eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month: August 2018 – Max Garcia

KartSport North America / Kart Republic driver earns first SKUSA Pro Tour title with victory

Max Garcia drove to his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory at the SummerNationals to earn the Micro Swift championship (Photo: EKN)

In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.

One of the key elements to winning a championship is earning points whenever it is possible. The format of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour championship provides racers the opportunity to earn points toward the title chase in every on-track session. As we have seen year after year, each and every point matters in a fight for a championship with titles over the nine year history of the program decided by less than five points. The 2018 season was no different with three drivers vying for the championship in the Micro Swift category. The youngest division of the program provided some of the best racing all season, and the most dramatic end to the championship hunt with Max Garcia coming away with the crown thanks his bonus points and first career SKUSA Pro Tour victory at the SKUSA SummerNationals.

Garcia came into the weekend at the New Castle Motorsports Park as the overall championship leader riding on the back of his 40 bonus points from the SpringNationals by earning fast time in both qualifying sessions and in both main events. The lead was slim for the four-time podium finisher with two-time winners Caleb Gafrarar and Ben Maier within 10 points of him. Garcia finished the practice day on Friday with fast time, setting up for what should have been a great start to Saturday. Unfortunately, Garcia dropped a wheel on the warm-up lap of qualifying, and lost the chain on his Kart Republic. That put him 19th on the grid for the Prefinal. With times similar to the leaders, Garcia knifed his way to ninth in the 12-lap race. Max continued moving forward in the main event, up to fourth by lap eight until contact took him out of the race for his first DNF of 2018.

As a champion must do, put away the negative and move forward with a positive attitude. Garcia was able to do what he didn’t on Saturday, clock in the fast time in qualifying. A 1:13.631 with his KartSport North America entry gave Garcia the P1 spot for the Prefinal and 10 crucial points. After a wild Prefinal where Garcia was part of a three-wide photo finish, he ended up third. This set up for a dramatic Final, as Garcia needed to finish first or second with fast lap of the race in order to clinch the championship. Max began the Final in the lead group for what was a nail-biting first half of the race. Championship contenders Gafrarar and Maier were among those in the battle. Contact put Gafrarar out on lap nine, while Maier was shuffled back a lap later. All this action provided a clear path for Garcia to claim the lead and a healthy advantage, running alone out front. Max led the remainder of the race to secure his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory. And with the win, Garcia claimed the SKUSA Pro Tour championship by 15 points over Gafrarar.

For Garcia, the nine-year-old has a busy end to the 2018 season with club races at the AMR Homestead-Miami presented by MG Tires in September, October, November and December. Max will carry the SKUSA #1 plate at the SuperNationals 22 in Las Vegas along with a trip prior to GoPro Motorplex. As of now, the Garcia family is planning to move Max up to the Mini category in 2019.

August 2018 EKN Driver of the Month – Max Garcia

(Photo: EKN)

Bio

Born: March 17, 2009
Hometown: Coconut Grove, FL
Parents: Al & Trish Garcia
Siblings:
None
Height/Weight: 4’ 6” /
Education:
St. Hugh Catholic School
Job:
N/A

Racing Resume

Chassis: Kart Republic
Engine/Engine Builder: IAME Mini / Comet Racing Engines
Sponsors: OMP, Starling Design
Series You Compete In: SKUSA, USPKS, SSKC, AMR Motorplex Karting Challenge
Years Karting: 2
How did you get started in karting? My Dad turned me on to the fun
What has been the high point in your racing career? Winning the SKUSA Pro Tour Championship
What are your goals in racing? Getting to Formula 1
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Smooth, fast, clean
Funniest moment at the race track? I was moving my Dad’s truck and I ran over a garbage can.

Likes

Favorite Track: AMR Motorplex (Homestead)
Favorite form of professional motorsports: Formula 1
Favorite karting driver: Me… haha… Brandon Jarsocrak and Santi Trisini
Favorite professional driver: Lewis Hamilton
Favorite website: N/A
Favorite movie:
Rocky
Favorite actor/actress: N/A
Favorite music/group:
Queen
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Abaco Islands, Bahamas
Favorite food: Yellowfin Tuna

The Real Deal

What do you do when not at the track? Play Soccer, Mtn Biking, Run Cross Country, Golf, Swimming
What are your goals outside of karting? Play for the US National Soccer Team
What app or game do you play right now? Fortnite
What type of street car would you like to drive? Mercedes
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? Homework
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Make it less expensive to race
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting?  Going fast and competing

August 2018 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:

– Callum Baxter: Canadian Karting Championships – Briggs Junior Lite winner

– Dale Curran: Canadian Karting Championships – Rok Junior winner (second-straight)

– John Crow: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – 2 Wins (S4 SM champion)

– Xavier Harris: Canadian Karting Championships – Rok Senior winner

– Max Hewitt: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – First career S2 victory

– Blair Hosie: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – First career S2 victory

– Ayden Ingratta: Canadian Karting Championships – Briggs Cadet winner

– Nikita Johnson: Canadian Karting Championships – Mini Rok winner

– Darren Kearnan: Canadian Karting Championships – Briggs Masters winner

– Carson Morgan: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – 1 Win (Second Mini Swift championship)

– Jordon Musser: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – 1 Win (Third S4 championship)

– AJ Myers: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – 1 Win (S1 champion)

– Leonardo Nienkotter: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – 2 Wins (X30 Master champion)

– Jace Park: SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – First career Mini Swift victory

– Gainluca Savagilo: Canadian Karting Championships – Briggs Junior winner

– Jonathan Treadwell: Canadian Karting Championships – Briggs winner (Third title)

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