BNS: New Hampshire: Mike Gallo race notes

Mike Gallo struggles through NHIS race to finish 27th. Woodworks Racing Ford Taurus driver Mike Gallo, of Sanford, Maine, was optimistic heading into this weekend's New England 125 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. His optimism was ...

Mike Gallo struggles through NHIS race to finish 27th.

Woodworks Racing Ford Taurus driver Mike Gallo, of Sanford, Maine, was optimistic heading into this weekend's New England 125 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. His optimism was rewarded earlier in the weekend as he made significant improvements in lap times over the course of practice, but in the race he struggled with an ill-handling car, was involved in a minor accident, and had to settle for a 27th place finish.

After putting up the eighteenth fastest lap time in the first practice session on Thursday, Gallo and the KBC Racing Team started thinking about a qualifying setup and, making a mock qualifying run, ran the third fastest lap in the second practice. In the actual qualifying session, though, the team could only muster the thirteenth starting position.

"I'm pretty happy with where we are, but we ran third in practice earlier so I'm kind of disappointed that we lost ten spots," he said. "The car's running really well. I just had a good practice, the car's running extremely well and we're going to loosen it up a little more, and try it again. We've got a great Ernie Elliott rocket under the hood, and I believe we're going to run with them all day. I'd love a top five, but I'll settle for a top ten."

When the race started, Gallo found himself struggling with a loose car. He fell back to twenty-third and was just lapped when the first caution came out on lap 43, leaving him trapped a lap down. Gallo pressed on but found himself in the middle of a four-car tangle on the backstretch of lap 101, which did some cosmetic damage to the front of the car. He came to pit road where all four tires were changed, and he returned to the race to run to its conclusion, finishing in the 27th position.

"The car was so loose that I couldn't even drive the car," he said after the race. "We tried numerous tire changes to fix it. I got a little bit of a handle on it and then it went the other way right to tight. There was no grip in the car all day. We're really lucky we came home in one piece because we were handling so badly that it could have been a lot worse off. So I'll take 27th. It just wasn't a very good race for the whole Woodworks race team."

Gallo was asked what he thought needed to be done to address the car's handling problems.

"We might just have to tear everything off and find out where the problem is, and start fresh," he said. "Obviously, we're not doing something right. With these new tires, when you're a race team that doesn't race every week, you don't get the experience to know what the tires will do. We need some help getting a handle on them. The guys who race every week don't have any problems with them, so we'll have to learn what they've already found out. There's just no substitute for track time. But we'll come back, nobody's a quitter on this team."

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR