Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – New England Modified and SK Modified standout Matt Galko will be broadening his racing horizons substantially by competing in the TQ Midget events at the NAPA Know How Indoor Auto Racing Series races inside Atlantic City, NJ’s famed Boardwalk Hall.
Galko of Meriden. CT, is the latest entrant for the BELFOR Concrete Series events part of the Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series fueled by VP Racing Fuels, being held Friday and Saturday, January 31st and February 1st. The 26 year-old driver will be making his first start indoors and in a TQ Midget behind the wheel of a car owned by Nick Giordano of Oxford, CT.
“I’ve been to Atlantic City before, about four years ago, but only to watch. Coming back to drive was on my bucket list and now I have the opportunity,” Galko said.
The chance to race came about when car owner Giordano’s 2020 Indoor Auto Racing Series driver Derek Robbie had a date conflict with the Atlantic City race. Though Robbie will be in the car again at the series finale in Syracuse, N.Y. on March 13th and 14th, Galko is Atlantic City bound.
“I think I have as good a chance as anybody,” Galko said. “I’ve always been able to learn new tracks pretty quickly.”
Galko’s progression started with Quarter Midgets, then Half Midgets and ultimately Micro Sprints on dirt at the now closed Whip City Speedway in Massachusetts. He then moved to asphalt racing for the first time, and moved through the ranks at Stafford Motor Speedway to become a feature winning SK Modified driver.
For the 2020 outdoor season, however, Galko and his family-owned team is heading in a different direction.
“We’re going to run as many of the Open Modified races as we can,” Galko said. “There are a lot of them at Stafford, the Tri Track Open Modified Series has a good schedule at different tracks and there are other opportunities to race a Tour Mod including the Tour itself.”
Andy Jankowiak, Ryan Flores and Erick Rudolph, the last three winners of the headline Gambler’s Classic TQ Midget races in the building come to Atlantic City are pre-race favorites.
‘Andy J’ of Buffalo, N.Y. still savors his 2019 Gambler’s Classic win as the highlight of his driving career and he wants nothing more to do it again.
After two rounds of Indoor Auto Racing Series action fueled by VP Racing Fuels, Matt Janisch is the current leader in the Championship standings. Janisch, of Nazareth, PA, had Allentown finishes of third and seventh.
Janisch leads upstate New York dirt Modified driver Ryan Bartlett in the TQ standings heading into Atlantic City by ten points. Bartlett made his first start behind the wheel of a new-to-him Lafler built TQ Midget.
Allentown, Pa. opener winner Erick Rudolph is third, 17 markers out of first and Briggs Danner is fourth, 20 points out of the lead. Jankiowiak completes the top five, 24 points out of first.
Jeremy Haudricourt, Shawn Nye, Tim Buckwalter, Ryan Flores, who also won in Allentown, and Anthony Payne are sixth through tenth.
The wild and crazy Slingshots and darty Champ Karts will make up the tripleheader program as they have in the past.
Dylan Hoch and Tyler Brown, winners of the Allentown Indoor opening races in Slingshot and Champ Kart action, are atop their point standings heading into Atlantic City.
Danny Buccafusca is the reigning Atlantic City Indoor Slingshot race winner and Doug Stearly was the 2019 Champ Kart Atlantic City race winner. Both are entered in this year’s races.
Racing action begins on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday action getting the green flag at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 on Friday night. On Saturday doors open at 5 p.m. with fans holding reserved tickets given the opportunity to attend Fan Fest on the speedway. All cars competing in the program will be positioned on the speedway and drivers made available for autographs until 6:30.
Following the BELFOR“Concrete Series event in Atlantic City, a special non-point event for Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series fueled by VP Racing Fuels, will be held on a banked clay oval. The third annual East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals will again be held at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J. on Friday and Saturday nights February 21st and 22nd featuring nearly 100 wingless 600cc Sprints.
The “Concrete Series” season finale follows on Friday and Saturday March 13th and 14th in a second year return to the brand new Expo Center located on the grounds of the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. N.Y.
Tickets are currently available in a range of different prices for all the Indoor Series events through links on www.indoorautoracing.com and the different venue box offices.
Lower level reserved seats for Saturday night in Atlantic City, which will gain attendees’ access to the coveted Fanfest are nearly sold out, but plenty of additional tickets are still available.