New to the Road … The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ (NCTS) third visit to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Saturday afternoon will mark the first road course appearance for Jake Garcia. The Georgia rookie impressed in his debut at a 1.5-mile track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 10th-place finish and looks to replicate that in his first outing turning left and right on COTA’s 3.41-mile layout. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST spent much of the week preparing for COTA with veteran road racer Chris Cook at Podium Club in Arizona working on the specialized road course driving techniques.
Building the Foundation … The No. 35 team led by crew chief Mark Hillman has started the season by building a solid foundation with two top-10 finishes in the first three events. Chase Elliott opened the year with a 10th-place effort at Daytona International Speedway, a result which Garcia equaled one race later in “Sin City”. The first of two road course races this season will be a test that Garcia and company hope to pass with flying colors as they continue to build a notebook in the 18-year-old’s rookie season.
Rookie Run … Despite only starting two of the three races contested this season, Garcia sits second in the Sunoco of the Year Rookie standings, and is already 17th in the NCTS drivers’ championship standings. Two top-10 finishes in three races have MHR’s No. 35 team 13th in the NCTS owners’ point standings entering the first of two-straight events in the “Lone Star State”.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Mark Hillman and the Quanta Services team prepared chassis No. 122 for Garcia’s road course debut. This Chevrolet Silverado RST most recently finished ninth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last July with Colby Howard behind the wheel.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1’s coverage from COTA kicks off on Friday afternoon with practice and pole qualifying at 4:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday, FS1 starts race coverage with NASCAR Raceday at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 35 Quanta Services team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook.
Jake Garcia Quote:
On making his road course debut at COTA:
“Road course racing is something very new to me. I’ll try to experiment a little in practice on Friday and fine tune the best line through each section of the track with our Quanta Services Chevrolet. I’m not sure what to expect at COTA since I’ve never been there before, but it should be a real technical racetrack and hitting your marks is going to be important. It kind of feels like going to Atlanta for my first superspeedway, drafting-style race, so we’ll do the best we can in practice to get comfortable, and hopefully we can put together a solid, smooth race on Saturday.”