Finishing The Deal: Matt Galko Gets First SK Modified Win At Stafford In Dramatic Style

Matt Galko celebrates his first career SK Modified victory at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – It’s a story Matt Galko has lived too many times previously at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Having a car seemingly ready to win only to have victory slip away.

Friday night it seemed like it was happening all over again for the Meriden driver. Then Galko changed the story, in thrilling fashion.

After losing the lead late, Galko rallied back to regain the top spot and win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It was the first career victory in the division for Galko, who has been driving an SK Modified at the track since 2012.

“I thought it was going to be another night when I had the winning car and just finished on the podium,” Galko said.

Chase Dowling of Roxbury was second and Ryan Preece of Berlin third.

Galko dedicated the victory to his mother Debbie, who suffered a stroke on May 5. She was back at the track for the first time since the stroke on Friday.

“We were joking around that the bad luck we had for the first couple weeks was because she wasn’t here and I couldn’t win until she got here,” Galko said. “… That’s the biggest thing that I find joy in tonight, winning it for her.”

Galko went to the lead past Dan Avery on lap five. Dowling, who had won two of the first three events of the season, moved to second on lap 23.

On lap 33 Dowling got under Galko off of turn four to take over the lead.

“My car started off a little tight and I expected it to come and Dowling’s car was coming in,” Galko said. “And he caught me in a hurry and I tried something bold in turn three to try to cross him over and it didn’t work. I thought that lost me the race.”

But the caution flew again on lap 36, giving Galko another shot at Dowling. On lap 37 Galko made the move under Dowling off turn two. The two went-by-side for the remainder of the lap, with Galko leading at the start/finish line by a bumper.

On lap 38 Galko was able to clear himself of Dowling on the outside for the lead.

“At first I was cursing the caution flag because I figured, just come in for second,” Galko said. “But I was able to get the good run and my spotter was able to clear me coming off of turn two and I crossed him over and I held him to the outside. I knew if he got to the bottom he would have got me. I held him to the outside and I think that just won us the race. … The stars finally aligned for us to win.”

Said Dowling: “Tough one to swallow there, but Galko deserved that one. I gave him all I could.”


  1. Did you see that finish? 3 cars under a blanket at the end vying for a chance to win with any misstep sure to spell doom for a great finish and three cars right behind ready to take advantage. Really is there any better racing then 40 laps of SK’s. 3 winners in 4 races. Honorable mention to the Lights once again starting 27 cars and dicing it up spectacularly.
    The raspberry goes to the Late Models once again spread out at the end and boring. Also the Limited Late Models with 12 cars in the feature with one third of the cars coming from two families.

  2. The recipe for a really great racing and a packed house right under Arutes nose and he just can’t see it. They only need 3 weekly divisions and drop the admission and they will have 30 cars per plus a full grandstand…

  3. Rollie Jacobs. Remember him? Mainly at Riverside Park announcing the races and sometimes at Stafford. What a pleasant call he had of the races. Not feeling he had to fill every second but at times letting the action speak for itself. But always prepared to make the call when the action got heated. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Matt Buckler. A metaphor junkie at times making ridiculous comparisons when it would be better for him to not say anything. “Close as lipstick on a collar”, “as he pile drives into the corner”, a “coronation for Tom Fearn”. Since when is the first win of the season for a multi decade winner a coronation.That’s nitpicking but it goes on all night long. How great it would be to just hear a Rollie Jacobs like call of the action without the announcer injecting nonsense. The strange thing is Buckler didn’t used to be like he is today. In 2001 his calls were straightforward, professional and the ridiculous metaphors totally absent.

  4. D. Trickle says

    I like the car counts

  5. Without tc and rocco
    Only if tc has a wreck can anyone else win
    Ha ha

  6. Good job matt
    Another plainville legend
    Best announcer I ever heard
    Doug always has negative comments
    Bet he always wanted to be a part of stafford and is not
    There is always folks in life who sit back and do nothing but be negative
    I’m done commenting till doug gets help for his negativity

  7. Best race of the evening! Doug’s first post nailed it… It was a stand and watch finish right to the stripe. Pennink and TC added excitement as they worked back from the early mess.

  8. Just a fan. says

    Congrats to Matt Galko on his first SK victory,

  9. Congratulations to Matt also… Stafford sk division is the toughest in the Northeast!!!

  10. How tough is it in the SK division. The most dominant car so far, Chase Dowlings couldn’t beat a guy that has never won and who beat him off repeatedly. Two time champ Rowan Pennik so far this year not only has not won he has spent few if any laps in the lead of any race. Eric Berndt who won two races last year is struggling to even get one decent finish. It’s absolutely brutal. We the fans are the recipients of the incredible competition only marred by Matt Bucklers nonsensical description of terrific action. Avalanching and mesmerizing your way past cars is nonsense the belittles the tremendous action.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing