The last two weeks for Jake Garcia have gone as well as any young driver could hope.
The 14-year-old started off by winning one of the biggest JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour races of the season at the Fall Brawl at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN), inheriting the victory in post-race technical inspection. He followed that up with his first Pro Late Model championship in his young career, coming at Florida’s Five Flags Speedway against one of the most stellar fields seen anywhere in the country.
Now the Monroe, GA driver heads into the Show Me the Money Series finale at Montgomery Motor Speedway looking to keep the momentum from recent performances as big race season begins. His recent run has him confident going into the 100-lap event in Alabama’s state capitol.
“I feel good about it,” Garcia told Speed51.com. “We’ve got some momentum now and we’ve got the car pretty good, so it should be a good week.”
Garcia enlisted the help of former Snowball Derby winner Ricky Turner for the 2019 season, following the footsteps of fellow Georgia drivers Chase Elliott and Chandler Smith during their rise through the ranks. It has led to his first Pro Late Model win at Crisp Motorsports Park, and now his first championship.
“It’s a historic speedway, it’s always good to say you’ve won a championship there,” he said. “It’s a big accomplishment.”
Garcia had finished second in the previous Show Me the Money Series race in August before having it taken away in tech for a left-side weight infraction. Otherwise, he has two fourth-place finishes and a seventh in three other races at Montgomery to this point. He tells Speed51.com he is not feeling the pressure to perform this weekend as he chases his first Montgomery win.
“We just need to have a good race, start up front somewhere and save my tires and just be there at the end,” he stated. “I think it really gives me less pressure, you know. Knowing that the car is good and we can run good, so I think there’s less pressure now.”
With his Five Flags Speedway championship, he has earned an automatic starting spot in December’s Snowflake 100. With other big races at Winchester and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Garcia could potentially compete in, a win on Saturday would give his team another big boost of momentum heading into the waning months of 2019.
“It would keep us feeling good, that would be great,” he said. “Hopefully we can get us a win this weekend.”
Race fans unable to make the trip Montgomery, Alabama this weekend will be able to watch Garcia chase after another win via a live broadcast on the Speed51 Network. The live broadcast will be available to monthly and yearly subscribers on Speed51. To sign up for your subscription today, click here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com