Jake Garcia delivered one of his most solid, complete weekends of his rookie season at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR). The driver of the No. 35 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado RST finished 10th on Saturday afternoon and remains 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) championship standings with four regular season races remaining.
On Friday evening, Garcia posted the seventh-fastest lap in time trials, which marked his fourth top-10 qualifying effort this year. The 18-year-old settled into position just outside the top-10 during the opening stage as he battled a loose condition on both ends of WWTR’s egg-shaped layout. When a caution flew just shy of the first stage end on lap 29, crew chief Mark Hillman took advantage of the yellow to employ an alternative strategy. Garcia pitted for four tires, a track bar adjustment and fuel and was scored 20th at the end of Stage 1 on lap 35.
Garcia had to give up the track position he was about to inherit under the stage break and was forced to pit road to clearance a tire rub on the rear of his Adaptive One Silverado RST. He restarted in 29th on lap 43 and advanced to 17th by the time the caution flag flew again on lap 56. Once more, Hillman seized the opportunity to get off-sequence with the leaders, and worked this pit sequence to perfection. As Garcia received four tires and fuel, he was scored 15th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 70. Due to flip-flopping strategies among the lead lap trucks, Garcia would inherit a top-five position for the restart on lap 77.
Garcia ran no lower than eighth for the ensuing 10-lap run and rejoined the top five after a restart on lap 94. He continued to race inside the top-10 until making his final pit stop of the afternoon under a lap 125 caution. He restarted 16th on lap 131 and battled for position inside the top-15 until an opportune caution flew on lap 151. Garcia took advantage of two late restarts, including one in overtime on lap 161, to climb to 10th position on the final lap and secure his fourth top-10 result of the season at the site of his NCTS debut.
“We were running up front there, and kind of got off strategy a little bit. Then we pitted, had a bad stop and I stalled out a little bit there on pit road. We went back to 17th or 18th, something like that. We made our way back to 10th when it was all said and done. Got to thank Adaptive One and everybody at MHR for bringing a truck with good speed today that we were able to run in the top five or six for a while, and get back up to finish where we did. We had a little damage to start the day, but we persevered through it and came away with a top-10.”