North Wilkesboro Fits Right in Garcia’s Wheelhouse
Right in His Wheelhouse … Jake Garcia wasn’t born until nine years after the most recent NASCAR race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1996, but the venerable short track fits right into his wheelhouse. The driver of the No. 35 Quanta Services Chevrolet Silverado RST has a background filled with experience on racetracks that resemble NWS’ moderately banked, abrasive surface. Many drivers have likened Wilkes County’s speedway to that of Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL, a place where Garcia is a multi-time track champion. The extreme tire degradation that teams and drivers will face on Saturday afternoon is nothing new to Garcia, thanks to his super late model background in the southeast.
No Challenge Too Big … Through the first eight starts of his season, Garcia has yet to face a challenge too big for him to meet. The 18-year-old was stunning in his first outing at Darlington Raceway last Friday night, racing inside the top-five and top-10 until being involved in a late-race overtime restart. Garcia has posted top-10 finishes in three of the last five races and was well on his way to adding another last week. NWS marks Garcia’s ninth track debut in as many starts this season and has quickly acclimated to each venue which has placed him in contention for a playoff position.
Season to Date … Through his first eight NCTS races this season, Garcia owns one top-five finish, a career-best fifth at Texas Motor Speedway, and four top-10 results. He sits second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, and 13th in the NCTS driver championship standings, 36 points behind the playoff cut line. His average finish of 13.1 is the best among rookie drivers, and seventh-best among all full-time competitors.
Crew Chief / Chassis Selection … Crew chief Mark Hillman and the Quanta Services team have prepared chassis No. 326 for Saturday’s showdown in Wilkes County. Garcia most recently raced this Silverado RST to a 13th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in a rain-shortened event on April 14th.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 will cover all on-track activity from NWS’ long-anticipated return, beginning with practice on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET. Coverage continues Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET with qualifying on FS1, followed by NASCAR Raceday at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX and the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET, also on FOX. Stay connected with the No. 35 Quanta Services team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook.
Jake Garcia Quote:
On racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway:
“It’s a cool opportunity to race at such a historic track. I obviously never was able to see races at Wilkesboro, but that track means a lot to the sport, so it’s great to be able to race there. Tires are going to be everything on Saturday, and how you manage them. I’ve raced at a lot of tracks in super late models that chew tires up, but Wilkesboro might be more abrasive than any other racetrack. Everybody at MHR has built great trucks and we’ve had a lot of speed the last several weeks. I think we’ll have another strong Quanta Services Chevrolet on Saturday, and if we can manage the race and our tires the right way, I think we can be up front at the end of the day.”