Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2010 season underway at Stafford Motor Speedway, the fight for race wins and championships is in full swing. Another race that is underway is the fight for the Reliable Welding and Speed Rookie of the Year title and a pair of 15-year old drivers are dueling for the top rookie honor in the SK Light Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Joey Cipriano and Matt Galko have shown little signs of being a rookie at Stafford, as they have both contended for race wins and while Galko has yet to have a podium finish, Cipriano has visited the podium in two of his first three starts this season. Both drivers say the early success has come as a surprise.
“I’m definitely surprised at how well we’ve ran so far this year,” said Galko. “In the first race we were fighting for a top-3 finish and we’ve been fighting for the podium in 2 of the first three races and I never expected to be doing that right away. We’re still learning and adjusting on the car every week. With being a rookie, we’ve had to start in the back, buy my dad puts a great car under me and I think that if we can keep the car together and have some luck fall our way, we can definitely get our first win pretty soon.”
“It’s been a big surprise to me,” said Cipriano. “We almost won the second time we went out, it’s all been a big shock to me. I think we’re pretty good on setup, but I’m still learning things about the track and how to pass. We have an in-car camera in the car each week and when I wake up on Saturday I hook it up to the TV and I watch the race to see if there was anything that I could have done differently. I probably watch the tape 4 or 5 times before we get back to the track the next Friday. I also watch guys like Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece during the SK® race to see if there is anything I can learn from them.”
While each driver realizes that they still face a learning curve, the expectations that both drivers have for themselves have gone up exponentially at the start of the 2010 season.
“Coming into this year, we thought we could get some top-10 finishes and maybe a top-5 or a top-3 by the end of the year, we didn’t expect to be battling for podium finishes,” said Galko. “This season has been a blast so far, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had driving a car. It’s been great to race with Joey Cipriano as well as the veteran guys like Teddy Cain and Jay Goff. We’ve had some good finishes so far and now we want to get our first win and at least get a top-3 finish so we can be interviewed at the end of the race.”
“Our goals coming into the season were to win a race and win Rookie of the Year,” said Cipriano. “The past two races have been a big confidence boost for me knowing that we have what it takes to run up front. Right now we’re happy with where we’re at, we’re not thinking about the championship or anything like that, we’re just focused on getting a win and winning Rookie of the Year.”
While Cipriano has seemingly had a smooth ride thusfar during the 2010 season, Galko’s ride has been a bit bumpy to say the least.
“I’ve lost power steering in the car the last two weeks,” said Galko. “The night we had the 30-lap race, the power steering went out on lap-5, so that was a tough race and I was definitely a little sore the next day. Last week the car was loose and the car has fallen off at the end of the race all three weeks, so I think that if we can get the power steering working and we can keep gaining on the chassis, I think our first win isn’t far away.”
If the first three weeks of the 2010 season are any indication, the battle for the 2010 SK Light Modified Reliable Welding and Speed Rookie of the Year honors is going to be a great race to watch all summer long at Stafford Motor Speedway.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR