Mike Garvey To Join ProCup Elite

Longs, SC-Browsing through the Hooters ProCup Media Guide, the names listed are a virtual "Who's Who" of short track racing.

Names like Bobby Gill, Jay Fogleman, Billy Bigley Jr., Jeff Agnew, Johnny Rumley, Mike Laughlin Jr., Gary St. Amant, Shane Huffman, Benny Gordon and Clay Rogers jump off the page.

In '05, Mike Garvey's name will be added to the list.

Garvey announced today that he will compete full-time in the Southern Division of the Hooters ProCup Series next year.

"It's going to be great," said Garvey, who finished third in ASA points in '04. "There are no better guys in racing than Bobby Gill, Billy Bigley and Gary St. Amant, but I'm also looking forward to running against the new guys like Clay [Rogers] and Shane [Huffman]."

Though Garvey is coming off one of his best years in racing, winning five times in 14 starts this season, the short-track veteran is cautiously optimistic about his first ProCup season.

"I'm hoping that all my experience helps me get acclimated to these cars quickly, but I think I'm going to be on the learning curve again," said Garvey. "A racecar is just a bunch of steel with wheels on it, but you've got to make the car comfortable to go fast. That's going to be the toughest thing, just making the car comfortable to drive."

That may not be too hard for Garvey, considering his entire team from last season will make the switch with him.

"We're going to have the same team we did last year, except for the crew chief," said Garvey. "Having the whole team together is a definite advantage. You don't want the added pressure of having a new team in a new situation."

By the time the Championship Series rolls around in '05, Garvey-and his team-will be have a better understanding of what it takes to make a ProCup car fast. Garvey will compete in the full slate of Southern Division events during the regular season as well as making five Northern Division starts, logging 18 starts before the Championship Series starts.

"Our plans right now are to run the full Southern Division schedule and make the maximum starts in the Northern Division," said Garvey. "I know were going to run IRP and Salem, then we'll pick and chose our other Northern Division events."

A championship-caliber team and plenty of seat time will undoubtedly quicken Garvey's learning curve, but his biggest advantage in '05 may come from his recent racing epiphany.

"I looked at racing the wrong way for many years," said Garvey. "I took too many chances. I've realized if we can get a top five first, then we can go after the win. I've learned a lot from watching Gary [St. Amant] and Kevin [Cywinski] through the years. I've tried to change the way I raced, and we had a good year last year. Last season, I felt like we were on top of our game. I hope it carries over to this year. But until we get on the track, you just don't know."

Garvey will pilot a Ford with a Tony Clements' engine and a Laughlin Performance chassis.