Matt Galko Returning Home For NAPA Spring Sizzler At Stafford

Matt Galko (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Over the years at Stafford Motor Speedway, Matt Galko has proved to be a race-winning driver.   Galko scored back to back SK Light championships in his first 2 seasons of competition at Stafford in 2010 and 2011, winning 8 races between those championship seasons.  Galko added two more wins in the SK Modified® division from 2012-2019 before going Open Modified racing in 2020.  Galko is still in search of his first open modified feature victory and he feels like the 52nd Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®, set for April 27-28, can serve as the perfect setting for that breakthrough victory for himself and his #3 AAA Consulting, LLC. team.

“I’m 100% confident that we’re going to be a contender,” said Galko.  “It’s tough to win one of these races because you have to have your setup right, your tires right, your pitstop right, and I can’t make any mistakes as the driver.  I think we found a couple of things at the Fall Final last season and I think we had the car to beat that day, we just fell behind a little on our pitstop that cost us a couple of spots.  We were able to drive from around 15th after the pit stop back up to third and I think if there was one more lap, we could have got by Ron Silk for second and then with traffic and things, I think we could have made it a good show with Matt Hirschman.  Our confidence is pretty high right now and if we can get the car half as good as it was at the Fall Final, we should be pretty good at the Sizzler®.”

Galko’s off-track career landed him in North Carolina back in January where he is now working as part of the engineering team in the research and development department for Joe Gibbs Racing.  With Galko in North Carolina and his crew and car still in Connecticut, he is relying on his team and the return of Stash Butova as his crew chief to make sure the #3 car will be up to par when it takes to the track on April 27-28.

“We’re happy to have Stash Butova back on board as the crew chief after I tried to do my own thing last year and it ended up being a lot for me to drive and worry about everything else,” said Galko.  “Having him back with us is a huge help.  Being down in North Carolina, I can’t do this without my Dad, Stash, Dave, and all the guys.  They’ve been busy picking through the car and even though I’m not able to help them, I have full confidence that they’ll have the car in top shape.  I’m an extremely hands-on person, so it’s very hard for me to not be there helping and it’s been a lot for me to step back and have trust in the guys.”

Although NASCAR Cup cars are vastly different from modified cars, Galko has learned a few tricks of the trade working at JGR that he can take and apply to his #3 car.

“The Cup car is a totally different animal than an open wheel modified car, but there’s a lot of things I’ve learned in the setup world such as how to get things more accurate and more repeatable and those are things that I can take and apply to the modified,” said Galko.  “There’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle and looking back at the Fall Final last year, I’d say we had about 90% of the puzzle pieces and that last 10% we were missing was enough to cost us the win and finish third.  Racing against guys who have had half a dozen races already under their belts this season when this will be our first race will be hard, but I’ve got enough laps at Stafford and if we all do our jobs, I think we can be celebrating in victory lane.”

In addition to Galko looking for his first Open Modified feature victory, he is looking to extend the fact that he has won in every racing division he has competed in to include Open Modifieds.  A victory in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” would mean the world to Galko on several fronts.

“Winning the Sizzler® would mean the world to us,” said Galko.  “I’ve rewatched the Fall Final a couple of times now and every time it gets me a little more amped up that we were that close to winning at Stafford.  I take pride in the fact that we’ve won in every division that we’ve raced in and the only division we haven’t won in yet is the tour type modifieds.  With our budget, tour type modifieds is probably as high a level as we’re going to go so to be able to cross off a win in that division would be everything to us.  My grandfather is getting older so I’d really like to get a win for him and for my father who has put so much time, money, and effort into the car.  We’ve got a nice spot in the shop and my house for the trophy that we haven’t collected yet, so hopefully we can fill that spot before we know it.  It will be sweet for sure once we finally nail everything and we can win a race.”

The 52nd Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28.  Saturday, April 27th and will consist of two 40-lap NAPA Duel qualifying races for the Open Modified division. The 40-lap races will each pay $3,500 to win and will set the field for Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler®.  Stafford’s Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions will complete Saturday’s racing program with qualifying and feature racing.

Order 52nd NAPA Spring Sizzler® Tickets

Sponsor a NAPA Spring Sizzler® Lap 

Sunday, April 28th will play host to the $20,000 to win 52nd NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.  Filling out Sunday’s racing card will be qualifying and feature racing for the SK Modified® and SK Light Modified divisions along with last chance qualifiers for the NAPA Spring Sizzler®. 

For more information, visit, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

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