(Stafford Springs, CT) — For Stafford Speedway SK Modified® driver Matt Galko and the #3 NAPA Fazzino Auto Parts team, the 2016 season has been anything but a walk in the park. When you look at the numbers on paper, Galko has recorded 3 top-10 finishes in the first 4 races and the season seems to be going according to plan. But the reality is a season has seen the #3 team having to overcome numerous issues to record those 3 top-10 finishes.
“2016 really hasn’t been our year yet,” said Galko. “We’ve had a lot of things go wrong so far this year from losing an engine in the first heat race of the year to little things like losing the power steering one week or losing the brakes another week. These are the issues that have been hindering us. Luckily a lot of the things that have gone wrong were in practice or qualifying, so we’ve had time to fix the car for the feature. Three top-10’s out of four races is not bad and the car has remained on one piece. It’s been a little disappointing with the issues that we’ve had, but overall it’s been a solid start.”
If Galko and the #3 team can have a clean night of racing without any issues to worry about or fix, he thinks the #3 car could be in NAPA Victory Lane not just once, but several times this season. A win for Galko would be his first at Stafford since his second consecutive SK Light championship season back in 2011.
“2011 was our last win at Stafford and it’s been quite a while,” said Galko. “Last year was the first year we got back to getting podium finishes. I don’t know if hungry quite describes how bad we want to win a race, especially with how well we ran last year. We had a couple of seconds and thirds and the fact that I know the equipment we have is good enough to win just makes me more determined to get that first win. I’m ready to end our drought. I believe that we could win a couple of races this year and be in the top-3 or top-5 every week. The new tire compound this season has thrown us for a loop a little bit and we’ve struggled to get the car handling. I know a lot of people are in the same boat as us and then there’s guys like Rowan Pennink who have it figured out. Once we get rolling and we get these tires figured out, I think we can definitely be up there competing for wins.”
After Galko’s engine expired during the heat race in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler®, Tim Rowe stepped up the plate and had a new engine for Galko’s team in time for the first Friday night race. Without Rowe’s help, Galko says that the #3 car might not have seen the track until later in the 2016 season, if at all.
“Honestly I think we would have already missed a couple of races this season if it wasn’t for Tim,” said Galko. “We had a new motor before the first Friday night race and our old motor didn’t have anything salvageable on it, so if not for Tim we might have been in a situation where we missed the remainder of the season. He’s been a big part of our success and hopefully we can get a win for him for everything he does for our team. Also I have to thank NAPA Fazzino Auto Parts, Tech Circuits, A+R Auto Body, JM Rose Lawn Care, Dutch’s Restaurant, and Critical Signs for all their support this season.”
With the SK Modifieds® going an extra 5 laps this Friday night and some extra cash on the line thanks to Xtra Mart Convenience Stores, what better time for Galko and crew to get their first win?
“It’s going to be important for us to get our first top-5 of the year,” said Galko. “With the 5 extra laps and the extra money on the line, we sat down and planned out our tire strategy to have some good tires for the race. We’ve been working really hard on getting the setup in the car perfect and once we get that first top-5 finish, it’s going to be a huge confidence boost for the entire team. It seems like a lot of people who go a while without winning start rolling with a couple of wins once they get that first one. At this point, I’d be ecstatic with just one win. I hope once we can get that monkey off of our backs we can be consistently among the cars running up front and contending for wins.”
This Friday night’s Summer Blast-Off / SK Modified® Xtra Mart Xtra D feature event has over $10,000 in total posted awards up for grabs to SK Modified® drivers along with a fireworks presentation at the end of the show. Tickets are priced at $17.50 for Adult General Admission, $5.00 for Children Ages 6-14 General Admission, and $20.00 for Reserved Seating. Tickets can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or by logging onto the Buy Tickets section of www.staffordspeedway.com.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.