Garcia Grabs Career High Fourth-Place Finish in Richmond

Jake Garcia delivered the best performance of his young career on Saturday night at Richmond Raceway and earned a fourth-place finish. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado notched his second top-five finish of his rookie season and was in contention to win in the waning laps. Garcia and the No. 35 team closed the regular season 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) point standings, despite Garcia running only 15 of the 16 events.
The Georgia native qualified 12th under a blanket of sunshine on Friday afternoon for his second start at Richmond. Garcia immediately pushed forward at the green flag by jumping inside the top 10 on the first lap. Despite managing a loose balance in his Quanta Services Chevrolet, Garcia kept the tires underneath him on the abrasive surface to advance up the leaderboard and ran as high as sixth on lap 31. He ran seventh at the end of Stage 1 on lap 70 to collect four points.
Crew chief Mark Hillman and the MHR squad gave Garcia fresh tires, fuel, and a small air pressure change to improve his handling condition on corner exits. He restarted eighth on lap 80 and continued to vie for a top-five position. He briefly took fifth position on a lap 116 restart and ran sixth at the end of Stage 2 on lap 140 to earn five points.
Garcia pitted again under the second stage caution for four tires, fuel, and a minor adjustment to fine tune his balance. He restarted fifth on lap 150 and ran in the sixth position when Hillman and the No. 35 team employed an aggressive pit strategy. Needing a victory to qualify for the playoffs, Garcia was the first truck among the leaders to pit under green on lap 197. He blitzed through traffic on fresh tires and cycled inside the top 10 by lap 218. At one point, Garcia had cycled to be the first truck on fresh tires and cracked the top five on lap 229. He would gain the fourth position over the final 20 laps to earn a career-best fourth-place result in his 20th NCTS start.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“We were really good in the first stage I felt like, especially on the long run. We just needed to be a little better and stay on top of the racetrack when it changed to have a little better truck. We picked the right strategy. We knew that coming in, if it went green to that point that we were coming in and decided before the race. That’s what we did. We did the math and figured out it’d be a little bit better. Obviously, everyone else figured it out too. Just really proud of our team. That’s our best finish of the year, and I’ve got to thank Quanta Services. It’s great to be a part of the Quanta family. They’ve been really great to me.”