GARVEY PARTS WITH SHEAR BEFORE SEASON by J. Troiano & B. Dillner
Shane Tesch Returns To Help WJ Plemons Team
Picture this. The scene is the WJ Plemons Racing shop in Georgia and Mike Garvey is pulling up to the facility in his truck. He opens his door and hops out on this cool night to find crew chief Joe Shear's truck at the shop with his tool box loaded in it. In what now becomes an awkward moment for both, Garvey asks Shear what he is doing. Joe's reply that he is going to work with Johnny Sauter and the #43 NASCAR Busch Series team.
Shear had agreed to be Garvey's crew chief for the entire 2003 ASA Racing Series season, but those who new him, were well aware that his heart was still with trying to make it as a NASCAR Busch Series crew chief. Even with that in mind, Garvey wondered, with Joe already having been packed up and ready to go, when his crew chief was going to call him to let the team know.
"Joe's departure came awful quick; I was pretty shocked at the time. I didn't know if he was going to tell me or what," said Garvey. "I knew Johnny had been calling Joe for a while and apparently when Johnny's team got Channellock as a sponsor, that solidified the deal. At first, it didn't' sound like they had anything. Once they got a sponsor, they could offer Joe the right deal. If that is where his heart is at and that is where he wants to go, then that is where he should be
"I was disappointed to see Joe leave, but I understand I guess. I know he and Johnny had close ties and he wanted to be back in the Busch Series. We are still taking and we keep in contact with each other."
Garvey doesn't wish to dwell on Joe's departure any longer. Instead, he's rather talk about the new hirings for his championship caliber ASA team, but even they have changed from the immediate reaction post-Shear era.
At first, it was announced that Chris Roth would take over crew chief duties for Garvey's team, but a week later Garvey had the opportunity to move Shane Tesch from Minnesota to Georgia to be the team's top-guy.
"Chris (Roth) was going to be crew chief, but I needed to bring someone in the shop to take some things off of my shoulders so I can do other stuff. Shane is that guy," explains Garvey. "He is moving down here and he'll head things up. At the track we'll probably move it around to be a crew chief by committee. Shane will hold more of the crew chief role because he will be in the shop with us every day, but we will have a whole committee of people that will have serious input on things."
Garvey and Tesch have history together. With Shane as his car chief at LaFavre Racing, Garvey won 9-ASA races. They also had a top-finish of fourth in points in 1999.
"I am really excited to have Shane come back with us. I never thought we could get him. He was our first choice all along, but I never pursued it initially. I talked to a couple of other people and thought 'what the heck, I am going to call the guy and at least make an offer.' Then he accepted and I was ecstatic."
Last year Tesch worked as crew chief for budding racer Donnie Ruevers in Minnesota and together won a championship and many races in the Super Late Model ranks of the Badger State.
This year he will be one of Garvey's tire-changers as well as his crew chief. Garvey admits Tesch is probably the hardest working person he's ever been around.
"I am glad everything happened before the year started and not a few races into the year. That would have really messed things up," Garvey adds. "Bringing Shane in was the last piece of the puzzle; he is that guy that could put us over the top.
Garvey will look to be focused on the championship this season.
Joe Shear (left) joine the team in 2002 and left just months ago.