NHIS THURSDAY NOTES: Presented by Marty's USRV by Mike Twist
Kelly's Back on Track, Tracy and Nevin Wreck, Gallo Ready to Come From Back and More
KELLY COMES BACK
Before the start of the 2005 season, there had been less than a half dozen events in the history of the Busch North Series that Kelly Moore had not entered. This season, he went back to a limited schedule with the emphasis of the family team being on helping his son Ryan go fast. Now after sitting out the first three races of the year, Kelly is back behind the wheel at New Hampshire.
“I’ve got to put my deal on the back burner because Ryan’s got a great opportunity,” said Kelly. “I want to make sure that he makes the best of it. I’ve won a lot of races and done a lot of traveling to a lot of racetracks myself. I’m still going to the races with him. I’ve been really involved with setting up the car with his crew chief. I’m just not getting so hot and sweaty so much.”
The humid weather on Thursday didn’t help to avoid that from happening.
“It feels great except for this part, I’m hotter than hell right now,” said a toasted Kelly after climbing from his car after practice.”
The decision to concentrate on Ryan’s #74 entry has paid off so far this year. Ryan won his first Busch North event last week at Lake Erie Speedway and topped the Busch North practice sheets at NHIS. Kelly was a very proud father last weekend standing in victory lane in street clothes for the first time in the series.
“I’ve been win him for almost all of his wins,” said Kelly. “He’s been to the racetrack a lot without me, but I don’t think that he’s won at all without me there. That feels great.”
GEORGE HAS STRANGE OCCURANCE LEAD TO HARD WRECK
Nevin George is doing double duty at New Hampshire this weekend, with entries in both the Busch North and Modified races. The Modified portion of the weekend started out with a bang when something very odd led to a hard crash. George was unhurt. His #0 wasn’t.
“This is my track,” said Gallo. “I race three times a year – two at Loudon and one race at Dover. What a way it started. Our engine didn’t pass tech and then it decided to blow up. We had to put our engine in and luckily it’s the one that we tested here. We just had a great happy hour. Thank God we got some laps in.”
With qualifying rained out and the field set by points, Gallo will have to start on the back row in 35th. That will make a good finish more challenging, but not impossible.
“Ryan Moore is going to be the man to beat tomorrow and I’m trying to get as good as him. Usually I don’t get run away from here. But I think that we are going to have a really good car to come up through. We’ve got to be
smart and we’ve got to do some pit strategy. We’ve got to get going because we’ll be starting near the tail end of the field. I’m used to starting up front here. I think that we’ll have a really good car and it will be fun watching us get to the front.”
SHORT TRACKERS GET CUP OPPORTUNITITIES
Two NASCAR Touring regulars will get opportunities in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series this weekend. After running both Cup races at NHIS last year, Ted Christopher will be back in Kirk Shelmerdine’s car. Joey McCarthy will join him as well in attempting to qualify for the race. McCarthy will drive the #34 Mach One car that has been previously wheeled this year by Randy LaJoie and Jeff Fuller.
LOFTIN GOES NORTH
Two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers, Brian Loftin and Alex Hoag, made the tow to NHIS. The track is not unfamiliar ground to Loftin, who drove the #79 car in last September’s event at the Magic Mile.
Kelly Moore (L) and his son Ryan (C) talk with NASCAR's Don Hawk. (51 Photos)
TRACY GOES HOME AFTER WRECKING
Also wrecking on Thursday, but not getting back on the track was Tracy Gordon. The Maine driver wrecked his #33 Busch North car in practice and had to load it up and go home when the damage was too severe to fix at the track.
GALLO READY TO COME FROM BACK IN BUSCH NORTH
Former Lee USA Speedway (NH) regular Mike Gallo doesn’t get out to many races during the year. The Maine driver has shown that he is more than capable of running up front, but limited resources means that he has to pick his races wisely. He goes to NHIS twice a year and always runs strong enough to contend for poles and race wins there.
“I came up here last year with the Hillbillys,” said Loftin. “I like the track, if we can get a better handle on it, I’d like it more. We’ve got a decent car. It’s not as good as I would like it. I think that we can definitely run mid pack and maybe get it better than that.”
Taking a road trip was an easy decision for Loftin and his team to make.
“We want to race and there’s not any racing going on down there. So we decided to come up here. This race pays well and you can justify coming when it pays like that, so we decided to come up here and play.”
Brian Loftin looks over his #2 ride. His normal #23 is used on the Modified Tour by Gregg Shivers.
“I’m fine,” said George. “Some freaky stuff has been happening this year. A left front valve stem core, the inside, actually fell apart on the tire and the left front tire blew off the rim going into turn one. It’s too fast here to get it wooed up enough to not hit the wall.”
The team did not have a back-up car at the track, so they were forced to repair their primary car.
“We’ll repair it and fix it, today we’ve been concentrating on the Busch North car. We are going to build some A-Frames for it [the Modified] tonight, so it will be ready to race. I don’t know if Ralph [Solem] - the team owner] is going back to the shop [in Milford, Connecticut] or if he’s going to use someone’s shop up here yet.”
HAYDT ADJUSTS TO NHIS
Rookie Modified driver Tyler Haydt has never run at NHIS and running there for the first time is quite a different experience for the young short tracker.
“I don’t really know what to think yet,” said Haydt. “We’re not doing too hot so far. We’ll get to run the laps and learn something. This isn’t even close to anything I’ve driven before.”