We’re just 6 races into the 2019 season for Gallaher Racing, and Rob Gallaher is staking his claim atop the Ocean Speedway Hobby Stock division. While his father Joe has followed close behind, the San Jose native has claimed 4 wins in his first 6 starts, heading into the 3rd weekend of June with a commanding 31 point lead over Joe.
Joe has been in a rather close points battle of his own, with just 10 points separating he and Wally Kennedy for the runner up spot in the standings. If not for a few late mishaps, Joe would be right there challenging for the points lead.
Friday night kicked off at Ocean Speedway with heat race action, slotting Rob to start 4th in the first heat, while Joe sat on the pole for heat two. Over the course of his 8 lap heat race, Rob was only able to pass two cars and settle for 2nd after winning a close battle with Nick Triolo in the closing laps of the race.
Joe’s heat was far less competitive. Joe would lead all 8 laps from the pole to win by nearly a quarter of a lap when it was all said and done. Since Rob had won the previous race, he would have to start 8th in the feature (Though a car dropping back would move him to 6th), while the invert had Joe starting 3rd.
Three laps into the race, the first caution would wave as Joe and DJ Keldsen got together and looped around in Turn 2. The incident would force Joe to restart 7th, while Rob was moved up to 3rd thanks to those two restarting in the rear.
On the ensuing restart, 2 cars would get together to bring out another yellow, which moved Joe up two spots into 5th. Just after Rob finally cleared Jerry Skelton for 2nd, another mid race caution waved to bunch up the field.
Once the race got back underway, Joe was also able to pass Skelton for 3rd, as both Gallaher Racing cars began hounding race leader Nick Triolo for the top spot. With just a few laps left, Rob used a strong run on the high side to pull a quick dive under Triolo for the lead. Joe would attempt to follow suit, but with just 4 laps left, he would spin, taking himself out of contention.
As the final laps clicked off, Rob would be able to hold off a hard charging Triolo to pick up yet another victory. After his spin, Joe was only able to climb back up to 6th, falling just short in a drag race to the finish line for 5th.
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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