FINALLY! GARVEY SNAPS LONG WINLESS STREAK by Jeremy Troiano
"Garv" Escapes Mayhem and Hot Rookies
But Saturday night, at Lanier National Speedway in Brasleton (GA), Garvey was able to miss all of the action around him and, after a hard-fought battle with fellow veteran Robbie Pyle, was able to celebrate career win number 14 with a series of donuts that lit the crowd up.
"It is a huge weight off of my shoulders," said Garvey after the win. "We tried not to think about it too much, but what can you do but think about it at times. We were so close but could never finish it off. I am very excited.
"We made it to the end without getting involved with something this week."
And that wasn't very easy for Garvey.
It's been two long years since Mike Garvey celebrated an ASA win. That time, it was behind the wheel of the LaFavre-owned #1. In the time since that win, Garvey has switched teams, won poles and been so close to winning more races, but has been caught up in late race skirmishes with other drivers.
The real action up front started late in the race at the .375-mile oval when Kevin Cywinski, Casey Smith and Garvey were all battling for the top spot. Smith got into Cywinski in turns 1 and 2, with Cywinski returning the favor in turns 3 and 4. That sent Smith toward the outside wall head on, but as Cywinski checked up to avoid Smith, Garvey plowed into the back of Cywinski and sent him spinning down the front stretch where he was collected by rookie Stephen Leicht.
Mike Garvey celebrated breaking his two year winless streak with some amazing donuts on the front stretch.
"I think we could have won it if Cywinski wouldn't have tried to wreck me down there in turn four," said Smith. "Cywinski was on the outside in turn two and I just barely rubbed him a little bit. He got loose and went up the track and we were side by side. Then down in turn four, he just came back up and nailed me."
Cywinski wasn't a happy camper with Smith's action, which took him out of the top spot.
"Casey had a pretty good race car and he knew it," said Cywinski, who finished the race 11th and lost the points lead to Butch Miller. "He could get underneath me, but he
couldn't get a run. For about three laps he kept turning me sideways. So down in turn three, I gave him a bump and Garvey just ran over the back of us and turned me around and caused a big wreck. We would have ended up in the top three or four but ended up tearing up a race car."
That accident allowed Pyle to slip into the top spot with Garvey following second and Smith recovering in third.
For several laps after the restart, Garvey and Pyle raced side-by-side, swapping paint several times down the back stretch before Garvey used the outside line to get into the top spot. Only laps later, Pyle found himself spinning up the track after contact with rookie Scott Lagasse Jr. and getting hit by innocent victim Glenn Allen Jr.
A green-white-checkered finish put Lagasse and Smith right on Garvey's bumper, but Garvey pulled away. Garvey then had to skid through oil and wrecked cars
Pyle (#63) lost his second-place spot and his cool after getting hit by Scott Lagasse (#20)
Smith (#08) collected his first podium finish, but it wasn't without a little controversy.
on the last lap after Greg Stewart's machine blew an engine and dumped oil all over the track on the white flag lap causing several cars to wreck.
"It was good until the caution came out," said Garvey. "Then someone dumped oil and it was just wild. I was just thinking 'oh no, not again.' You either had to slide it or slow down and I didn't want to slow down. I wanted to win. Maybe the racing gods are looking after me for a change.
"We had a good shot to win last week and we got run into. Then, it happens again tonight to Robbie for second. We are supposed to be the best Short Track series in the country, so we need to stop all this taking each other out."
But despite all the action leading up to the checkered flag, there was plenty of celebrating after it from a team that is a little over a year old and has been searching for its first win and has been 'oh so close' on so many occasions.
Team owner Bill Plemmons, who is also a part-time driver, was happy to see Garvey finally get win number 14 and gave the team a little extra incentive before the start of the race.
"He knows what to do as a racer. He has been real hungry," said Plemmons. "We have been feeding him spare tires and old racing fuel. He has been so hungry for a win. He had 13 wins and 13 poles in ASA, so he just had to get off that unlucky 13 number. Ironically, we drew the 14th pill to qualify. When it is your time, it is your time I guess.
"I am glad to win against these racers as an owner too. We got knocked back last week and we came right back up. If you lead races, you are finally gong to win races. Mike has led every race this year and tonight, he earned it. He passed so many cars on the outside.
"I told all of these guys tonight 'boys, if we win tonight, I am going to take all of you guys to Dairy Queen.' I think that is what we are going to do. We are going to go to Dairy Queen."