USAR: Matt Hawkins debut season preview

Pro Cup Is Next Step Up the Racing Ladder for Matt Hawkins 19-year-old Snowflake Winner Ready for Rookie Season with Veteran Team Behind Him CANTON, GA (January 14, 2007) -- Matt Hawkins is one of the most promising young talents in the short ...

Pro Cup Is Next Step Up the Racing Ladder for Matt Hawkins
19-year-old Snowflake Winner Ready for Rookie Season with Veteran Team Behind Him

CANTON, GA (January 14, 2007) -- Matt Hawkins is one of the most promising young talents in the short track world. The 19-year-old ended 2006 with a bang, as he claimed victory in the Snowflake 100 event as part of the Snowball Derby weekend. Now Hawkins is announcing his intentions to compete full-time in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division and challenge for the "Rookie of the Year" crown.

"I am really excited to go Pro Cup racing this year," said Hawkins. "It is a really good series, and it will be nice to follow a competitive schedule and not have to jump around a bunch of different series to get that experience. It's just a really good and professional series, and I think everything will work out really well.

"I really like the schedule. I have run well at a lot of those tracks, like Peachstate (GA) and Lakeland (FL), and some of them I have never even seen before. Mike Garvey will be able to help at those tracks, because every single one that I haven't seen, he has raced at before."

Mike Garvey will be returning to the Matt Hawkins Racing team as the Driving Coach and consultant for young Hawkins. In addition to his duties of helping set up the car, he will also be able to give Matt some "on-track" schooling as he too, will be competing full-time in the Pro Cup Series.

"Two heads are better than one," said Garvey. "We can go the racetrack, all try different things, and we can put our heads together and come up with what we think is best. I think Matt will come up to speed really quickly. I don't know that I will be as much as a coach, because we will be pooling information together and just working to make both of us better, and I think that he will do a good job at it."

To make the team even better than they were in 2006, team owner Fred Hawkins has added some new faces to the team. Hawkins has hired ASA Late Model winning crew chief Rich Lushes to work on the car as the team attempts to achieve their goals of claiming Rookie of the Year.

"I am really excited to be in Georgia and working with these guys at Matt Hawkins Racing," said Lushes. "I am really looking forward to the Pro Cup races. I think Matt really showed last year, once Mike got there and got the equipment straightened out, he could win races. I am looking forward to learning a lot from Mike Garvey as well. There is a lot there to be learned for sure."

"Rich has a lot of experience and success with Landon Cassill," added Hawkins. "I think it should be a good combination to have him with us at the track. To put Rich and Mike together should hopefully be a winning combination.

"All the good Nextel Cup drivers benefit from multi-car teams. Four is better than two, and two is better than one and that's what we'll have; a multi-car team. The more people you have out there testing and pooling information, the better that you will be. It should hopefully give us an advantage over everyone else in our rookie season. I am just ready to go racing again and I know Mike is too."

The USAR Hooters Pro Cup Season begins with a trip to Lakeland, FL and USA Int'l Speedway on Saturday, March 10th. All Pro Cup races will be seen on SPEED Channel.

-credit: www.matthawkins.net

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mike Garvey