from Highland News-Sun – Last season was a little bit of a culture shock for AutoTechnic Racing driver Colin Garrett. After spending his whole career being the only driver in a car, last year saw him make his foray into the world of multi-driver sportscar racing with Johan Schwartz and Rooster Hall Racing.

“Coming from NASCAR, that was definitely a weird thing to get used to,” Garrett said. “It’s always just been me in everything that I raced and then last year was my first year sharing a car with anybody, so now it’s a whole another ballgame. You definitely need a good relationship with your co-driver for the run to go a little smoother. Johan and I had a great relationship last year.”

Garrett also did the single-driver SRO Motorsports TC America Powered by Skip Barber series and captured the TCX championship, which helped to him being named the 12th-best driver globally by BMW Motorsports.

This year, Garrett is focused on SRO’s Pirelli GT4 America series, where he has a new co-driver in Zac Anderson and a new team in AutoTechnic Racing.

“Zac and I, we’ve been getting along really well,” Garrett said. “He actually flew out to North Carolina earlier this week and we ran a few errands in the Charlotte area and he rode with me down here. We got to spend a couple of nights just getting closer to learn each other a bit more.”

In the early going of the season, the new pairing has definitely been working. After an opening-race penalty knocked the team down the finish order, Anderson and Garrett bounced back to capture the second race.

Garrett enjoyed plenty of success in the TC America series, but said he’s ready to move forward and devote all his energy in the GT4 America series and believes he has a great team to work with.

“The AutoTechnic guys bring their ‘A’ game every week,” he said.

Garrett’s passion for racing was instilled in him at a young age, although he didn’t become a participant until later on.

“I had a babysitter and her family was always watching NASCAR,” he said. “So growing up when I would go to her house we always watched NASCAR. We had South Boston Speedway right there down the road, and then we had VIRginia International Raceway 20 minutes the other way so we’re kind of right in the middle of both. To be able to go to those as a kid was super cool. And the love for it just kind of grew over the years.”

When NASCAR dropped the minimum driver age, Garrett began doing the local series in a Pure Stock car at the age of 14 and finished eighth in the season standings at South Boston Speedway. His career took off from there and has included the Xfinity Series, the K & N Pro Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Garrett is just as proud of what he’s done off the track as on it. His 11/11 Veteran Project, whose mission is to “help clients solve their big picture problems, and use profits to promote access to existing resources that help improve the lives of veterans, military families, and those with special needs.”

“We’re trying to promote what we do for veterans and what we can offer,” Garrett said. “My brother and I started it a few years ago, and we’ve been working hard to get that up and going and try to support our nation’s veterans as much as possible. We’ve had a few new big opportunities come about here in the last month or so that we’re working towards. So hopefully it’ll be good.”

Garrett said he’d like to see the organization grow.

“We need to be bigger and have the funding to be able to do what we offer on the big scale,” he said. “So it’d be cool to see it in a big way like that.”

You can go to to learn more about the organization.

Garrett has raced at Sebring the past couple of seasons with SRO Motorsports and said it’s a track he really enjoys. It offers its own unique challenges, which is one of the things he enjoys.

Garrett has thought about a possible return to NASCAR, but he’s also enjoying racing sportscars.

“I’ve always had an interest in sportscar things,” he said. “To be able to come here and kind of live out that dream is really cool. I could see myself staying here and make a career out of sportscar racing, but also at the same time, to take everything I’ve learned in last few years in general and put that back into NASCAR would be cool. But for now, the full focus is over here at GT4 America.”

The SRO Motorsports weekend at Sebring International Raceway begins today and runs through Sunday. Cars take to the track at 8 a.m. all three days.