Mike Gallo Comes Back From Early Spin To Finish Ninth At NHIS (Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Mike Gallo has only run one NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race in 2004, but it was a good one as he has a top-ten finish to show...
Mike Gallo Comes Back From Early Spin To Finish Ninth At NHIS
(Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Mike Gallo has only run one NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race in 2004, but it was a good one as he has a top-ten finish to show for his Saturday afternoon's work. Gallo started the Siemens 125 tenth and finished ninth, but there was more to that story as he was spun out and sent to the rear of the field with just less than a hundred laps to go.
"All I know is that we just showed these guys that we can run in the top ten," he said after the race, "and we're getting ready to show them that we can run in the top five."
Gallo, who is a past polesitter at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway, came back this weekend with a new team that had just one race under its belt. Driving the same car that he drove to the pole here last year, he tried to repeat that feat but could only muster the tenth best time in qualifying.
"We've had an up and down day," he said. "We didn't make it out for the first practice session since we're so low in the points and it took the tech guys a long time to get to our car. We only had an hour total track time to work on our car, and we were sixth fastest. I'm disappointed with our qualifying, since I thought we had a shot at the pole.But the car felt great, we've got a great race car and I think we've got a shot at winning this thing."
Gallo was running tenth on lap 28 when series champion Andy Santerre got into him entering turn one and forced him to spin high on the track, bringing out the first caution of the race. Gallo had not hit anything, so he drove to pit road for new tires and to start thinking about how he was going to get back to the front.
"The car was running great, and I thought I was running a good line," he explained. "But the next thing I know, the 6 car [Santerre] spun me. I'm not sure whose fault it was, I was running a little high but I know Andy wasn't giving me any room.
Restarting the race well back in the field, the task in front of Gallo was great. He handled it well, though, and was up to tenth by the race's halfway point. Twelve laps later, he was around Dale Shaw for ninth, and then took advantage of Brian Hoar's flat tire to move up to eighth. He was set to finish there, but lost a position to Mike Olsen who was coming back up after a late stop for tires.
Ninth for Gallo is his first top-ten finish since the 1999 season.
"After the spin, we came up from the back. It was crazy. We were patient and everybody did a good job. Steve Bird was spotting for me, and he did a fantastic job helping me get back to the top ten. We just had a fantastic day after all of that. We're feeling great about how well we ran, and we'll be back here in September to race this track and we'll do even better than today. This is something for us to build on."
The next appearance for the No. 88 JBR Racing Ford will be August 14th at Watkins Glen International. Bryan Wall, who drive the car at Lime Rock Park back in May, will be behind the wheel for the second and last road course race on the Busch North schedule. Gallo will take over for the races at New Hampshire International Speedway and Dover International Speedway in September.