(Stafford Springs, CT)—For Meriden native Matt Galko, his open wheel modified experience at Stafford Motor Speedway has been a tale of two divergent paths. Galko burst onto the modified scene by winning the SK Light championship as a rookie in 2010 and he followed that up with another championship in 2011. Galko moved up to the SK Modified® division in 2012 and in the three plus seasons since then, he is still in search of his first SK Modified® victory. Although the 2015 season is only approaching its midway point, Galko has enjoyed his best season and what better race to claim as your first win than the NAPA SK 5k with a total purse of over $30,000 and over $5,000 going to the winner?
“Obviously that first win would be fantastic, no matter what race it comes in,” said Galko. “But to win the biggest race of the year with the biggest purse of the year, and what I’m guessing will probably be our biggest car count of the year, that would be unbelievable and would put the icing on the cake for us. After 4 years of trying, it would be awesome to get the monkey off our back and be considered a winner in the SK Modified® division. It would be a dream come true for me and I think this year is our best chance so far. They always say once you win that first one, the rest come easy and I’m still waiting for that first one. The last 2 podium finishes we had, I feel if we had one or two more restarts go our way, we could have won the race. We’ve been joking around in the shop that it’s ok to let those races go since we’re saving up our win for the SK 5k and that winner’s check would go a long way in helping us out.”
In his first three full seasons of SK Modified® competition, Galko has recorded a total of 3 top-5 finishes. He has already matched that total this season with a career best finish of third and he currently sits in fourth place in the SK Modified® points standings.
“I think the biggest difference is our equipment this year,” said Galko. “We have a Troyer chassis from Northeast Racecars and a T/A Engines spec motor. We are running against guys with top of the line equipment so we need top of the line equipment to keep up with them. I had good equipment during my first few years but we were always lacking slightly and in the SK Modified® division that can make a big difference. It took us a little bit this year to get used to the car but the more races we run, the bigger our notebook gets and I think we’re really starting to tune the car in much better. Going into the season I set my goals to get back in the top-10 in points so we can get an invite to the banquet and we also wanted to get more top-5’s than we had in the past and get a podium finish. We’ve accomplished those goals already and the only thing I haven’t been able to cross off of our list yet is a win. We don’t know where we’re going to finish in points, but to be fourth right now is awesome. When you look at the guys in front of us, they’re kind of in their own race for the championship right now, but just to have your name in the top-5 is awesome.”
Despite Galko’s short time in the SK Modified® division, he feels that an extra distance event is perfect for his style of driving and could be his best opportunity to capture his first checkered flag.
“I think the extra distance races are perfect for my driving style,” said Galko. “Between Stafford, Waterford, and the Tri-Track Series, I have about a dozen extra distance races under my belt and with that experience I think that would be a good shot for us get that first win. The longer distance gives you time to plan out your moves and strategy instead of just going gung-ho to get to the front. I couldn’t do any of this without our great sponsors NAPA Fazzino Auto Parts, Tech Circuits, Dutch’s Restaurant, A & R Auto Body and my crew, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Dave Day, Jr., Nick Andrews, Matt, Mike, Tim Rowe, and my spotter Glenn.”
The $5,000 to win SK 5K won’t be the only entertainment at Stafford during the night of July 10th. Stafford Speedway will host The Savage Brothers Band for a pre-race concert, the 4now Band for the post-race entertainment, and a barbeque taking place on the midway with some great food available to race fans.
Tickets for the July 10th NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office or discount tickets are available at participating NAPA Auto Parts Stores. Tickets purchased through NAPA Auto Parts also include the barbeque dinner and a NAPA goodie bag.
Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.
For more information on the July 10th NAPA SK 5K, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.