USAR: Mike Garvey to jump to NASCAR Cup

Garvey Gets the Nod Garvey to jump from Pro Cup to NEXTEL Cup Longs, SC-A few months ago, Mike Garvey said that his independent effort in the Nextel Cup Series (NCS) was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream and a necessity since NCS owners weren't...

Garvey Gets the Nod
Garvey to jump from Pro Cup to NEXTEL Cup

Longs, SC-A few months ago, Mike Garvey said that his independent effort in the Nextel Cup Series (NCS) was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream and a necessity since NCS owners weren't looking for a 40-something driver.

Well, Garvey, 42, was wrong. He wasn't wrong about the "chasing his dreams" part, just about the age requirements to do so.

Garvey, who currently sits seventh in Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division points, has been tabbed to fill the vacant seat left by Hermie Sadler at Peak Fitness Racing. Starting this week in the Pocono 500, Garvey will pilot the No. 66 Peak Performance Motorsports Ford.

"I don't think words can explain how I felt when I got the news," said Garvey. "I was more shocked than anything. I think we impressed some people with the way we ran at Martinsville."

In just his second NCS start, Garvey looked to be en route to a top-25 finish at Martinsville in the Advance Auto Parts 500. Within 10 laps of the green flag waving, Garvey raced his way into the middle of the field before the oil temperature spiked.

"We went from 34th to 23rd before the oil temperature shot to the moon," said Garvey. "The guys we passed went on to finish in the top 10. I heard a lot of people talking about us after that."

Garvey's impressive qualifying efforts, along with his Martinsville showing, with his shoe-string-budget team undoubtedly turned the heads of many in the NEXTEL Cup garage, but he also believes his performance in the Hooters Pro Cup Series was just as beneficial to his mid-season promotion.

"I think a lot of it had to do with the way we ran in Pro Cup," said Garvey. "If you can win in Pro Cup, you can compete at the next level because the [Pro Cup] cars are very similar to Busch and NEXTEL cars."

Garvey's NEXTEL ride will also look very similar to his Pro Cup car because longtime sponsor Jani-King will make the jump with him for six races. Peak Fitness will serve as sponsor for the remaining races.

With Garvey moving into the NCS, his Pro Cup season will be put on hold for now. But eager drivers looking for race-winning cars shouldn't inquire about buying Garvey's Pro Cup machines just yet.

"We're going to hold on to the cars," said Garvey. "With the schedule the way it is, it would be impossible to do both. But if we get a break in the schedule, I'll still run some races. I know I'm going to run Bristol."

It has been a whirlwind ride for Garvey over the last four months. He qualified for his first NCS race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and followed that up with first Pro Cup win at Greenville Pickens Speedway. He made two more NCS starts at Martinsville and Richmond. Now he's signed to drive for Peak Fitness Racing in NEXTEL Cup.

"Other than my son being born, it was the most emotional day of my life," Garvey said of his signing. "If you keep working at it, dreams do come true."

And they come true regardless of age.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Hermie Sadler , Mike Garvey