Entering the season, Gallaher Racing’s stated goal was to run for as many wins as possible. Friday night at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway would provide the team’s first win of the season, but still left the team wondering what could have been.
The night as always started off with heat race action, with Joe and Rob Gallaher starting 2nd and 6th in the first 8 lap heat. At the drop of the green flag, Joe Gallaher took the lead, while Rob quickly moved to 4th on the opening lap. As Rob began working on DJ Keldsen for 3rd, Joe had his hands full with 2nd place runner Jerry Skelton.
As the laps ticked off, Joe started inching away. Behind him, Rob had settled into a 3 car battle for 2nd with Skelton and Keldsen, racing side by side with Keldsen for a couple laps before eventually completing the pass. Joe would go on to win the heat race by a comfortable margin, with Rob finishing 3rd.
The main event inversion would then line Rob up 2nd for the feature, while Joe would have to charge from 6th. Rob would use his front row starting position to immediately grab the lead as the race began. His father Joe wasn’t far behind, moving up to 3rd in the first 5 laps.
While the early portion of the race was littered with cautions, Rob maintained his steady pace up front. Under a lap 9 caution, 2nd place runner Jerry Skelton left the track, meaning Rob and Joe would be restarting 1st and 2nd. On the ensuing restart, Joe stayed right along side Rob, as the father and son duo raced side by side for a brief 2 laps before another caution waved.
This caution would bring an end to Joe’s chances at a win, as a flat tire forced him to restart 8th. While Rob would go on to easily win the main event, Joe was busy mounting a charge from the back. Though he ran out of laps, Joe was able to climb from 8th to 4th over the last few laps, settling for 4th as a consolation prize on a night where he very possibly could have won.
When asked about the night, Rob said “We tried something on the X car and it paid off but was very risky, we only weighed 3 pounds over the minimum. We will have to reassess that for next race and play it safer. Joe probably was better all around, he pulled up next to me for the lead, I got worried. If it wasn’t for his flat tire he might of won that race. Hopefully there is be many more 1-2 racing action for the Gallaher team this year. Both cars were fast!”
Gallaher Racing would like to thank all of their sponsors and supporters, including:
1 Hour Drain
Express Car Wash
Built by the Captain
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