Ruben Garcia Jr. stands in front of the Toyota 120 NASCAR Mexico Series Pace Car during his visit to La Joya Community High School.


Phoenix International Raceway hosted up-and-coming driver Ruben Garcia Jr. from the NASCAR Mexico Series as he spoke to more than 2,000 high school students at La Joya Community High School in Avondale on Wednesday, Feb. 18. In addition to his racing background, Garcia talked with the students about the importance of education and pursuing their goals.

“It was awesome,” said Garcia. “These guys at La Joya are great. The school opened their doors for me so I feel really comfortable talking to them about a great message - to keep studying, to always pursue their dreams and how keeping up with their studies will help them reach their goals.”

Garcia discussed the wide range of opportunities that exist in NASCAR, while also answering questions about his career, the racing experience and his involvement with the NASCAR Next program.

“It feels good for me because they are all my age, so helping people as young as me, I’m grateful because giving out a piece of advice that I’ve already learned and helping them to learn that, it’s really great experience for me.”

Currently driving the No. 88 Canel’s, Scotiabank and HDI Seguros-sponsored car in the NASCAR Mexico Series, Garcia will be racing in the Toyota 120 at PIR on Friday, March 13. In addition to competing full time in the Mexico Series, Garcia will also compete in select NASCAR XFINITY Series races thoughout the year, including the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at PIR on Saturday, March 14.

Garcia is an alumnus of the 2014-15 NASCAR Next programs that helps promote young drivers into NASCAR’s national series.  Rising stars such as Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr. are just a few who have participated in the program, which emphasizes the stewardship of the sport as much as much as driving a race car.

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