Mike Gallo wins Flowmaster Star Of The Race Award by finishing sixteenth at Adirondack Speedway. Mike Gallo, driver of the Woodworks Racing/Archer Corporation Ford Taurus on the NASCAR Busch North Series, won the Flowmaster Star of the Race ...
Mike Gallo wins Flowmaster Star Of The Race Award by finishing sixteenth at Adirondack Speedway.
Mike Gallo, driver of the Woodworks Racing/Archer Corporation Ford Taurus on the NASCAR Busch North Series, won the Flowmaster Star of the Race award in his first race at Adirondack International Speedway in upstate New York state on Saturday night. The award is presented to the driver who improves the most from his starting position to his finishing position in each series race. Gallo, who started 28th in the Little Trees 150, made up twelve positions to finish sixteenth.
In the first short-track race attempted by the Elaine and Fred Skaff-owned team, and Gallo's first short-track race in three years, a productive practice session at the track, which no team had seen before race morning, set the team up for qualifying. Gallo encountered a slick track with a loose car in his qualifying attempt, causing him to start deep in the field.
"The sun came out and loosened the track up," he said after qualifying. "It's been a good day so far except for that, the car's been great all day and we had a great practice session. We concentrated on race setup all day, and we didn't add any tape to the grille during any of the practices. These bodies are so aerodynamic that when you add tape to the front of the car, you have to adjust for it and we just didn't adjust enough. The sun came out and that didn't help either.
"We didn't qualify so well but we know what we have for a race setup and I think we're going to be real good," Gallo continued. "We're going to the front. Everybody's upbeat on this team and we're looking to bounce back. It's been a real tough year for the Woodworks/Archer race team, but we're going to keep trying. Nobody's giving up."
Working his way through race traffic proving to be difficult in the race's early stages, Gallo kept his car on the lead lap and in the top twenty through the first third. A spin just before halfway brought the field under caution and opened the pits, and Gallo joined a number of other drivers on pit road for new right-side tires and other adjustments. He rejoined the race in sixteenth, beating many other cars off pit road.
Gallo ran thirteenth following a lap 93 restart, but the car was tightening up and he couldn't make any more progress forward. A final restart on lap 134 saw him running thirteenth, but he could not take advantage with the car's handling going away, and he had to settle for sixteenth, the team's first lead-lap finish in six races run this year.
"The day, all in all, was a big stepping stone for this team," Gallo said after the race. "To come out of here with a lead lap finish, in sixteenth, I couldn't be happier. We were running thirteenth for a while and I called for two rounds to tighten the car up, and I shouldn't have gotten the two rounds. I should have allowed the two right-side tires to tighten the car up. We'll live and learn, we got passed at the end but held on for a good sixteenth place finish. For this team, that's a lot. The car's in one piece so we'll go to Loudon and Dover, and we're hoping to do a lot more of this.
"This team can keep going up even with small steps," he continued. "I know we're going to be in the top ten. We've got a brand new engine for Dover, and we've got a brand new car at the house for next year, and we're going to start climbing here. The car went really well. We're making progress, and tonight was a big stepping stone. I feel good for all the guys on the team too for sticking with me. We've had a real rough year up to this point, but it's turning around."
Gallo expressed his thanks to the team's sponsors: The Woodworks, Archer Corporation, Skaff Refrigeration, Gallo Construction, and Don Black. More information on the team can be found on its website, located at www.woodworksracing.com.