Venue: Texas Motor Speedway
Laps Led: 0
NCTS Point Standings Position: 15th
Jake Garcia came through the chaotic finish at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Saturday evening to record his first career top-five finish. The driver of the No. 35 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado RST finished fifth after surviving multiple overtime restarts in his debut at TMS. The fifth-place finish advanced Garcia up to 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) drivers’ championship standings and also vaulted the No. 35 team to 12th in the owners’ points.
Garcia’s third NCTS start at a 1.5-mile track started out with great promise after delivering his career-best qualifying effort by posting the ninth-fastest lap. From the drop of the green, Garcia gained experience on TMS’ unique layout and battled a tight condition during the event’s first 35-lap stint. Crew chief Mark Hillman and the Adaptive One team applied multiple adjustments to match fresh tires during the race’s first controlled pit stop under yellow. Garcia restarted 19th on lap 36 and immediately progressed forward to 13th position.
The adjustments provided a net gain for Garcia throughout the balance of Stage 1 as he ran inside the top-10 until the segment break at lap 77. The 18-year-old continued to wrestle with a tight balance and received additional adjustments to rectify the handling condition under the stage caution. Despite the adjustments, Garcia ran 17th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 122 due to the persistent tight handling.
Hillman and company hit on the right combination of adjustments during the final controlled caution which allowed Garcia to work his way forward from the restart on lap 123. He rejoined the top-15 on lap 144 and took advantage of a rash of cautions and restarts over the final 25 laps. On lap 166, Garcia lined up 12th in the outside lane for the first overtime restart and navigated through a multi-truck accident which moved him into the top-10. On the race’s final restart, Garcia restarted in the outside lane and made progress before escaping another accident to record his first top-five finish in his ninth NCTS start.
Jake Garcia Quote:
“We had a really good day, a good finish. It was just a matter of getting our truck better through Stage 1 and 2. We were pretty decent through Stage 1. Stage 2 we went backwards, but then for Stage 3 we made really good adjustments and ended up being very fast, I thought. It was a matter of getting to that point. After that, just surviving the chaos. Huge thanks to Adaptive One for coming on board for us this race.”