Venue: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Laps Led: 0
NCTS Point Standings Position: 14th
Jake Garcia scored a 15th-place finish in his first start at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the No. 35 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado RST tallied his sixth top-15 finish in seven races at 1.5-mile tracks this season. With one race remaining, Garcia maintains the 14th position in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings.
The 18-year-old began the penultimate race of his rookie season from 15th position but struggled with a lack of overall grip in the race’s first stage. Garcia ran 20th on lap 10, yet managed to mitigate time lost and was scored 19th at the end of the first segment on lap 30.
Crew chief Mark Hillman and the Adaptive One team bolted four fresh tires on Garcia’s truck during the stage break, along with fuel, and a host of adjustments to help his lack of overall grip. He restarted 23rd on lap 40 and began to inch forward. He ran 19th until a caution flag flew on lap 53, which created an alternate strategy. Garcia and team elected to pit with the majority of the field for fresh tires and moved to 17th on a two-lap finish to the second stage.
Garcia climbed to 13th by lap 75 on the race’s second-to-last restart. The event’s final restart came on lap 85 and went green for the final 50 circuits. Garcia maintained position inside the top-15 until a round of green flag pit stops that began with around 40 laps to go. Hillman and the No. 35 team called Garcia to pit road on lap 102, 32 laps shy of the finish, for four tires and fuel. Garcia cycled to 18th and continued to drive forward over the final 22 laps. He took the checkered flag in 16th position but was credited with 15th after post-race technical inspection.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“We just lacked some outright speed and overall grip during the first run. We made quite a few changes on our Adaptive One Chevrolet throughout the day, and we started to get the balance a little closer and helped us move forward the last couple runs. Thanks to all of our partners and everyone at MHR for the opportunity and we’ll look forward to one more at Phoenix in a couple weeks.”