Gallagher Perseveres in Rough and Tumble Day at Martinsville
After posting the fourth-quickest lap in the weekend’s opening practice, Gallagher took the green flag in the Kroger 200 from the 20th position. In typical Martinsville fashion, the close-quarters racing yielded several caution flags in the race’s opening stages, during which Gallagher reported he was “tight on exit on throttle”. Under the second yellow at lap 35, Gallagher brought his Allegiant Travel Chevrolet to the attention of his GMS Racing crew to remedy the handling balance with four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment. However, the tight balance on exit persisted, but helped preserve Gallagher’s forward bite, a rare commodity at Martinsville, and allowed him to advance to 13th by the race’s fourth caution on lap 74.
In his 100th-career NASCAR start as a crew chief, Jeff Stankiewicz employed an off-sequence pit strategy, bringing Gallagher to pit road under the caution, and proceeded to advance from 28th to 12th on the ensuing, 31-lap green-flag stint. The lap 122 caution presented Stankiewicz the opportunity to take two left-side Goodyear tires to gain track position and restart third on lap 130. While Gallagher’s tight handling condition thwarted his stay in the top five, he flexed his muscle to stay inside the top 10 into the waning laps.
With seven laps remaining, Gallagher was collected in a multi-truck incident on the backstretch while running tenth. As he came to pit road to repair sheet metal damage, a subsequent battery issue kept him on pit road for an extended pit stop. The late-race misfortune relegated the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to a 29th-place finish, four laps down. With three races remaining, Gallagher is 10th in the NCWTS driver championship point standings.
SPENCER GALLAGHER QUOTE:
“We had a top-ten truck today, and we showed that by running in the top five late in the race. We had very good long run speed, but it wasn’t a long-run kind of a day. Later on, we put two tires on. It was a great call by Jeff (Stankiewicz) to get some track position. We got a little too tight after that, fell back (in the running order), and got caught up in a couple of wrecks. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll head to Texas (Motor Speedway) where I know my GMS Racing team will bring another great Allegiant Travel Chevrolet. We had a good run in the spring there and hopefully we can build some momentum during these last three races of the season.”
GMS Racing PR
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