MIKE GARVEY IS 2003 SPEED51.COM/ASA MOST POPULAR DRIVER
Veteran Holds Off RoY Reed Sorenson, 2002 Award Winner Butch Miller in Fan Voting
After several months of balloting and more than 20,000 votes on the popular Short Track racing website Speed51.com, the fans have spoken. ASA veteran Mike Garvey was named the 2003 ASA Most Popular Driver Award presented by speed51.com on Saturday night at the ASA National Awards Banquet in southern Indiana. It was a well deserved and much appreciated award for the driver of the Jani-King/WJ Plemons Investments Chevrolet.
This is one of the greatest honors that I've ever received,” said Garvey. “It was a total shocker. I wasn't expecting this at all. This is truly a great honor, not because of what it is, but more because of who it comes from. It is flattering to know that the fans think of you in such a great light.”
The honor netted Garvey a $500 cash prize and a custom-made plaque featuring a unique Speed51.com photo collage as well as a website design from 51 Sports (a sports services company). Total value of the winning prize package presented by Speed51.com is around $5,000.
“It's always been really important to me to be good to the fans and to treat every one of them like you've known them forever,” said Garvey. “They are who we do all of this for. They are the people that help us pay the bills by coming to the races, watching on television, buying the souvenirs and supporting our sponsors. So for them to vote for me is a real honor. I'm pretty sure my Mom had a big hand in this too."
Garvey, who led the series in 2003 with four wins and finished fifth in the point standings, beat out Rookie of the Year Reed Sorenson by less than three percentage points of the total votes. The two drivers amassed 23 percent of the total votes placed during the four-month long balloting period on speed51.com. Twenty-four drivers were represented on the ballet. Butch Miller, the 2002 Speed51.com ASA Most Popular Driver, finished a close third. Robbie Pyle and Travis Kittleson rounded out the top-five vote-getters.
“I’m not surprised one bit that Garvey got the award,” said Bob Dillner, Motorsports Broadcaster for SPEED Channel as well as Editor of Speed51.com. “He is truly one of the nice guys of the sport and when I was on the ASA telecasts for several years, he’d always receive one of the biggest ovations from the crowd no matter where we were. I think part of what makes him so popular is how he drives; he is a go-for-it-all type of driver. He likes to lead all the laps and never backs down from a chance to win the race. That’s part of what makes ‘Garv’ so unique; in this day and age of
Garvey was "shocked" by the announcement.
points racing, he hasn’t lost sight of the most important thing in racing, getting to the checkers first. He’s a good friend of ours and we congratulate him on this honor.”