Garcia Walks into His Short Track Wheelhouse at Martinsville

McAnally Hilgemann Racing Photo

In His Wheelhouse … For the first time in his rookie season, Jake Garcia comes to a venue that is right in his wheelhouse, a half-mile short track. The driver of the No. 35 Chevrolet Silverado RST has a resume stacked with short track accomplishments in late model competition and is looking forward to applying those to his first start at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Garcia has faced multiple challenges from visiting diverse tracks in the first five races this season and has passed with flying colors. As the youngest champion ever in the Southern Super Series and a multi-time track champion at Five Flags speedway, the half-mile bullring of Martinsville is right up Garcia’s alley.

Rising Tide … Garcia’s tide is rising, and he’s been turning heads in recent weeks. The Georgia native enters Martinsville fresh off the first back-to-back pair of top-10 finishes of his NCTS career. His first career top-five finish came two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, and his debut on dirt resulted in a sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday. The driver that finished second in his first start in the Snowball Derby (2019) has proven to be a quick study on NCTS’ varying venues, noted by a 10th-place finish in his first appearance this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Trending Up … Despite only running five of the six races, Garcia sits 15th in the drivers’ point standings and within sight of the playoff bubble, only 22 markers back. His three top-10’s in five starts have him among the series’ elite and owns an average finish of 11.6, the fifth highest of all full-time NCTS drivers. He’s also second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, just 20 points out of the top spot. 

Crew Chief / Chassis Selection … Crew chief Mark Hillman and the No. 35 team have prepared chassis No. 326 for Garcia’s first Martinsville start. Garcia made up three laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway en route to an 18th-place finish driving this Chevrolet Silverado RST last month.   

Tune In … FOX Sports 1 has coverage all day beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET with practice and qualifying. NASCAR Raceday sets the stage at 6:30 p.m. ET 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 returning to his short track roots: 

“I obviously grew up short track racing and racing late models the past couple years, so I’m really looking forward to Martinsville and the short tracks we have coming up. We’ve faced a lot of new things this year already like road courses, intermediates, and dirt last week and our team keeps getting stronger. We’ve had some great runs lately that definitely boost everybody’s confidence on our team, and I think Martinsville is going to be a great place for us to run well with our Chevrolet Silverado RST. I’m excited to get back to short track racing and something I’m more used to.”

McAnally Hilgemann Racing PR

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