8/7/2015 – Matt and Chris Stevens steal each others wins at “Masters of Oswego Karting” Twin-Feature Night!


FRIDAY, AUGUST 7th, 2015, OSWEGO, NY – There were some crazy accidents this week at Galletta’s (one would almost think there was a full moon out, but there wasn’t). Early leaders spun and collected others and put point leaders Chris and Matt up front again. Usually whomever gets to the lead first between the bros wins. But there was some shenanigans that had the bros pretty competitively mad at each other (happens once or twice a year since they’re always so close in points). Chris had the lead in the 1st and Matt used lapped traffic getting sideways to trap Chris for the win, much to Chris’ displeasure, as that passing flag apparently simply does not exist anymore. Chris tried to return the favor to Matt in the 2nd feature, but this time the traffic spun out and saved Matt from getting passed the same way back. Chris then rode Matt’s bumper, one lap pushing him into loose dirt, enabling Chris to sneak by his little bro to win the 2nd feature, much to the anger of Matt. But in reality, every other karter should be getting mad because Chris and Matt keep hogging the wins in Oswego’s oldest and longest running karting division! But Matt has succeeded again with creating a new setup on the #9 to help heavyweight drivers to compete with lighter ones (he weighed himself own over 40 lbs. to test the kart, and had plenty of power to spare, proved in the win and near sweep!). More details forthcoming! Come back soon!

FEATURE #1:
1st feature was scheduled to go at 7pm, but Billy Ruggio, George Sweeting and Eric Woolworth claimed to be coming, and Matt prepared their karts. This set the entire show back, and none of the three came. New rule: When your kart is prepped to race because you are scheduled to make it — especially when the show is delayed to allow for you to make it — and you do not show, you lose 10 points. All three lose -10 points, as well as SMHs from all at the track.
 photo 2015-08-07-01h18m44s347.jpg
Matt Stevens has always worked on getting all his Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing Team karts up to par. His project the last few weeks has been making the #9 a competitive kart for heaver drivers, with a bigger cam. He weighed himself down with an extra 40 lbs. to make him the equivelent of the average 230 lbs. driver. Let’s see how he did.

1st 35-Lap Feature – Starting Lineup:
1. Kevin Finn (Galletta’s Greenhouse #6)
2. Kevin Galletta (Galletta Bros. #54)
3. Adam Lytle (Lytle Racing #33c)
4. Keith Raymond (Good Guys Barbershop #88)
5. Matt Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #9)
6. Chris Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #4)
7. Melissa Stevens (Scissors n’ Fur #19) = Elected to start in back
8. DID NOT SHOW: Billy Ruggio (-10 points)
9. DID NOT SHOW: George Sweeting (-10 points)
10. DID NOT SHOW: Eric Woolworth (-10 points)

 photo 2015-08-07-01h07m03s396.jpg
In the early going a  few wrecks and a pass set up points-and-wins leader Chris Stevens in the lead early. 

 photo vlcsnap-2015-08-07-01h08m01.jpg
Matt’s usual moves in his smaller #3 and #33 didn’t quite work here. He uncharacteristically spun out in the Galletta’s Greenhouse #9 attempting his patented kick-out-the-back low groove move in turn 1! Rare. You won’t see that anytime soon, maybe never.

 photo 2015-08-07-1st-lead-battle.jpg
Chris’s domination of the feature ended when the lapped traffic of Kevin Finn got loose in turn 4, Chris slowed momentarily to avoid and attempt a clean pass, but Matt was in the right place at the right time, trapped Chris and slingshotted past both the #6 and #4. Chris – furious at getting passed in lapped traffic for the lead by Matt THREE times this year – rode his bumper for a few laps, but Matt held on for the win when Chris himself got in a loose patch of track.

1st 35-Lap Feature – Finish:
1. Matt Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #9)
2. Chris Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #4)
3. Adam Lytle (Lytle Racing #33c)
4. Keith Raymond (Good Guys Barbershop #88)
5. Kevin Galletta (Galletta Bros. #54) 
6. Kevin Finn (Galletta’s Greenhouse #6)
7. Melissa Stevens (Scissors n’ Fur #19) – DNF
    MAKEUP RACE CREDITS:
8. Tyler Buskey (Buskey #??) – counted from 4th in 8/22/2015 Makeup race
     DQ-ed points for holding up show with non-appearance
-. DID NOT SHOW: Billy Ruggio (-10 points)
-. DID NOT SHOW: George Sweeting (-10 points)
-. DID NOT SHOW: Eric Woolworth (-10 points)


FEATURE #2
Since it got dark and the 1st feature had it’s share of spinouts, we reduced the 2nd feature to 25 laps.

2nd 25-Lap Feature – Start:
1. Kevin Finn (Good Guys Barbershop #88)
2. Kevin Galletta (Galletta Bros. #28) 
3. Keith Raymond (Galletta’s Greenhouse #6)
4. Chris Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #4)
5. Matt Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #9)
6. Adam Lytle (Lytle Racing #33c) – DNS
7. Melissa Stevens (Scissors n’ Fur #19) – DNS

 photo vlcsnap-2015-08-07-fet2.jpg
Kevin Finn led the early going in the Galletta’s #6, but spun out right when Chris Stevens trying to vice versa the same thing that Matt did to him in the 1st feature – trapping Matt behind Finn, passing them both and taking the lead. But Finn spun out, setting up Matt in the lead.

 photo 2015-08-07-feature-2-war.jpg
Chris was riding Matt’s bumper for around ten laps until the #4 nudged the #9 into a loose patch in turns 3 & 4. Chris took the lead and this time Matt was pissed that Chris raced dirty. Chris felt the same getting trapped in lapped traffic with no passing flag all year. A few times a year, the points races are so close between the usually evenly-matched Chris and Matt that they get pretty heated competitively trading wins.

2nd 25-Lap Feature – Finish:
1. Chris Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #4)
2. Matt Stevens (Galletta’s Greenhouse #9)
3. Kevin Galletta (Galletta Bros. #28) 
4. Kevin Finn (Good Guys Barbershop #88, Ruggio Racing #02)
5. Keith Raymond (Galletta’s Greenhouse #6)
6. Adam Lytle (Lytle Racing #33c) – DNS
7. Melissa Stevens (Scissors n’ Fur #19) – DNS
     MAKEUP CREDITS:
8. Tyler Buskey (Buskey #??) – counted from 4th in 8/22/2015 Makeup race     
    

Now, to the points…

2015 Gas Flathead National Championship / 2015 Galletta’s Greenhouse Karting Speedway Point Standings

As of completion of 6/7/2015 – 8/6/2015’s race events in the 20th Annual World Championship of Clockwise Gas Stock Flathead Karting

Position
(Prior)
Name (Go-Karts Piloted)
®=Rookie *=Makeup Features T =Timeout
k=Mid-race Kart Change (-5pt) D = Delay Penalty

Total Points
(Place)

Average
Points
Per
Feature
Features
Feature
Wins
Win
%
Heats
Won/
Enter
Years
Pro
at
Galletta’s
All-Time
Track
Feature
Wins
1st
Chris Stevens
(Galletta’s #8, 4, 0, 5)
k
1,477.00
113.62
13
5
38%
0/2
20th
76
2nd
Matt Stevens
(Galletta’s #33,
3, 9, 74, 1, 2)
t
1,400.00
107.69
13
4
31%
0/2
20th
129
3rd
Adam Lytle
(Lytle #33c)
1,292.50
99.42
13
1
8%
0/2
4th
3
4th
Keith Raymond
(Good Guys Barbers. #88,
Galletta’s #6)
1,239.00
103.25
12
2
17%
1/2
2nd
2
5th
Kevin Galletta
(Galletta Bros. #28, 54)
* t
1,208.00
92.92
13
0
0%
1/2
3rd
2
6th
Melissa Stevens
(Scissors ‘n Fur #19
)
938.00
72.15
13
0
0%
0/2
8th
7
7th
George Sweeting
(Galletta’s #7,
Sweeting #81) ® k
* D
613.50
87.64
7
0
0%
1/2
®
0
8th
Eric Woolworth
(Woolworth #78) D
477.50
95.50
5
1
20%
0/0
4th
5
9th
Nick Cameron
(Galletta Bros. #54,
Galletta’s #7)
®**
438.00
73.00
6
0
0%
0/1
®
0
10th
 photo 20140810-unknown-n00B-6.jpgRay Castaldo
(
Galletta’s #7, 5, 1)
372.00
74.40
5
0
0%
0/0
®
0
11th
Kevin Finn
(Galletta’s #6, 9) ®*k
329.00
82.25
4
0
0%
0/1
®
0
12th
Brian Galletta
(Galletta Bros. #42,
28)
297.00
99.00
3
0
0%
0/1
8th
8
13th

Ray Lewis
(Galletta’s Greenhouse #9) ®

199.00
199.00
1
0
0%
0/1
®
0
14th
Branden 'Tumor' Matott (Galletta's/Matott #187-2) 9/2014Branden ‘Tumor’ Matott
(Matott #187²)
164.00
82.00
2
0
0%
0/0
2nd
0
15th
Liam Shaughnessy
(Galletta’s #1)
®
122.00
122.00
1
0
0%
0/1
®
0
16th

David Demling
(Galletta’s #6) ®

115.00
115.00
1
0
0%
1/1
®
0
17th tie
Kristina McCann
(Galletta’s #2) ®
87.50
87.50
1
0
0%
0/0
®
0
17th tie
Brielle Wilkins
(Galletta’s #1) ®
87.50
87.50
1
0
0%
0/1
®
0
19th
William “Billy” Ruggio
(Ruggio Racing #02) D
-10.00
-10.00
0
0
0%
0/0
2nd
0

Handicap Starting Order for the next race:

Inverted by the Galletta’s handicap system of inverting (1) wins and then (2) points-per-race. 

Handicap
Position
Name
1
Ray Castaldo [choice]
2
Nick Cameron [choice]
3
George Sweeting [choice]
4
Ray Lewis [choice]
5
Kevin Finn [choice]
6
Branden Matott [choice]
7
Melissa Stevens [choice]
8
Brian Galletta
9
Kevin Galletta
10
Eric Woolworth (1)
11
Adam Lytle (1)
12
Keith Raymond (2)
13
Matt Stevens (4)
14
Chris Stevens (5)
15
Returning Veterans
16
Rookie/N00bs

KEY:
[choice] = Choice of waiving the handicap spot to start last.
(*#*) = 2015 Feature Wins


Post-race comments:
So why do Matt and Chris keep winning?


[Bigger version of victory pic]

Matt and Chris have been 1st and 2nd in every point standings race they have raced in for the last twenty years at their house track Galletta’s and three years at Oswego Kartway (formerly Oswego Speedway Dirt Track). Nothing new there. But the last three seasons or so have been different from recent years past, as Chris and Matt have been getting up to the front and winning most of them. Granted they have been racing these karts on this track for points for 20 seasons (more counting our pre-points seasons), and we like to do a wink-and-a-nod bragging on the website on how Chris and Matt have been racing go-karts longer than most of the pay track karting drivers even knew what a karting race was or where a karting track could be found. But it’s not just experience, because in past years they’ve still had more experience than most of the competition but simply weren’t winning on this high of a clip (and the guys racing are all very good and getting more and more savvy every single week). But the past two or three years have been different from just a few short years ago. What is it?

For example, the past couple of seasons have been a far cry from years past. For example, in 2010, we had TEN different winners in our first ELEVEN features, and by years end, FIFTEEN DIFFERENT WINNERS won between the TWENTY-ONE features ran, including someone besides Matt, Chris (or Wes) winning the Klassic 200! In the past few seasons the varied winners circle has been significantly reduced. 2009 through 2015 have had the same rules and the same karts on the same track. Some of even the same engines, a couple new karts and a couple karts missing. So mostly everything has been the same. But what is the difference?

Simple. Driver attendance. The past two or three seasons, we simply have not had enough regular drivers out there competing. The competition levels are mostly the same, but there are less drivers battling bumper-to-bumper for wins, and a few less guys with 4 or more years experience racing (those few years mean A LOT in race experience). One, two, three or four drivers with one to five years experience are going to make a more competitive and harder-to-win race than what we’ve been having. This isn’t a negative on our current drivers. They’re all good and getting better every race. This is a negative on the people who STOPPED racing. There’s just less competition.

From the mid 2000s to around 2013, we used to have 10-15 drivers every single week, while in the past three or so seasons we’ve only had 6-9 drivers a week. The more drivers means not only more potential drivers to win (and some of them may be more experienced than others) but also more drivers to pass even if you are a crafty veteran. The less drivers on track usually favors the more experienced drivers, and hurts the guys who need track time to get steadier, pass people and maintain leads when they get them. The current crop of drivers could beat most of the guys who won in 2009-2013. But there isn’t enough guys and Chris and Matt’s experience comes into play in avoiding wrecks and capitalizing on driver errors or mechanical failures. The more drivers on track favors the ones who start up front OR the guy who can still manage to get up front. The more drivers on track usually equals a bigger amount of different winners.

Don’t like seeing Matt and Chris win 60-80% of the races? Come up and fill butts in kart seats. Some years they won no more than others (the above mentioned 2010, out of 21 features, Matt only had 3 wins and Chris only had 1. That’s a LOT of other features won by other drivers. But not enough drivers are out there slowing them down!

We all just need more competition at the track to help EVERYONE have fun races. So… come on up!

Well… unless you’re scared.

Quite frankly, and unfortunately, we know that is mostly the reason why. Sad.

See you at the track. (Well. HOPE to… but not holding our breaths.)