Love has not made a start at Nashville Superspeedway in his racing career. He will have to learn the track while trying to work his way through the field and get himself into contention for a top-10 finish or a win.

How Love performs will be something to track considering that he is in the midst of a Rookie of the Year battle with another winning driver. He has one win and 466 points. Shane van Gisbergen has two wins, but he only has 384 points midway through his first full season in NASCAR.

Love's advantage is due to his three top-five finishes, seven top-10s, and four stage wins. Van Gisbergen has three top-five finishes, four top-10s, and one stage win.

This consistency in the first 16 races of the season gives Love a bit of a cushion heading into Saturday afternoon's race, but it's not an insurmountable hurdle for SVG to overcome.

The green flag for Saturday's race will wave at 5:05 p.m. ET. USA Network will provide coverage for the 188-lap race.