ASA LEFTOVERS: BERLIN Presented by CITGO / MDA by Jeremy Troiano
Garvey Mad Over Penalty, Cope Crashes In Practice & More
GARVEY STEAMED OVER LATE RACE PENALTY
Mike Garvey looked to have the fastest car at the end of the Meijer 300. In fact, just after the halfway point, it looked as if Garvey was on a mission. After being a lap down, Garvey stormed around race leader Mike Eddy and made his lap up, then nearly made up another full lap to take the lead over before a caution came out, slowing his progress. In fact, during one green flag run, Garvey went from one lap down to just six seconds behind the race leader.
The caution allowed Garvey to pit and come out with Eddy and the three other cars on the lead lap, making a race for the win much easier for the former Michigan native.
However, a penalty from ASA slowed Garvey's charge to the front. Garvey was accused of running over his air hose when leaving the pits, forcing him to come back down pit road for a stop and go penalty. That forced the driver to start at the rear of the field rather than just behind the rest of the lead lap cars with less than 50 laps to go, ruining his chances for the win.
“We had a great car,” said Garvey. “We pitted wrong at the start of the race. We pitted and put gas in and (Eddy and
Butch Miller) put tires on and that got us a lap down. We finally got back on the lead lap and got to where we thought we were going to win the race.
“We came in and pitted and took off and the side of our tire hit an air hose pulling out. It just grazed it. Kim Shaver (ASA's Technical Director) was standing there and said it was a penalty. He wasn't even monitoring our pits. He was suppose to be watching the pit exit line. Our ASA pit (official) didn’t say it was a penalty but the same guy who likes to take my motor and fine me 25 points made the call.
“I don't know. I just don't get it.”
Garvey pleaded his case to ASA officials after the race, but to no avail. He finished fifth.
PRACTICE CRASH SLOWS COPE
Mike Cope lived the old adage “when it starts bad, it just stays bad” Saturday at Berlin Raceway (MI).
Cope crashed his primary car on Saturday afternoon during practice and was forced to go to a backup for the race. Unfortunately, Cope’s backup lasted only 59 laps before burning up a wiring harness assembly and resulting in a 32nd place finish.
“We had a suspension part break,” said Cope. “It was just a little suspension part and it sent us head on into the fence. It killed a really good race car. We would have been alright with that car come race time. Oh well. What can you do.
“The backup car had too much camber in the right front and without being able to run the car (during practice) we weren’t able to check it. That car is a totally different one than the other one. It wasn’t a bad car for just pulling it out of the trailer.
"Then, all of the rubber it was kicking off of the right front built up and caught fire and burnt up the wiring harness.
“With the shape everything else is in, it just adds to it.”
ANOTHER VETERAN RETURNS TO THE SEAT
Mike Eddy and Gary St. Amant aren't the only veterans who have returned to the seat as of late in ASA competition. One veteran has been in the seat for several races now, but just at Berlin did his fans get to see the results come full circle.
Dave Sensiba has been helping #07 rookie driver Matthias Czabok the past several races, practicing the car and getting it race ready. Czabok has qualified for only one race this season.
Mike Cope walks back to the pits as his wrecked race car is towed back following a practice crash.
At Berlin though, Sensiba qualified and raced the car as well. Sensiba races at Berlin several times per year.
“It felt good. It was a good run, we just made a bad call at the end of the race,” said Sensiba, who finished 15th. “We were in the top 10 and we took on left side tires with like 30 laps to go and it made the car way too tight.
“We are just trying to help (Greg) Urbine and the rookie get this program going. I just got in it to practice and make sure things were right and in order. I'm just trying to help them make it better. We have a little more work to do to get it like they need it.
“I like running here. It is fun. It is fun to come back to ASA. I love ASA, you know. I just wish I had the money to come back and do it full time.”
FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR... LONG GREEN FLAGS
The competition caution is a rule instituted by ASA when 75 green flag laps (or 50 and 100, depending on the size of the track and length of the race) are run consecutively during the event. After the set number of laps, ASA throws a yellow to close the field up and give everyone the chance to pit under the caution, limiting the need to green flag stops.
MIke Garvey's team was penalized on a late race pit stop by ASA officials for running over an air hose. (51 photos)
We wanted to remind you of this because we haven't seen them at all this year. Until Berlin that is.
Berlin featured not one, but two green flag runs that resulted in competition cautions. In fact, they actually came consecutively as well.
While the long green flag runs resulted in Mike Eddy putting all but the second- and third-place cars a lap down, many drivers were happy to seen the caution finally be waved for something other than a wreck or spin.
Tim Sauter was one of the many guys who fell victim to Eddy's dominance during a long green, but he didn't sound very ticked about it after the race.
“That is the way it used to be,” said Sauter, who finished sixth. “Those were the days when you really had to be smooth and smart and really bring strategy back into your race. It was fun. That is the way I like it.”
Third-place finisher Kevin Cywinski was pleasantly surprised by the long green flag runs that befell the Berlin event.
“It was really shocking, especially considering how caution filled some of our races have been thus far this year. This is one of the toughest tracks we go to. It is a momentum track. Obviously, the guys respect this place and maybe are intimidated by it. I was jut thankful that it went green at the end so I could get on the leap lap.
Close but clean racing was a staple of the race at Berlin. (Bob Milner Photo)
“That is short track racing. That is short track racing and you just have to know what some people are going to do in certain situations.”
Travis Kittleson, who finished 13th, said intimidation played a big part of it.
“There was more give and take out there because of the race track,” said Kittleson. “No one wants to go off that back stretch. You are one edge here just about every lap. When you get to a track like this where a driver has to work for it, that is when there is give and take. When you get to a place with a lot of grip, that is when trouble happens.”
ANOTHER OFF DAY VICTORY FOR KITTLESON
Before the season, Travis Kittleson said that if the the team's bad days were better than those of last season, they could stay in the championship hunt. That is exactly what happened at Berlin on Saturday. Kittleosn didn't have a great car, but the team pulled through and made it work for them, coming home 13th.
“We worked on the car, made an adjustment and it was so-so,” said Kittleson. “I just tried to ride and save some stuff because (Mike) Eddy was lapping everyone. We came in and got tires and started getting spots back. We came in again an raced by Eddy and got a lap back under green. That was pretty exciting to get a lap back under green.
“Our pit strategy was pretty good. I think the crew chief made a great call. Other than the top five guys, we were pretty good with the rest of them. We just fell too behind too early.”
CLICK HERE To View The Second Part Of ASA Leftovers: Berlin
Butch Miller (#52) and Mike Eddy (#5) race at Berlin. (Milner Photo)