Stafford Springs, CT — After winning eight races and two championships in his first two seasons of SK Light competition at Stafford Speedway, Matt Galko made the move into the SK Modified® division for the 2012 season. While Galko wasn’t able to continue his streak of track championships, Galko posted 1 top-5 and 8 top-10 finishes to finish the season in 9th place in the SK Modified® standings and take home the 2012 SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts SK Modified® Rookie of the Year Award.
“I think it was a pretty good season,” said Galko. “I don’t think it was as good as maybe we wanted it to be, but we really have nothing to complain about. Our goals at the beginning of the season were to win Rookie of the Year, finish in the top-10 in points, and get a win or a podium finish. We had some decent runs this year and we achieved two of our three goals, it just seemed like we didn’t have any luck at the end of races. Something would always happen that would cause us to fall back."
Such was the case in the season ending CARQUEST Fall Final 40-lap SK Modified® feature. Galko was running in third with one lap to go, but a trip through the grass relegated Galko to a 14th place finish. But despite the finishing number, Galko says that race was his best run of the season and that he and his team were just starting to get a good handle on their car setup.
“One thing I found was that the setup in the SK is a lot more fine tuned than the SK Light car,” said Galko. “I think corner entry was one area that we struggled with this year. We were just starting to get a handle on it during the last couple of races and then the season ended. Brian Ross started helping us out at the end of the year and the Fall Final was our best run of the year. Between Brian, my dad, and myself, we spent a lot of hours in the shop before the Fall Final. I think we were working on the car until about midnight or 1am every night and it showed because we were third fastest on the practice sheets and that race was our best shot at a win or podium finish. We were running third, and there were about four or five green-white-checkered restarts. We took the white flag in third and we got pinched a little on the backstretch and I went through the grass, so we didn’t get the finish we wanted. But we were able to keep the car in one piece and we were able to compete for the win, which was all thanks to Brian’s and my dad’s work on the car. We have a great baseline to get started with next season and hopefully we can come back even stronger than we were this season.”
With a good baseline to start with on the car setup, and a year’s worth of experience under him, Galko is ready to tackle another season of SK Modified® competition at Stafford. But he says that will all depend on how much sponsorship he and his team can find for the 2013 season.
“We’re definitely going to try to get something together, it all depends on how much sponsorship we can find,” said Galko. “I’d love to be able to run the full season again next year. I have to say a special thanks to Tim Rowe, my grandfather Dave Galko, Sr., my dad Dave Galko, Jr., my mom Debbie Galko, Brian Ross, Jason Roy, and all of my sponsors this year, Sign-O-Rama, TJ’s Auto Body, NAPA of Wallingford, Tech Circuits, Inc., Dutch’s Restaurant, and thanks to Billy the Kid for helping us with our motor and Magnus for helping us with the transmission.”
Galko will officially be crowned the 2012 SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts SK Modified® Rookie of the Year at the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 16 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor.
Tickets to the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $45 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form from www.staffordspeedway.com and mailing the form to the track office.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR