GARVEY REBOUNDS FROM A BAD STOP TO CLAIM HIS ANOTHER VICTORY by Nikki Krone
Veteran Now Has Won Two In A Row In ASA Competition
Rookie Reed Sorenson picked up his first career pole on Saturday in his first trip to I-70. Once the green flag waved, Sorenson was strong as he led the first 63 laps, many times under heavy pressure from Garvey. But on lap 64, Garvey finally got the lead from Sorenson by pulling underneath him as the two were fighting through lap traffic.
Garvey definitely had a good car, but a bad pit stop during the race's second caution almost proved disastrous to his bid for a second straight series win. A slow stop and missing lug nuts forced Garvey to make a return visit to pit road, putting him back on track in the 20th position once the race restarted.
After being winless for two seasons, ASA veteran Mike Garvey is definitely making up for lost time. Garvey picked up his third victory of the 2003 season on Saturday night, this triumph in the Missouri 250 at the high banks of I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri. Garvey had to fight through traffic and rebound from a bad pit stop to pick up his second win in a row and his second ASA victory at I-70.
"First we were on a hump and we couldn't get the jack underneath the car," said Garvey. "And then we got the jack underneath the car and two lug nuts fell off the tire when they put it on. So we just had to come back in and put them back on so we had all five of them. You can't run around here with three lug nuts. We just wanted to be safe. You gotta be safe; you can't take a chance with three lug nuts."
Because of the problems during that pit stop, the team was concerned about future pitstops and opted not to make any more for tires. While Garvey was somewhat unsure how his tires would hold up, he says it was all a part of their original game plan.
Mike Garvey has been as dominant as they come over the last two ASA race.
"We talked about pitting again, but decided not to," said Garvey, "We pitted one time for gas, and one time for lefts, and that was it. That was pretty much our strategy going into the race. I was a little concerned with about 75 to go and I saw a lot of the fast cars come back in one more time. The guys were kind of keeping a watch on them on the computer and we were still as fast if not faster then they were on new tires, so I thought we were in pretty good shape if it stayed together."
After working his way back up to the front of the field, Garvey settled in behind the No. 15 of Donnie Reuvers, who had not yet pitted.
"I wasn't even going to try pass him," said Garvey, "because he had to pit yet. He still had two pitstops to make, so I didn't have to pass him; I was just content to follow him. And then it just opened up in traffic so we got by, and then that was pretty much it."
Garvey took the lead for the final time with just 78 laps to go, when the No. 33 of Greg Stewart got loose as he was trying to stay on the lead lap. He made slight contact with Reuvers, causing the Reuvers to loose momentum and that gave Garvey the opportunity to cut underneath and make the final lead change of the night.
"You know, getting lapped isn't the end of the world," said Garvey. "If your car's not any good the best thing you can do is pull over and run it to where it's safe. 10 laps after that I see that he's wrecked on the front straightaway and I said it was only a matter of time the way he was running."
Toby Porter was also involved in the wreck. Unfortunately for Porter, Stewart's car was blocking the top of the track and the driver of the #11 had no where to go as he slammed into the side of Stewart's car. Both drivers were ok.
The #33 of Greg Stewart hasn't found much luck and a lot of the wall this year.
Garvey has made donuts a part of his victory celebration.... and has done plenty of them.
Even after working his way through the field to reclaim the lead, Garvey wasn't so sure his car had what it took to win. On the radio he told his team that the car "didn't feel worth a damn", and while he thought they can make it better, he believed it was the car's consistency throughout the race, and the way it handled on the long runs, that made the difference.
"I guess it was good on the long runs," said Garvey, "because it would run a pace and it would run that same pace the whole time. It may not have been the fastest car all the time, but it would stay at that pace. A lot of the guys would be a little bit faster on the shorter run, but as long as we got long greens it just kept going."
Garvey was followed to the checkered flag by Glenn Allen Jr. Allen, who won at I-70 in 1994 and the runner-up result, was his first podium finish since 1995. With a new sponsor on board, Allen is very excited about the future of his race team.
For Robbie Pyle, who finished third after starting third, this was his second podium finish in row after finishing second at Hawkeye Downs. Pyle wasn't too happy with his car at the start, but says it was the work in the pits that helped him earn his third place finish.
"The beginning of the race there, we weren't so good, but that's a team thing," said Pyle following the race. "[My] Crew Chief made the right calls, [the] pit crew got me out, but yeah, we made a lot out of what we had. We're kind of surprised we are up here, but staying out at the end there is what kept us in the spot."
Points leader Kevin Cywinski was never really a contender for the victory, but after staying in the top 10 most of the night, he ended up with a fifth place finish. By finishing one spot ahead of Butch Miller, the driver number two in the points, Cywinski continues to lead.
With Garvey having his share of bad luck this season, he now believes that with back-to-back victories and three wins already this year, the team is back on track and he is looking forward to the rest of the season.
"You're not gonna win all of them. It's just not possible. But if we keep running like this we may get a few more this year."
Pyle's #63 is still the fastest red car on the track!