NASCAR Xfinity Series
Josh Berry Breaks Through at the Monster Mile
Apr 30, 2022
If not for a caution with 17 laps to go, Jake Garcia very well could have lapped into the top-five on Saturday night in the Spring Fling 100 at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Instead, the driver of the No. 35 nailed the final restart and drove away to a 1.073 second victory over Giovanni Ruggiero in the second Show Me The Money Pro Late Model Series race of the season.
To say that no one had anything for Garcia, crew chief Ricky Turner and company would be an understatement. Even with the caution and free pass, only seven of the 20 starters finished on the lead lap.
Garcia was relentless in lapping the field in leading every lap.
Driving the No. 81 for Anthony Campi Racing, Ruggiero tried to keep it as close as he could in a straight-up race and was accepting of a runner-up finish by the end. Driving the Rock Motorsports No. 14, Casey Roderick lagged back to outside the top-five during the long green flag run prior to the final caution in the hopes of saving tires but couldn’t save enough.
Garcia was on figurative rails.
"I'm sorry I couldn't make it more of a show for everyone in the stands," Garcia said in Victory Lane. "I was really comfortable out there. Ricky and these guys gave me a great car. Thanks to God for the opportunity to drive it."
The win was the first of the season for Garcia who hopes to follow suit next weekend when the Southern Super Series joins the ARCA Racing Series and Pro Late Models at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
Garcia also has several NASCAR Truck Series starts planned with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing on June 4 at Gateway, Lucas Oil Raceway on July 29, Richmond Raceway on August 13 and Bristol Motor Speedway on September 15.
Veteran crew chief Chad Norris oversees his effort alongside car chief Mike Brill; but no Ricky Turner, who has served in that role with Garcia in Late Models over the past five years.
"I’ve thought about bringing Ricky with me to those races," Garcia said, tongue in cheek. "I don’t know what to do without him, to be honest."
Making just his third start for Rock Motorsports, Roderick continued to excel in races with team owner Tyler Porter but just didn’t have enough on Saturday night.
"All we could do was just try to save as much of our stuff in that green flag run," Roderick said. "We kind of figured there might be a late caution and there was. We just needed a little bit more speed."
That was largely the consensus from Ruggerio too.
That final caution was the result of an incident involving Jojo Wilkinson and Branon Bishop out of Turn 4.