NASCAR opens weekend at COTA with Truck, Xfinity series races

The NASCAR Cup series is back at Circuit of the Americas for the third year. 

The Truck Series Race and XFinity Series Race were on Saturday ahead of the big race Sunday. 

For some drivers, like 18-year-old Jake Garcia with McAnally Hilgemann Racing, it was their first time on a road course, rather than an oval course.

"It was definitely a lot different than I'm used to, it's just a matter of learning from start to finish," he said.

"It was very adrenaline-like, not really knowing what to expect at a road course," Kaden Honeycutt, driver for Roper Racing Team, said.

When asked about his advice for young aspiring drivers, Garcia said, "I was that little kid at one point that liked Hot Wheels and watched on TV, and now I've been able to harness that passion and do something cool with it, so now I'm out here racing. Anything's possible, if you want to do it, you can do whatever you put your mind to for sure," he said.

Baltazar Leguizamon with CHK Racing says he's the first Argentine driver in NASCAR. 

"We always had Formula 1 drivers, WEC drivers, or other car drivers but never a driver in NASCAR, so it's huge for us to be here," he said.

He says he didn't make it to Saturday's races because of a brake issue, but he's still glad to be at COTA.  "It's amazing, it's amazing because I love Texas, being here back in the U.S., it's amazing," he said. 

No matter where a racer is completing, there's always one thing. 

"It's a little bit of an adrenaline rush, in some of the places that we go to that are really fast, especially here, when you don't get on the brakes quite soon enough, you kind of panic, but it's just the thrill, and you're focused on competing," Garcia said.

The big race will start Sunday at 2:30.