Saturday, October 10th, 2020 – The Galletta’s Greenhouse Go-Karting Klassic began in 1995 — a quarter of a century ago! The annual running to decide our yearly champion (in both points and the Klassic itself) was modeled after brothers Chris and Matt Stevens’ love of Supermodified racing at Oswego Speedway, with just themselves and their dad in yard karts in the backyard behind Galletta’s Greenhouse, where they lived as kids and now each have homes on the property with kids of their own.

Little did we know that 25 years later, we’d have around 20 karts on hand (although some come and go depending on different owners), hundreds of people would have raced with us over the years, we’d have 12 (sometimes more) drivers on track, and we’d actually run a Klassic when our model — Oswego Speedway — couldn’t run theirs due to the COVID-19 restrictions passed down by the State leadership hundreds of miles away.

We also couldn’t have predicted running one without Brian Galletta.

In Memory of Brian Galletta

Much like the entire season, the race was ran in honor of Brian Galletta, one of the original members of the club, and 1st cousin to the founding brothers Chris and Matt Stevens who sadly passed away last Christmas 2019. Brian always supported the club, raced as much as he could in it, and LOVED the Klassic itself — even when his health prevented him from racing like he used to, he’d cheer on his brother Kevin (who drives his old kart), assist in flagging, try to recruit new drivers… ANYTHING he could. When health issues took him out of racing, he put his brother Kevin in his kart and cheered him on every lap!

We had originally planned to have an All-Galletta Invitational Race in memory of Brian, but COVID-19 restricted out-of-state members of the family from even think about trying. We plan to schedule a proper race in his memory when the COVID-19 restrictions abide, which hopefully will be sometime in the Summer of 2021 (unless our politicians continue to use it to wreck the economy via even more needlessly excessive shutdowns. Sorry, but not sorry. Pray that don’t happen, and vote for your freedoms, not elitist NPC-programming!).

But regardless, we knew he was watching from above, and doubtlessly cheering for his bro. The rain probably was a prank to let us know he was, knowing Brian and thinking of his always-up-to-something smirk! 😉

10/9/2020 – 25th Annual Galletta’s Klassic Time Trials (Day One)

Day one will be locked in unless a driver does not time, wishes to time the
same kart again, or wishes to time a different kart. Subject to change!

Driver Kart Warmup Lap 1 Lap 2 Total
Chris Stevens #4 N/A 16.38 16.53 32.91
Matt Stevens #3 N/A 16.57 16.65 33.22
Travis Bartlett #33c 17.06 17.23 17.01 34.24
Steve Sixberry #5 16.93 16.90 17.10 34.00
David Hartpence Jr. #0 17.12 16.73 17.05 33.78
Justin Thurston #6 17.50 17.15 17.29 34.44
Dave Hartpence Sr. #43 17.45 17.22 16.93 34.15
Tony Hemingway #2 19.58 18.47 18.72 37.19
Andrew Hook #78 17.03 17.41 16.96 34.37
* Kelly Miller #9 N/A N/A N/A N/A
* Steve Perez Miller #7 N/A N/A N/A N/A
* Griffin Miller #? N/A N/A N/A N/A

* = Note: Kelly Miller, Steve Perez Miller, and Griffin Miller were at Friday Night’s Time Trial sessions and slated to time, but as it started (and the smartphone that the timer was on went haywire and delayed us some — later on, Chris had to take the phone to the repair shop 4 times before his Warranty recovered a brand new phone, as something on the phone just inexplicably died), Kelly decided we were on too late of a schedule (again) and went home (again), vowing to never return (again). We are unsure why Kelly gets so upset and storms off, as he should know that Matt (who is in full charge of start times and nobody else can change them but him) usually is behind in his kart maintenance and we usually don’t start early enough for most (we know that has lost us many a driver over the years). We would like for Kelly to come back (as usual), especially considering that Matt always bends over backwards to make sure that Kelly has the fastest/most power-setup kart every single time he comes, bar-none! But, other drivers were happy, as Kelly’s departure left two of the most powerful karts open, and the seats were filled VERY quickly on day two!

10/10/2020 – 25th Annual Galletta’s Klassic Time Trials (Day Two)

Day two had 3 more drivers time and two re-times that forfeited their day
one times.

Driver Kart Warmup Lap 1 Lap 2 Total
Nic Olivares #1 16.95 17.19 17.29 34.48
Steve Sixberry #7 16.52 16.54 17.39 33.93
Travis Bartlett #9 16.69 16.71 16.83 33.54
Melissa Stevens #19 17.59 17.51 17.49 35.00
Kevin Galletta #28 17.15 16.90 16.95 33.85

Update: Upon discussion, Matt and the active drivers dropped the Day One forfeit rule and Day Two times were allowed no matter if a driver tried on Day One. This helped Steve Sixberry score front row and Travis Bartlett scored 2nd row in the #7 and #9 karts respectively — the two karts that that the Father-and-Son Millers vacated!

10/10/2020 – 25th Annual Galletta’s Klassic Starting Lineup

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1st. Christopher Stevens – R&C Sushi / Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #4 (16.38)

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2nd. Steve Sixberry – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #7 (16.54) Heh.

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3rd. Matt Stevens – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #3 (16.57)

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4th. Travis Bartlett – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #9 (16.71)

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5th. David Hartpence Jr. – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #0 (16.73)

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6th. Kevin Galletta – Phat Cat Racing (maintained by Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing) #28 (16.90)

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7th. Dave Hartpence Sr. – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #43 (16.93)

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8th. Andrew Hook – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #78 (16.96)

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9th. Justin Thurston – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #6 (17.15)

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10th. Nicolas Olivares – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #1 (17.19)

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11th. Tony Hemingway – Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #2 (18.47)

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12th. Melissa Stevens – Scissors n Fur (maintained by Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing) #19 (17.49)

Open Seats (Backups):
– Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #8 & #01 (Chris Stevens’ Backups)
– Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #33 & #74 (Matt Stevens’ Backups)
– Scissors N Fur [maintained by Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing] #80 (Melissa Stevens’ Backup)
– Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #5 (Open Ride)
– Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #33c (Open Ride),
– Galletta’s Greenhouse Racing #93 (Open Ride),

Chris Stevens #4
16.38
Steve Sixberry #7
16.54
Matt Stevens #3
16.57
Travis Bartlett #9
16.71
David Hartpence Jr. #0
16.73
Kevin Galletta #28
16.90
Dave Hartpence Sr. #43
16.93
Andrew Hook #78
16.96
Justin Thurston #6
17.15
Nicolas Olivares #1
17.19
Melissa Stevens #19
17.49
Tony Hemingway #2
18.47
Kelly Miller —
N/A
Steve Perez Miller —
N/A
Griffin Miller —
N/A

Rain Delays…

The race was set back considerably by a rain delay right before we were set to start the engines, and then set back again by another passing shower, which almost turned the event into a two-nighter… BUT the drivers all stepped up again and took their street vehicles to the track to dry it up enough to race! Thank you all!

TOWER CAMERA (RAW 1ST CUT)

Here is the raw, almost completely unedited video from the Tower camera, operated by Rung “Aou” Stevens. (Late in the race, it was switched to a stationary camera, where some long pauses in the action from the angle were cut — basically the only omission in the footage. All laps were recorded!).

Points leader and time-trial winner Chris Stevens took the lead in the early going behind the wheel of the powerful #4 kart, but when the leaders approached the decidedly off-pace #2 driven by Tony Hemingway, Steve Sixberry capitalized on the traffic and catapulted the #7 into the lead. He then proceeded to set a fairly fast pace for the vast majority of the event, with Chris keeping him in sight, with David Hartpence Jr. in the #0 and Kevin Galletta in the #28 taking turns in 3rd for a large portion of the early going. Matt, as usual, seemed content to settle back and save his kart and gas for the long haul.

Travis Bartlett was originally quite pleased with the #9, but it developed bad sputtering problems and had to be parked. He hopped into the #5, which he was already familiar with and has been a great kart for decades now (Chris Stevens won the 2000 and 2001 Klassics in it, and drivers such as Kyle Reuter and Rob Jimenez *almost* pulled off Klassic wins in it as well, leading but caught sleeping by the eventual winner late). Travis then had the tall task of regaining a lost lap (penalty for a mid-Klassic kart change), and since he had most of the race to work with, he did just that, skillfully moving to the front and challenging leader Steve Sixberry (who at the time didn’t realize he was battling a lapped kart!) for nearly 20 laps until he pulled off the pass! Bartlett looked strong and still had a good chunk of the race to try and pull off the big upset and do what has never been done in our track’s history to date — come back from a lap down for a win!

Shortly after the halfway point, things started getting competitive. Nicolas Olivares shook things up when he made contact with the #4 of Chris Stevens (who has been entrenched in the top 2 spots the entre race until that), pushing him into the weeds and enabled himself, Travis, and Matt Stevens to all slip by. Shortly after that, Nic’s 2nd place run was short lived, as the #1 then caught wheels with Travis and collected Matt to bring out a caution!

After the restart, Bartlett then battled Sixberry for another 30 laps, but this time for the lead! But then that crafty Matt Stevens turned it on, and timed his run perfectly, as he picked off Travis and then Steve as the track started going away and he used his knowledge of it to emerge on top in his 1st and original Galletta’s Go-Kart, the #3.

It was then Matt showcasing how to skillfully evade the dreaded potholes in the turns (the worst being in 1) that no other driver could find purchase around, and did so while holding off some serious challenges from Travis. However, Sixberry’s #7 and Steve’s #5 both expired, followed very shortly after by a very game David Hartpence Jr., who also retired the #0 after securing 3rd place despite having it bring out a few cautions for him during the event.

By this point, the tower camera woman (Chris’ wife Rung “Aou” Stevens) had enough and retired for the night, and the camera was moved to a stationary position on the lap counter. This is when it was noticed that the laps were not being counted correctly.

This set up the battle that probably would not have have seemed right if it happened any other way. Just like in the 1990s when it was basically just them — Matt and Chris Stevens has to duke it out for the last quarter of the race, just like they have for a quarter of a century. And boy, did they!

Chris Stevens’ OswegoSushi.com GoPro Helmet Cam:

Note: The camera did run out of battery during the race due to so many accidents, rain delays and repair timeouts. During intermissions, I replaced it… but unfortunately lost some laps (and some nice racing!) in the meantime.

When the camera was moved, the official lap counting (done via the Tower camera after the race) showed we were on lap 198 (counting 166 green and 33 yellow). The official counter showed we were only on lap 147.

In Klassic, when race Leader crosses finish line green or yellow IT COUNTS. PERIOD. Otherwise the race goes some 250-300 laps and race until past midnight. WE MUST COUNT GREEN AND CAUTIONS IN A KLASSIC and have a GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER if we go past 200 and need a finish. Period.

Chris used the power of the #4 and timed a pass on the restart. However, the track was deteriorated and Chris was getting beat up by his hip bar, which the padding wore off of and it was bone and muscle on metal, so Matt was able to get him back and pull away, as each bump was causing a massive and painful bruise on Chris’ hip, and the pain was getting intolerable (and he had even passed a kidney stone a little more than a week ago, so his pain tolerance is considerable). Since there wasn’t another competitor on track, he brought out the caution to fix it and was able to continue without losing a spot.

On the 186th lap on counter (238th overall and 205th green on the scorecard) restart, Chris again got a great restart and passed his brother, and even began to pull away. Matt himself pulled a personal caution, grumbling in anger (as was his wife off track) and gave it another shot after a quick refuel.

After the restart, Matt and Chris had a back and forth duel, as with the turns being so rough, neither could pass and hold ground. However, with 2 to go Matt found his outside groove (that nobody else found all night), and was able to hold on and pad his lead right at the end, as Chris’ #4 seemed to be slowing and unable to navigate the high groove, which his hip pain stopped him from going for it and risk crashing.

Matt clinched yet another Galletta’s Klassic, although Chris clinches the ’21 Galletta’s Track Championship via scoring more overall top-3 points than Matt in the Klassic to expand his slight lead he had from the regular season.

2021 Klassic Scorecard

At Galletta’s, we have a leader bonus point system. We did so years ago because in many races, someone would lead the whole race and lose it or break on the last lap or something and get no credit. In the regular season, every green lap counts (1 point per lap for the  leader, and 0.5 point per lap for 2nd and 3rd place), but in the regular season, we don’t count yellow or red flag laps. Also, when changing karts during a race, there is a 5-point penalty and restart at the rear, but no loss of lap and no gas rule.

However, in Klassic, we alter his rule slightly. When race leader crosses finish line green or yellow, then IT COUNTS AS A LAP. PERIOD. We do this because of fuel mileage. Otherwise the race goes some 230, 250, 260 or more laps and race until past midnight, which is a lose-lose for all. The gas spent and potential wear and tear to the track and karts all take a toll, and thus, WE MUST COUNT GREEN AND CAUTIONS IN A KLASSIC and have a GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER if we go past 200 and need a finish. Period. Matt disagrees, but he fails to consider that every single person in the race (or watching) doesn’t appreciate 4, 5, 6 hour events that go into the AM hours and only 2 or 3 karts and 0 spectators make it to the checker, so he’ll have to relent. However, despite counting them as completed laps in the 200, yellows still do NOT count for leader bonus points, just greens.

In addition, Klassic has a 20-point AND 1-lap penalty, AND same-amount-of-fuel rule for anyone who has to change a kart mid-race, so taking care of your kart for the marathon race should be placed above all else. If you’re not on the lead lap on lap 199, you got no shot to win, period. This rule was enacted to try to force drivers to take care of the karts and not abuse them too much early on, instead of breaking a kart and hopping into a fresh one over and over. Part of the charm of the marathon event is endurance — preserving kart life AND gas, and being on that lead lap when 200 hits the lap counter.

Fun facts

Sadly, because the lap counting was not accurate, we went:

  • 252 total laps (which included 217 green laps and 35 cautions). Every green lap and all yellows are supposed to count, and clearly not all were.
  • For lap leader bonus points, I score *all* green laps, no matter what. I do not score full yellows, unless the leaders complete make it to the back turn under green and the yellow occurred behind them and no danger in front of them to the line (a race to the line scenario).

If the lap counting was accurate, then:

  • Chris Stevens would’ve passed Matt on a lap 199 restart and then won. Ooh, Matt would NOT have liked that!!!! Lap counter only said 147.
  • As going over an additional 52 laps, Matt and Chris were the only finishers, and passed each other back and forth a few times, with Matt emerging the leader in the final circuits due to his unique mastery of finding a pencil-thin route around the potholes in turn 1. Ooh, Chris almost got ’em tho!
  • 3 more drivers (David Hartpence Jr., Travis Bartlett, and Steve Sixberry) could’ve finished the race, officially making it to at least lap 199 if not lap 200 instead of retiring early.
  • The Tower camera woman — Chris’s wife  Rung “Aou” Stevens — also would not have retired before the finish. (She had enough with work the next day and getting the kids to bed. She deeply advocates for starting earlier and counting cautions in especially Klassics).

Even so, Matt argues that cautions should *not* count, and only greens. This means he is advocating for somewhere between 20 to 50 extra laps, unaccounted gas consumption (screwing with those who try to make it on a single tank) and losing more drivers and karts the later the race goes. I guess the debate rages on… what do the racers and spectators think? We’re always looking for ideas, suggestions, and help!

 

Galletta’s Greenhouse Speedway 2020 Klassic Finish (& Points Earned)

Place Driver Kart/s
Piloted
Time Trials 200-Lap Win 1st pts. 2/3 plc. 2/3 pts Kart Change Total Points
Features
1st Matt Stevens 3 16 560 1 53 24 12.0 0 641.0 1
2nd Chris Stevens 4 20 536 0 18 179 89.5 0 663.5 1
3rd David Hartpence Jr. 0 12 512 0 0 54 27.0 0 551.0 1
4th Travis Bartlett 9/5 14 488 0 0 41 20.5 -20 502.5 1
5th Steve Sixberry 7 18 464 0 149 5 2.5 0 633.5 1
6th Andrew Hook 78 6 444 0 0 0 0.0 0 450.0 1
7th Justin Thurston 6 4 424 0 0 0 0.0 0 428.0 1
8th Nicolas Olivares 1 3 404 0 0 24 12.0 0 419.0 1
9th Kevin Galletta 28 10 380 0 0 51 25.5 0 415.5 1
10th Dave Hartpence Sr. 43/93 8 340 0 0 0 0.0 -20 328.0 1
11th Tony Hemingway 2 2 320 0 0 0 0.0 0 322.0 1
12th Melissa Stevens 19 1 300 0 0 0 0.0 0 301.0 1
13th Kelly Miller N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
14th Steve Perez Miller N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
15th Griffin Miller N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0

Chris clinched the track title due to staying in the Top-3 all night (all but a few laps), but Matt mastered the severally rutted turns in the track to pick up the Klassic win. Steve Sixberry had the most lead laps, but dropped out when he got passed for the lead and retired. Travis Bartlett had the most passes and definitely was the Hard Charger Award if we had one, and he gave chase to Matt, but his kart expired before the finish forcing him to also retire. David Hartpence Jr. outlasted the rest of the visitor’s for 3rd on track with a fairly steady run, but again, it was only Matt and Chris at the very end.

Galletta’s Greenhouse Speedway FINALIZED 2020 Point Standings

All races from 6/14/2020 – 10/10/2020:

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Galletta’s Greenhouse Speedway 2020 Champions

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  • 2020 Overall Points Track Champion: Chris Stevens (1st in Points, 2nd in Klassic 200)
  • 2020 Klassic 200 Champion: Matt Stevens (1st in Klassic 200, 2nd in Points)
  • 2020 Visitor’s Points Track Champion: Travis Bartlett (3rd in Points, 4th in Klassic 200)
  • 2020 Rookie of the Year: Travis Bartlett (3rd in Points, 4th in Klassic 200)
  • 2020 Top Visiting Finisher in Klassic: David Hartpence Jr.  (3rd in Klassic 200, 6th in Points)Note: David Hartpence did get 3rd in the race, although did not stick around for the post-race top finishers picture, although we summoned his force ghost made it. And Brian Galletta was most certainly there in spirit as well… hmm… waitaminute… dammit Brian! 

And now for the updated…

ALL-TIME GALLETTA’S KARTING CLUB & SPEEDWAY ALL-TIME (2000-2020) POINT STANDINGS:

Drivers all-time stats at two of Oswego, New York’s Dirt Karting Tracks: Galletta’s Greenhouse Backyard Karting Speedway (2000-2019), and separately the Oswego Kartway [1-WD Mixed Motor Gas Division] (2006-2008). You can scroll the chart left, right, up and down to see all 371 different drivers on record. NOTE: In-season points are not added to this total until after current season ends and pre-2000 Points & Wins are currently lost in storage (they will be added if located).

All-Time Notes:

Several drivers changed spots, but of note…

  • Travis Bartlett jumped the most spots in the All-Time Standings from 84th to 42nd in his 1st full season at Galletta’s.
  • Kevin Galletta passed cousin Tim Galletta for 7th All-Time, in back of his late brother Brian in 6th.
  • Kelly Miller only raced in 2 events due to scheduling, but still passed Gary Miller Sr. (no known relation).
  • Steve Sixberry is up to 27th from 36th.
  • The father-and-son Hartpence team also jumped up considerably as well, as they got into racing here for the first time in in a few years.
  • Several young drivers from local karting and racing made the list as well (…amongst them was some kid named Tyler Thompson… hey, he looks familiar…), and hopefully some of them will come back more often, as they added a lot of good drivers on track when they were here.
  • The overall list now rests at 392 drivers. HOWEVER, there’s still a handful of unlisted drivers from the Fall All-Rookie races in the 2010-2015 era that never go scored (point racing usually ends at the Klassic’s completion), so our total driver list from the past 20 years does rest at over 400! Impressive for a little backyard speedway with no advertising, except for the fact that only a little over 100 of them have truly stuck around to race for any notable or truly memorable length of time. And those are the ones we treasure the most! Imagine if most of those guys in the top 20 or so raced regularly? WOW! The racing would be FANTASTIC!!! WOW!

Next race: June 2021! See you then!