CINDERELLA STORY FOR DAVIN SCITES by Jeremy Troiano
Controversial Finish with Mike Garvey Ends with Rookies 1-2 at Concord
The BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Concord Motorsport Park came down to five laps and two cars, the two fastest cars all night long. Between the two of them, Scites and Garvey led 79 laps, but they appeared much more dominant than that on this damp night. And on the most important lap, the white flag lap, the two raced into turn one fighting for the same piece of asphalt.
Scites dove to the inside heading down the frontstretch and Garvey hung tough on the outside. The result... the two cars touched, Garvey spun and Scites went on to take the checkered flag for his first career ASA victory.
Opinions of what happened are mixed. Scites says the line was his. Garvey says it was overzealous. Kittleson says it was two guys racing for the same piece of real estate and tough, short track racing.
For Davin Scites... you can't write a much better story. For Travis Kittleson... the race just slipped away, but his season in on track. For Kevin Cywinski... it is all about consistency and it's paying off. But for Mike Garvey... it is bitter disappointment yet again.
Nevertheless, Scites has achieved a remarkable Cinderella story season in only three races. After failing to make the field in season-opener, in only two races since, Scites has become an ASA race winner.
"Our car worked so good on the outside," said Scites, who was the only car to make a majority of his passes on the high side of the tricky tri-oval. "We passed Garvey out there once and I think he remembered that. He was hugging the bottom then he went high and I got a fender on him. I wanted to go around him on the outside; it would have been much easier. I didn't want to tear his car up; he is an excellent racer.
Davin Scites (left) was more than happy to accept the trophy from BFG's Todd Steen.
"When I got that fender under him I knew I couldn't' back off. We are racing to keep this team running. We had to go for it. It was give and take all night long, but this was on the last lap for the win. I want to see it on the replay. We just held it to the floor. I hope we did the right thing; I think we did."
Obviously Garvey, who hasn't won an ASA race in two years, saw it differently.
"I knew he was right there," said Garvey, who was very sore after his driver's side door hit the wall. "It takes a lot better racer to go around somebody then through somebody. I told the guys on TV, if he can look himself in the mirror and be proud of that, more power to him. I know I couldn't.
"The car was awesome. I know we had the two fastest cars out there. I really thought there would be no way he could get around us, but I damn sure didn't think he would drive through us."
Rookie point leader Travis Kittleson, who finished second after leading for a good portion of the later stages of the race, had a catbirds view of the incident.
"I just saw two guys racing really hard for the same piece of real estate," said Kittleson, who collected his first career podium and third top-10 finish of the year. "I know I wasn't going to jump on the brakes even if I had to. It is unfortunate, but that is hard, short track racing. I think I would have done the same thing (that Scites did), but I am going to stay neutral."
So the night belonged to Scites and his
family-owned team. Scites and his #06 were absolutely amazing throughout the night; in fact, he was the only driver consistently making passes on the outside. It was a remarkable story, but not an unlikely one for a guy who raced regularly at Concord for two consecutive years.
"It is awesome," said an emotional Scites after the race. "It almost brings tears to my eyes. I have raced with these guys just learning (on and off for two years). This is an all volunteer team; no one knows anything; no one knows a lot about the chassis or the tires. We are just learning.
"Experience here was a big part of it. Coming here was putting us on a level playing field. I've been here and I like driving on this race track. It's like going to your home track."
Ironically Scites almost didn't even make it to that white flag lap. With just 30 to go, Scites and fellow rookie Reed Sorenson got together after Reed pushed up coming out of turn one while Scites was passing him up on the outside.
"It was one of those 'save the car' situations," added Scites, whose did a complete 360 keeping it off of the wall and lost only one spot in the process. "I am sure he didn't do it on purpose. It was just a racing deal. He probably shoved up a little bit and got into us. When it spun around, I just had to keep it out of the wall. That is our primary car. I knew we still had a chance (at the win)."
And the chance played out after another late caution set up a five-lap shoot out. Scites looked on the outside, but was also feeling Garvey out on the inside. When the door opened for a brief moment Scites took advantage even when Garvey tried to slam the door shut.
"I respect these veterans. I hope they will get to race with me and respect me as a team as well," Scites stated.
"That was my first podium. It will take a couple of days to sink in. We won and we are going to take it. You hate that to happen, but hey it is a win in ASA!"