Garcia Earns Consistent Top-20 in Road Course Debut at COTA
Speedway Digest Staff Sunday, Mar 26 295
Jake Garcia constructed a calm, consistent run at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in his road course debut for a 19th-place finish. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST had never competed on a road course at any level of competition before Saturday and came away with a top-20 result which keeps him 17th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings.
While track time and precious laps were at a premium for Garcia during Friday’s practice and qualifying, he got up to speed quickly after starting 32nd on Saturday afternoon. In just 11 circuits, Garcia advanced inside the top 25 after pitting for four tires and fuel under a caution at lap eight. The Georgia driver was scored 24th at the end of Stage 1 on lap 12, and methodically worked his way forward throughout an extended 17-lap green flag run.
By lap 16, Garcia cracked the top 20 and ran 19th as his loose condition persisted throughout the longest green flag segment of the day. Crew chief Mark Hillman brought Garcia to pit road under a lap 27 caution period for another round of four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment. The rookie wheelman lined up 24th for the final restart on lap 30 and drove forward to run as high as 18th before taking his first road course checkered flag in 19th position.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“This was a huge learning experience this weekend. I didn’t know what to expect coming here, but we were able to put a smooth uneventful day together with our Quanta Services Chevrolet. I definitely learned a lot throughout the race and we’ll be in a lot better position to go to Mid-Ohio later on this year. I’m looking forward to getting to Texas next week and build on the strong runs we’ve had on the mile-and-a-halfs.”
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