Mike Gallo, Woodworks Ford Team fourteenth at NHIS. Sanford, Maine's Mike Gallo, driving The Woodworks Ford in the NASCAR Busch North Series, started his season with a fourteenth place finish in the first of three races to be held at the...
Mike Gallo, Woodworks Ford Team fourteenth at NHIS.
Sanford, Maine's Mike Gallo, driving The Woodworks Ford in the NASCAR Busch North Series, started his season with a fourteenth place finish in the first of three races to be held at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway. Gallo's strong run could only have been made possible thanks to a crew that serviced the car four times for adjustments during the course of the race, which will be broadcast on the Speed Channel next Monday night.
Gallo's weekend started on Friday when practice and qualifying were held. Following time trials, Gallo would start the race in the twelfth position. His qualifying lap was 30.511 seconds (124.834 MPH).
"I'm very excited," he said after qualifying. "We practiced on race setup all day so to come out with a twelfth place start on the grid is going to be fantastic. The best we did was twenty-third last year so we always had to use the car up coming to the front. It's going to be nice starting close to the top ten, which is what we're after. The team did a great job making adjustments. We were very short on crew Thursday and we only had a little practice time, and the guys did a great job changing the car. We threw a lot of shocks and springs on the car. Every decision the team made was right.
"I'm looking forward to a good, safe race," the 28-year old driver continued. "I really like what I see out of the Goodyear tires. They feel very trustworthy going into the corners so I think tire wear is going to be good. I think we'll make a late-race pit stop for gas and maybe right-side tires, and off we go to what hopefully will be a nice top ten or top five finish. A top ten would be nice to start the year off for the team. I want to thank Robin Phillipson from the Woodworks and Fred and Elaine Skaff for giving me this opportunity."
Gallo started strongly from his starting position and entered the top ten just 25 laps into the race. He made his first stop on lap 33, returning to the race in 23rd place. He made a second stop under caution on lap 63 and the Woodworks Racing crew was up to the challenge, returning Gallo to the race in thirteenth. The car was not handling well, though, and Gallo fell back until another opportunity to pit came just 28 laps from the end of the race, where he pitted twice and the crew changed right-side tires.
Gallo restarted the race in twentieth position - the last car on the lead lap - and despite having two late yellows slow his pace and extend the race to 130 laps, he made up six positions to end the race fourteenth, putting on a good show for guests of team sponsor Archer Corporation who were looking on.
"We just missed the setup on it, and had too big a sway bar in it," he said after the race. "But what a fight back. We had to come in and change rights, and the guys did a fantastic job gassing the car and the tire changes were great. We were able to stay on the lead lap all day, fight back from behind, and dodge three wrecks. My spotter, Robin Phillipson, did a great job, and my crew chief, Fred Skaff, did a great job calming me down because I needed that behind that wheel today. I just was so upset because I just wanted so much today. We were able to free the car up on our fourth pit stop. That's just a fantastic token to this team, to come in four times and being able to come up through and finish fourteenth. That's four away from what I wanted, I wanted a top ten.
"I didn't see much give and take out there, and there were a lot of cars in the wall this weekend, but I came home with all the fenders on," Gallo continued. "You'll have to watch this team at Nazareth. We'll start the year with a fourteenth, that's better than a thirty-third that we started last year, and a positive note is qualifying twelfth - that's the team's best qualifying spot. We're gaining each time. The team worked great all weekend again. We'll just going to build on this and we'll come back a lot stronger in July."
The Woodworks Racing team returns to action next Saturday at the one-mile Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The 100-lap contest will be broadcast on the Speed Channel the night of May 27th. For more information on the team and Mike Gallo, visit its website at www.woodworksracing.com.