ASA LEFTOVERS: LAKELAND Presented by CITGO / MDA  by J. Troiano &  M. Dillner
Garvey Mad, Sauter Says There’s Weapons Out There, Restart Rule Criticized & More

Kevin Cywinski had wanted to open his title defense a little differently, but all things considered, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. 
“I thought we had a pretty good race car,” said Cywinski, who notched his 98th career top-10 ASA finish (7th place).  “We were fast and led some laps early.  We shot ourselves in the foot mid-race when we came in to pit and left the panhard bar wrench in the car after an adjustment.  We had to come back in and that pretty much shuffled us to the back of the field.  We were coming back to the front pretty good and we got tagged by another car when I was passing it.  That put us another 10 spots back and we were at it again.”

No one wants to wreck to start off a year, especially when you have a car capable of winning.  That is the position Mike Garvey found himself in after crashing just 34 laps into the race on Saturday night.

Garvey, who was able to get his car back out on the track many laps down, solely laid the blame on defending ASA champion (and former teammate) Kevin Cywinski.  “Garv” thought Kevin was trying to race Mike Cope too hard for the position when he didn't have the line.
“We got idiots racing like it is the end of the race, 20 laps into the race,” said a ticked off Garvey.  “A bunch of idiots,’ mark my words.  We're right behind two guys trying to wreck each other and one of them gets us because they are so freaking stupid. 

“That is a prime example of these double file restarts when you are racing with morons.  It’s only 30 laps into the race!  Who freaking cares?”


Rookie Scott Lagasse, who was racing behind Garvey at the time, jumped on the brakes, but got hit from behind and put into the inside wall.  That knocked him clearly out of the race.
“Kevin and Mike got together and I checked up to avoid running them over and couldn’t get it done in time,” said Lagasse, who finished dead last (40th).  “In the process I got turned around. It was just one of those racing deals although it is a shame it happened that early in the race.  We had a real good car, real good.

“In the scheme of things, points aren’t what we are looking for,” added rookie Lagasse.  “We are looking to win races. I don’t show up to finish second. I don’t points race, I don’t do any of that at all.


Tim Sauter, the 1999 ASA National Champion, had hoped his return to the series on a full-time basis would have come off a little bit better.  Just 15 laps into the race, the #9 started showing sparks under the caution flag and the Lester Buildings Ford had to spend several laps behind the wall repairing a broken ball joint.
Garvey was not a happy man after he and his team spent much of the race repairing their wrecked race car.
“It was a blessing in disguise because we broke it under yellow.  If we would have broken it under green, we would have wrecked bad.  It was as freak deal,” said Sauter, who finished 26th.  “It is very frustrating.  I feel like we had a good top five car.  So it is very frustrating.”

But once Tim got out there, he noticed that things in ASA were far different from what they were years ago when he was last a full-time racer.

“A lot of things have changed since I let.  There are a lot of weapons out there.  I'm honestly embarrassed for my sponsor and for ASA; that is how bad it is out there.  There
"What an embarrassment" is what Tim Sauter had to say after the race.
are a bunch of idiots out there that don't even belong out there.  I'm miffed at how bad they drive.  They don't even t belong at the Saturday night late model race.  It is terrible. I can't believe it.  I just can't believe it.”


The first of several big accidents came at lap 20.  But this wasn't just any accident; this one involved a total of seven cars (and it could have involved many more considering it happened midpack) and took out two of the night's favorites, Robbie Pyle and Bryan Reffner.  Both drivers were able to pit and make repairs, but came returned many laps down.
Cywinski and his #1 team overcame a lot of problems to finish in the top-10.
“That’s what's going to happen with these double file restarts,” said a pissed off Reffner, who was very vocal about all of the ASA rule changes all weekend long.  “ASA is going to turn into a crash-fest and unfortunately I got into the deal getting collected in somebody else's mess up there.

“The inside lane started going backwards and somebody got impatient and turned somebody. I just saw somebody ahead of me get sideways on the straightaway and usually that is because somebody is turning them. It is what I anticipated with these double file restarts. Unfortunately we had to pay the price for that.”

Pyle's problems weren't limited to the crashed car.  They also included a radio that wasn't working properly.
“It was just one of those days,” said a dejected Pyle.  “The car was very good, but we got a bad qualifying draw and we started pretty far back because the track really cooled down later in the qualifying session.  ASA announced that new double-file restart rule and that really hurt us tonight.  None of us are good enough to do restarts like that so many times per race.  We just got caught up in a wreck.  I just thought I was through it and I got tagged by someone.  Then I blocked the track even more and got run into again.
Getting cought up in other people's mess was a common problem for some of the veterans, including Bryan Reffner.
“The crew did an awesome job and fixing the car and we were as quick as the leaders even though the car was wrecked.  It would have been a really fun race for us had we not had all of that happened.

“On top of that, we didn't have radio communication all night.  My microphone wasn't working, so they couldn't hear me.  It was just one of those days.  We pulled off when there weren't any more positions to get.  We just wanted to get out of the way.”

Reffner finished 32nd, while Pyle came home 23rd.

Greg Stewart's dad, Wade, who also serves as his spotter, gave him a bit of interesting advice after the race.  Next time, hit the wall early and often.
“I hit that front stretch wall almost every time I come here.  Normally I do it in practice, but I did it in the race this time,” said Stewart, who finished 6th.  “It actually knocked the right front wheel a little out of whack and made the car turn better, so daddy said the next time we come here he wants me to slap the hell out of that wall if it causes it to run better.

“I think I had a winning racecar. We were a little rusty on the pit stops, but we haven't practiced as a team once.  I'm not blaming anyone, we are just behind.  If we can get back and do some practice, we are going to be hot.  I think I had a better car. The clock was showing it.
Stewart's team may not always fix all of the damage from now on.
Stewart was fast all night long, but had a little bit of problems getting through the traffic.

“It took me a while to get by the 71 car and he was a lap down.  I kept nosing him and he would cut me down, but I finally got by.  That hurt our momentum though.”

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