BES: Loudon II: Mike Gallo race notes

Mike Gallo An Accident Victim At NHIS Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 16, 2006) - After spending a couple long months fixing damage suffered in the first of two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races held at the one-mile New ...

Mike Gallo An Accident Victim At NHIS

Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 16, 2006) - After spending a couple long months fixing damage suffered in the first of two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races held at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway, Mike Gallo and the JBR Racing team returned to the track looking for redemption. What they found, though, was their being an innocent victim in someone else's accident, leaving the nose of the car damaged and the team with a disappointing 35th place finish.

With a freshly-repaired car, Gallo needed practice laps to shake it down and get it set up for Saturday's 125-lap race. He only got a handful of laps on the track before rain put a halt to Thursday's practice and wiped out qualifying completely. With just one start in the 2006 season, Gallo had to start deep in the field.

Gallo's race was going according to plan through the first twenty laps. He picked off a handful of positions, and followed the leaders onto pit road for right-side tires and gas to get him to the finish. Nine laps later, though, things went wrong.

Two cars ahead of Gallo tangled and spun in the first turn. Gallo tried to take evasive action but glanced off one of the spinning cars with his Ford's right front corner.

"Three guys stacked up in front of me, and someone was driving way over his head. He turned the 61 in front of me and I couldn't miss him," Gallo explained.

The damage was severe and took many pit stops to get to the point where he could resume in the race. There was no quit in the team, though, and they soldiered on to finish despite a late flat tire.

"We were a ping pong ball out there," he said. "There was nothing we could do. I was just trying to survive a race where guys were taking each other out. I saw guys going four or five wide into the corners, that's crazy. Maybe I should have just laid back and made laps, I don't know. It seemed like if there was a wreck, we were in it. I guess you can't get to the front anymore. We used to start in the back before when qualifying was rained out and got up through, maybe we were just lucky those times. We didn't have a prayer today with a few guys out there wrecking a lot of equipment."

Gallo hopes to have the damage repaired well enough to get to the next race, which is just a few days away at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It's an uphill battle, but Gallo and JBR Racing are up to it.

"We're going to do all we can to make Dover, though I don't know how we're going to do it," he said. "We're going to work all night every night until it's time to load up and leave for the track if we have to."

-credit: ajc

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