Jake Garcia boldly rebounded to finish 11th on Friday night at Kansas Speedway after coming back from a pit road penalty late in the event. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST arguably displayed the most outright speed of his young career at Kansas and has tallied four-consecutive finishes of 13th or better. With four races remaining, Garcia sits 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings.
Garcia stopped the clock at 30.755 seconds in qualifying, which placed him fifth on the starting grid, his second top-five qualifying effort at Kansas. As he briefly dropped back to sixth, Garcia quickly found his footing and drove back into the top five. He challenged for a top-three position and ran fourth when the first yellow flew on lap 15. Over the final 10 laps of the opening stage, Garcia’s balance swung tight and ran 11th at the end of Stage 1 on lap 30. Crew chief Mark Hillman and the Quanta Services team gave Garcia a set of fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments to free up his tight handling condition during the caution period.
Garcia restarted 11th on lap 36, but the chaotic restarted shuffled him back to 20th. Despite the setback, he recovered quickly and reentered the top 15 shortly after lap 50. He was scored 14th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 60 and returned to pit road for another set of tires, fuel, and adjustments under the caution.
After restarting 15th on lap 69, he displayed his outright muscle and jumped back inside the top 10 on lap 72. He ran as high as ninth on lap 86 before pitting during a cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 99. While pitting, Garcia was nabbed for a commitment line violation and speeding penalty and was forced to serve a drive-through penalty down pit road. He rejoined the field outside the top 20, one lap down, but continued to battle. A caution 15 laps shy of the finished allowed him to catch the field while running 18th. He stayed out during the caution, inherited track position, and caught another quick caution while running 14th and earned the lucky dog award to regain his lap. He restarted 12th on the final two-lap dash to the checkered flag and managed to finish in the 11th position.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“We had some ups and downs tonight, but we had a really fast Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST. We fired off a little tight but were one of the fastest trucks to start the race. Some of those restarts were hard to get through traffic, but we really showed our speed on the long run. We had to serve a penalty under green, which was unfortunate, but were able to stay in it and get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to 11th by the end of the night. I’m really proud of the speed that we had and everyone’s hard work at MHR.”
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