Jake Garcia’s workman-like rookie season continued Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) with an 11th-place finish. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST advanced from 30th starting position to post his fourth finish of 11th or better in the last five races. The result also vaulted Garcia to 13th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings with three races remaining.
Garcia began his second outing on BMS’ concrete in formidable fashion by posting the second-fastest lap of practice. However, a loose condition in qualifying hampered his efforts and was forced to take the green flag from 30th position. While the narrow, tacky track conditions made passing exorbitantly difficult for all competitors to pass, Garcia flexed the muscle of the Quanta Services Chevrolet by advancing 10 positions in the first 30 laps. He continued to move forward into 18th position by the end of Stage 1 on lap 55.
Crew chief Mark Hillman and the MHR team serviced Garcia under the stage caution with four tires and fuel and gained ground in the process. He exited pit road 14th of the trucks that pitted and lined up 19th for the restart on lap 67. One caution in the middle of the second stanza allowed Garcia to take advantage of the outside lane on a restart to move from 20th to 16th on lap 81. He moved to 14th by the end of Stage 2 on lap 110 and elected to stay on track to preserve track position.
After staying on track, Garcia restarted 11th on lap 121 and contended for a top-10 position as the entire final stage ran under the green flag. After briefly dropping to 13th on lap 146, Garcia fought back to reclaim 11th position on lap 172 and ran there until the checkers flew. The second-consecutive 11th-place run his fifth-straight result of 13th or better.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“We had a really fast Quanta Services Chevrolet tonight, just like we showed in practice. Passing was extremely difficult tonight with it being a narrow one-groove racetrack. We were too loose in qualifying and just didn’t have track position at any point tonight. Even still, our truck was good to drive inside the top-15 and came close to the top-10. Just thanks to everyone at MHR, all these guys on the No. 35 team and we’ll move on to Talladega.”