Alex Garcia Makes 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Debut At MIS; Finishes 21st "Transnet Racing Demonstrates Major Progress In ARCA Program" BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 18, 2007) - - Alex Garcia and his Transnet Racing team made considerable strides this past week...
Alex Garcia Makes 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Debut At MIS; Finishes 21st
"Transnet Racing Demonstrates Major Progress In ARCA Program"
BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 18, 2007) - - Alex Garcia and his Transnet Racing team made considerable strides this past week at Michigan International Speedway as the team made their 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in one of the toughest races of the season thus far.
Garcia, splitting time between ARCA and the NASCAR Busch Series, headed to the Irish Hills with several goals in mind. After the conclusion of the highly competitive ARCA 200, many of those goals had been reached.
Carrying the No. 7 in a joint effort with Bobby Gerhart Racing at MIS, Garcia maneuvered the two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway last Thursday for the first time since an open test session several weeks prior.
After the test on May 29, the Transnet Racing team headed back to Atlanta, Georgia and completely stripped the car, making major adjustments hoping to find more speed. It worked.
During the first and only practice session leading up to the race, Garcia posted a lap of 41.647 seconds at 172.882 MPH, good enough for 31st on the overall speed chart. The team picked up nearly two seconds (43.620 seconds, 165.062 MPH) from the free practice and it was a step in the right direction for the organization.
"I'm really happy with the changes we made," said Garcia. "The whole Transnet Racing team worked hard since the open test to find some much needed speed in our Dixien/OmniSource/Prime Automotive Coatings Chevrolet. It just shows that hard work does pay off. We're excited about how we're performing, we just need to keep it up and qualify."
Garcia drew a mid-pack qualifying draw for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. During his two-lap time trial run, he maneuvered a time of 41.325 seconds, transferring to a speed of 174.229 MPH and placing the team 32nd on the starting grid.
"We would have had a better lap, but the car was really loose," offered Garcia. "The good thing is that we made the race and we can learn a lot in 100 laps. We're aiming towards a top-20 finish and completing all 200 miles. I really think we have the capabilities of doing so. We just need a little luck along the way."
At the start of the race, Garcia showed early strength by immediately picking up several positions, putting the team in the top-25 by the first caution flag approaching lap 15.
During the first round of pit stops, the team would bolt four new Hoosier tires, add Sunoco racing fuel, and make a chassis adjustment to try to help turn the pushing racecar. Unfortunately, during the adjustment the track bar adjuster broke, forcing Garcia to bring his road racing days back and maneuver a car that was extremely ill-handling.
Despite battling a car that was a handful at times, Garcia would further advance himself in the mix. While unable to fix the handling of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, the Venezuela native would solider through the remainder of the event, picking up several more positions before notching a 21st place finish.
"We gave everything we had today," said Garcia after the race. "It really hurts that we had the problem with the track bar adjuster during the first pit stop. It hindered us from gathering a top-15 place finish. We had a car capable of finishing better than it did. I learned a lot out there and had some fun too."
"This is a step in the right direction for our race team. With a solid finish under our belts in the ARCA RE/MAX Series we can turn our efforts back on our NASCAR Busch Series program. That's our next agenda. We're going to focus on the next two road course events and maybe another ARCA race in the coming month; we'll just have to see what happens."