Mike Gallo Overcomes Engine Change, Spin At NHIS To Finish Fourteenth (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 16, 2005) - Mike Gallo and the JBR Racing Team ran just their second NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of 2005 Friday afternoon...
Mike Gallo Overcomes Engine Change, Spin At NHIS To Finish Fourteenth
(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 16, 2005) - Mike Gallo and the JBR Racing Team ran just their second NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of 2005 Friday afternoon when they raced in the Sylvania 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Just like in the first race, the team had to change engines after practice and start the race at the back of the field. And just like in that first race, Gallo put on a show passing cars to run as high as second. A lap 71 spin sent him off the lead lap, but he worked his way back into contention and had his sights on returning to the top ten, but rain shortened the race and he was left in fourteenth.
Gallo, sixth at NHIS after starting 36th in July, needed to change engines after practice on Thursday for the second straight race.
"The team really did a great job, especially for being a part-time effort, and to have to do what they did and knowing I could go out there and not have to worry about anything going wrong mechanically is fantastic. I've got to thank the whole race team," he said.
Gallo's charge started from the last row of the 37-car field and he didn't stay there long. He also didn't run long before making what he hoped to be his only pit stop, which came under a yellow just eight laps into the event.
"We tried to do what Brian Hoar did in July," Gallo explained. "We came in early for gas and took a chance that we could capitalize on good track position after everyone else made their stops."
Back at the tail of the field after his stop, Gallo was already back in the top twenty ten laps later. The pit strategy paid off when caution came out on lap 49 and most of the leaders pitted, elevating Gallo all the way to second.
"We got up to second and it was great to take a restart on the outside pole next to Andy [Santerre]," Gallo said. "But there was a brief shower before we went back to green and the outside lane was real greasy."
Still in the top five on lap 70, he became a victim of a three-wide situation and spun backwards towards the turn three wall.
"Somebody decided to make it three-wide, and you just can't do that going through the turns here," he said. "I was outside of Bryon Chew and someone stuck his nose under him, and Bryon had nowhere to go. He got my left rear and I spun backwards. I don't know how I managed not to hammer the wall, but we still hit it enough to knock the toe-in off. We lost a lap because the car wouldn't start after the spin, but we got going again, pitted and the guys did a great job getting tires on and making sure the car was going to be OK to race."
He returned to the lead lap as NASCAR's beneficiary under a lap 83 yellow, and took the next restart in 21st. He only had fourteen green-flag laps to work with after that, though, as cautions slowed the pace twice as laps wound down and then rain showed up to bring an early end to the race after 119 laps were completed. Gallo wound up fourteenth.
"We raced back to be the first car a lap down and got our lap back, and we were coming back up through the field," he said after the race. "We passed a lot of cars once we were back on the lead lap, passing guys who are always in the top ten, and I really think if we could have raced the last fifteen laps we would have got back in the top ten easy. I don't know why NASCAR called it as quickly as they did because the track was fine."
Gallo returns to the track next week at Dover International Speedway, where he finished sixth last year.