Garcia and Cappello Reunite at Irwindale Speedway for the $10,000-to-win “Salted Metals 100 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse”admin
For Immediate Release: Garcia Racing
Lodi, CA – Mike Garcia and the Garcia Racing Team are excited to announce that two-time SPEARS Modified Series Champion Dylan Cappello will be driving their Super Late Model at Irwindale Speedway, in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series “$10,000-to-Win Salted Metals 100” on July 17th. The pairing will be the reuniting of forces of the Garcia / Cappello 2014 SPEARS Modified Series (formerly Lucas Oil Modified Series) Championship Team, but their first time together in the Super Late Model ranks.
Cappello will be taking the wheel at Irwindale, in leu of Christian McGhee. McGhee’s commercial concrete construction business has taken off, so he will be taking a temporary break from the Summer schedule, to concentrate on his business endeavors. The team remains good friends with McGhee and will resume their relationship built over the last three seasons, when he is ready to return to the Super Late Model wars.
Cappello will step in as a returning member of the Garcia Racing Team, with a return to their previous #57. It is a number in which they had campaigned since 1998, and used in SRL competition with drivers Wes Miller and Mike Garcia, then in the Lucas Oil Modified Series. A return to the #71 is planned for McGhee, when he participates with the team in the future.
Cappello, the former Peoria, AZ driver, now calls Charlotte, NC home. He has been absent from the West Coast Racing scene, with just a few exceptions. Two of those exceptions were SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series starts in 2020, at the Bullring at LVMS and the season finale at Kern County Raceway. He finished second and 17th in those two starts. Currently Cappello serves as a Race Engineer on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Team for Todd Gilliland and Front Row Motorsports. Earlier this season, Gilliland scored his first truck series victory at the Circuit of the Americas (TX) and will be in this year’s playoff action, while currently sitting fifth in points.
The return of Cappello, to the wheel of a Garcia Racing race car, has been on the horizon for some time. The Garcia group and Cappello have remained friends, since his departure from the team at the end of the 2016 season. It was a season in which they scored a win, six top-fives and seven top-10’s in 10 events in the SPEARS Modified Series (former Lucas Oil Modified Series). The families are great friends and Mike’s son Braxton thinks of Dylan as his big brother. They won the 2014 championship together and finished as the runner-up in the Modified Series in 2015. Garcia is excited to have Cappello back behind the wheel, after trying to get him in their Super Late Model several times over the last couple of years.
“I think it’s awesome”, Garcia explained. “We have been trying to get Dylan behind the wheel of our Super Late for a few years now, but our schedules were never able to match up, availability-wise. It just worked out this time. (Zach) Telford was also wanting to run this race, but we are limiting his races to save his rookie status (for 2022).”
Likewise, Cappello is excited to team up with the old gang at Garcia Racing, where the combination has combined for eight wins together. He knows that the team has shown good speed in their Fury Racecar Super Late Model and is pleased that their schedules finally meshed.
“I’m really excited, and I think they have really figured stuff out, as Christian runs really well in that car”, Cappello stated. “So, when the opportunity kinda presented itself, and we got three weeks off with the (NASCAR Camping World) Truck Series out here (North Carolina), I wanted to try to make it out there for a race. It just kinda worked out talking with Mike. I’m excited and I think it is a really good car. It’s a lot of the same guys I worked with in the past, with the Modifieds. Steve Teets does a good job with it (the program).”
Cappello continued, “Mike and Steve have built a really good notebook the past couple of years, running with Christian, so I feel really confident that we are going to unload really close on balance. We are not going to be chasing stuff that you would chase with a new car and a new team. I feel confident with the team, and it is just up to me to get comfortable in the car and get some laps in a Super around Irwindale. That is something which I haven’t gotten to do, with only running a Modified around there.”
Although it has taken nearly 4-1/2 years for this combo to reunite, don’t be surprised to see future events on the schedule for this combination. Both driver, team and owner are looking forward to Irwindale and the possibilities that may materialize in the future.
About Garcia Racing:
Garcia Racing was founded 1998, with team owner Mike Garcia behind the wheel. Mike ended his driving career in 2008, but since then, the team has seen more than 20 different drivers participating with the team. The team ran Late Models up until 2009. From 2001-2008 the team ran races at Stockton 99 Speedway, the NASCAR Southwest Tour Series, the Shell Tri-Track Series (precursor to what is now the SRL Southwest Tour) and the defunct Westcar Late Model Series.
In 2009, Garcia Racing switched to Modifieds, winning a track championship at Stockton 99 Speedway in 2011, with driver Wes Miller. Garcia Racing scored the Lucas Oil Modified Series Championship in 2014, with driver Dylan Cappello. In 2015, they finished second in the Lucas Oil Series, with Cappello behind the wheel, as well as second in the North State Modified Series standings, with driver Tripp Gaylord. The team has won Modified races with 10 different drivers, the last being Trevor Cristiani in 2019. In late 2019, the team went back to Super Late Model Racing with Christian McGhee behind the wheel. In 2020 and 2021, McGhee and Zach Telford have split time behind the wheel. The Garcia Racing Team is based out of Lodi, CA, where they have scored over 40 wins over the years.
The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series is the premiere Super Late Model Racing Series on the West Coast. In 2018 and 2019 the series ranked third in the nation for car-count and is led by five-time series champion Derek Thorn, who was voted as one of the top-10 short track drivers of the last decade by Speed51.com. He was one of only two Asphalt Super Late Model drivers on the list. All SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series events will be live streamed at www.SpearsRacing.TV, and nationally broadcast on MAVTV on a delayed basis.