There comes a time in everyone’s life when they decide they need to do something different. Some times that changes comes out of necessity, other times it’s by choice. For veteran Super Late Model driver Mike Garvey, it’s a mixture of both.
Garvey, a two-time All-American 400 winner, has decided that the time to switch gears is now. The Lakeville, Minnesota native will be stepping away from the driver’s seat and focusing on his role as a driver coach during the 2015 season.
“You can’t race forever,” Garvey told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Things keep changing with the way racing evolves. It’s just time. I’m 52 years old. I’ve got to start building a business for the future. You can’t just keep racing for the fun of it. I’ve got to take care of things and it’s just time to switch gears.”
While this decision may come as a shock to many, it was one that his car owner, Tracy Goodson, expected.
“His heart is just not in it (anymore),” said Goodson. “He’s had his time.”
Garvey and Goodson have decided to go the driver development route, with Garvey serving as a driver coach, as well as the crew chief for Goodson’s cars.
“He enjoys crew chiefing more than he enjoys driving and making cars go fast, and he enjoys working with the young guys,” Goodson said. “So that’s the direction we’re going to go. He’s going to crew chief the deal and we are going to lease the cars out.”
This isn’t the first time Garvey has stepped out of the car. He actually did it a few years ago before Goodson convinced him to hop back in.
“I quit racing for about four or five years,” said Garvey. “I had multiple cars going back and forth but then Tracy convinced me to get back into racing. I had a good consulting business going and I was working on cars and building cars for people and going with them to the races. I had a really strong business going and I kind of let that go when I started racing again.”
Garvey said things are already going well and a number of drivers are already interested. He’s at the Inaugural Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park (CA) with southern Late Model driver Chris Davidson this weekend.
“We’re actually pulling into the pit area as we speak,” said Garvey. “I’m going to be helping him out on the CARS Tour a lot, so we’ve got some things working already.”
When asked if race fans would see Garvey behind the wheel of a race car anytime soon, Garvey said, “I’d rather not,” but said it is a possibility.
“I raced for four years with Tracy and it is just time,” Garvey said. “You can tell when it’s time. It’s just time to get back to that and build a business for the future and try to help people out and build cars.
“But it doesn’t mean I won’t ever race again. You never say never.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com