Garcia Heating Up Ahead of His Darlington Debut
Heating Up … As the summer weather begins to heat up, so is Jake Garcia. The 18-year-old rookie from Georgia is turning heads with his veteran-like consistency and has been a mainstay in the top-10 in recent weeks. The driver of the No. 35 Crown Fiber Chevrolet Silverado RST is entering his first start at Darlington Raceway with significant momentum after posting three top-10 finishes in the last four races. Garcia’s consistency has placed him in the thick of the playoff battle and is just 24 markers beyond the cutline with eight races remaining.
Buckshot! … Garcia’s first trip to the track “Too Tough to Tame” will be highlighted with a throwback scheme of family friend, and beloved former driver, Buckshot Jones. Garcia’s No. 35 Chevrolet will carry Jones’ familiar silver and green Crown Fiber color scheme that adorned his recognizable No. 00 Pontiac during the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. “Buckshot” is a close friend of Garcia’s father, Stevie, and helped guide his career at a young age. Jones and his two sons will join Garcia and the No. 35 team at “The Lady in Black” on Friday evening.
Season to Date … An eighth-place finish at Kansas Speedway last week moved Garcia nine points closer to the playoff bubble and within striking distance of claiming a playoff spot in his rookie season. The soon-to-be high school graduate has displayed poise beyond his years in recent weeks, punctuated with his career best fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Despite missing one race due to age restrictions, Garcia sits 13th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings and owns the sixth-best average finish of all full-time drivers at 11.3.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 309 has been prepared by crew chief Mark Hillman and the No. 35 squad. This Chevrolet Silverado RST is making its return to the track for the first time since Garcia drove it to a season high fifth-place finish at TMS, and a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3rd.
Tune In … All on-track activity for Garcia and the NCTS competitors will be covered live on FOX Sports 1, beginning with practice and qualifying at 3:00 p.m. ET. Prerace coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Raceday followed by the green flag at 7:30 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 35 team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook.
Jake Garcia Quote:
On his first start at Darlington Raceway:
“Darlington was always one of the places that stuck out when looking at the schedule and seeing the places you get to race for the first time. We’ve put a lot of time in on the sim running laps and getting a feel for it. It’ll definitely be a big test for us, but our team has done a great job recently of being consistent and finishing races strong. We’ll do our best to race the racetrack and be patient on Friday night so we can keep collecting points and get closer to a playoff spot.”