McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is in its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season with two entries, but Wednesday saw the team announce plans to expand further, albeit on a part-time schedule. Beginning at Martinsville Speedway on 7 April, the team will complement the full-time #19 of Derek Kraus and #91 of Colby Howard with a new #35 Chevrolet Silverado RST piloted by Jake Garcia.
The #35 will run four more races in 2022 after Martinsville at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (4 June), Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (29 July), Richmond Raceway (13 August), and Bristol Motor Speedway (15 September). Chad Norris, who reached the 2020 Truck Series Championship Round at GMS Racing with Brett Moffitt, will serve as crew chief.
Garcia is a seventeen-year-old late model racer who won the Southern Super Series championship in 2021, the youngest driver to achieve the feat, a year after finishing second in points with Rookie of the Year honours. He won the Pro Late Model title at Five Flags Speedway in 2019, followed by the Super Late Model crown there two years later.
He made his ARCA Menards Series West début in the 2021 season finale at Phoenix for David Gilliland Racing, where he qualified fourth and finished sixth. This past weekend, he entered the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway, where he finished seventh in the Grasshopper 125 support race and fifth in the Rattler.
“I’m excited to work with MHR and Chevrolet in this next step in my racing career,” said Garcia. “I’m looking forward to learning a lot from this opportunity and I look for us to have some good finishes in these races with MHR.”
The addition of a third truck comes in partnership with GMS, who downscaled from five to two trucks for 2022. MHR switched to Chevrolet after a longtime partnership with Toyota, and allied with GMS which includes MHR working on GMS’ campus. Garcia caught MHR co-owner Bill McAnally and GMS president Mike Beam‘s attention with his short track success.
“We’ve seen Jake in competition and were very impressed,” commented McAnally. “We want to work with him and be a part of his future in racing.”
“Fielding a third Silverado is a big step. It would not be possible without the support of GMS and their great staff. We value their support and will work hard to maximize our resources and make it a winning effort.”
Kraus is currently twenty-third in points while Howard, a newcomer to the team, is thirty-seventh.