ES: Loudon: Mike Gallo race notes

Mike Gallo Finishes Seventeenth In Komatsu Ford At NHIS Loudon, N.H. (June 29, 2007) - In his first race of the season, Mike Gallo showed no signs of rustiness as he piloted his No. 88 Komatsu/C.N. Wood Co. Ford Taurus into the top ten during...

Mike Gallo Finishes Seventeenth In Komatsu Ford At NHIS

Loudon, N.H. (June 29, 2007) - In his first race of the season, Mike Gallo showed no signs of rustiness as he piloted his No. 88 Komatsu/C.N. Wood Co. Ford Taurus into the top ten during the running of the New England 125, the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway. That good run would not last, though, as Gallo got caught up in an accident late in the race, leaving him to finish a disappointing seventeenth.

NASCAR's East Series has changed a lot since Gallo raced last, with one of the most significant changes being the availability of a spec engine to teams that has proven to be better than the previous standard 'built' engines. JBR Racing, though, does not have a spec engine so they entered the weekend at a disadvantage already. The team tested at NHIS in May and, unhappy with the performance of the car they tested with, made a change to a different car for the race. They qualified 27th and got ready for Friday's race.

The race was only fifteen laps old when Gallo, on the advice of Steve Bird and Todd Graffam, pitted ahead of the rest of the field on lap 16 for gas and a chassis adjustment. A second stop was made when the rest of the field came to pit road on lap 48 for a pair of right-side tires, and he was set to run to the finish. By lap 95, he had worked his way into the top ten, running ninth, but had fallen to twelfth on lap 120 when cars ahead of him tangled and he got collected in the wreck. Despite heavy damage to the rear of the Komatsu Ford, the Sanford, Maine driver soldiered on to finish seventeenth.

"We got the Komatsu car up into the top ten for a while there, and I thought we ran a good race," he said afterwards. "Steve Bird, Todd Graffam and the entire JBR Racing Team did a great job today. For not having a spec motor, we were going pretty good. We were underdogs out there with our old Cosworth engine, but we made it work. We had a lot of help getting here and we had a good race, but I don't know what we're going to do now as the car's pretty wrecked. There was no need for that, either. I missed a lot of wrecks but there were just so many and it was just a matter of time that we were going to get caught in one. I was watching the guys ahead of us and I could see it coming, and it's pretty frustrating."

Gallo, hoping to run again at NHIS in September, had some very good sponsors to thank for getting him to the track.

"I have to thank C.N. Wood out of Woburn, Mass. and Komatsu Equipment, Bradley's Market, and Perkins Paving," he said.

-credit: ajc

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