Sonoma CA – 10/12/2011 A cool and foggy morning greeted the racers for Round 7 of the Red Line Oil Karting Championship, but by 11:00 am the fog burned off and a warm sunny afternoon made for some great racing at the simraceway International Karting Center at Infineon Raceway. The demanding Reverse Sprint track configuration had lots of grip which challenged the drivers to get the best setup balance and made for some tight racing in several of the classes.
125 Shifters - S4
Jim Inglebright, Nick Galante and David Arnstein Were the top 3 qualifiers in the S4 Championship Class. In the first heat, Galante was challenging Inglebright. Galante attempted a pass going into tic-tac- toe which resulted in Inglebright spinning and Arnstein getting by to take over second. Galante then made a pass attempt on Arnstein that resulted in some contact. Galante retired early after being black flagged. In the second heat, things settled down with Inglebright taking the early lead followed by Galante. Inglebright held off Galante to take the win with Arnstein in third and Shaffer in fourth. In the main, Arnstein was on the pole with Inglebright alongside. At the green flag, Arnstein lead the field into turn one. Inglebright stalled his kart and had to get a push to get going, well behind the pack. Arnstein held the lead with Shaffer, Galante and Inglebright. With Inglebright way behind, Galante then took
his time setting up a good pass on Arnstein. Galante made his move and got by Arnstein cleanly to take the lead for first. This win made it Nick Galante's third win in the Championship. Be sure to watch the last race of the season on Nov 6th at Infineon Raceway at Sears Point.
New Nick Galante Ford Racing Article
Galante chases his dream in a Mustang Boss 302R
Dearborn, Mich. — Nick Galante always dreamed of driving race cars for a living, but as anyone who has tried it knows, it's never easy.
It takes talent. Check.
Money. Umm, hold everything.
Skill and determination can take you a long way in life, but sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's all about the Benjamins.
In his mid 20s and still in his native state of Massachusetts in 2005, Galante knew if he was going to make a run at a career in racing, he'd need to make a move. A big move. He was comfortably employed in the golf industry, but golf is not racing. "I knew I had to move to California," he said. "I knew I could live in the golf business in California but also get a foot in the door to race." For work, he targeted the exclusive Pebble Beach Golf Club because it was near historic Laguna Seca race course. He got the job.
In terms of his racing aspirations, Galante caught a break one day when he was at Laguna Seca and a friend offered to let him drive a Shifterkart. Overcoming his skepticism, he discovered quickly the 125cc kart was no kid's toy. He found himself topping 100mph and enjoying the ride. So much so he bought a kart in short order.
Turns out he was pretty good at driving it, too.
So now the racing side of his life was taking shape—it's a start—but there was still that issue about money. But Galante's need to work led him to his next break. While caddying at Pebble Beach one day, he had the good fortune to be paired with one Philip Frengs. Frengs, it turned out, was a fan of racing with some past associations with the likes of Al Unser Jr. and others. And Frengs loved racing and the business side of it.
Hello opportunity, meet Nick Galante.
"Nick and I met at Pebble Beach," said Frengs. "He happened to be a caddy and happened to be on my bag that day. We started talking about things and he told me he was an aspiring racer. To make a long story short, he was a good enough salesman that I decided sponsoring him would be a good opportunity for my company."
Frengs is president and CEO of The Copi Companies, a Los Angeles-based company that offers a range of copying and duplicating services primarily to major law firms. "Copi Companies specializes in assisting major law firms with two things," Frengs explained. "One division operates and manages copy centers and mail rooms for the big firms in their offices. We equip them, staff and operate them. Our Copy Solutions division handles the document production associated with litigation. Large, complex litigation generates a lot of documentation. We handle that."
So it went that Frengs felt his company could grow with the racing career of Galante. With The Copi Companies on board, Galante entered the Jim Russell Series where he progressed in a Formula car to winning his age bracket and finishing second overall. He knew it was time for the next step.
"While in the Formula car I knew I wanted to get into sports cars and endurance racing," Galante said. "If I was going to ever get into a prototype car, the Grand-Am ladder was the perfect way to go." Enter Jon Mirachi and the Racers Edge race team.
Galante, along with Phil Frengs and his sponsorship support, put together a three-race deal late in the 2011 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season with Mirachi. Galante got the chance to drive the team's 2011 Boss 302R for the final three races of the season, competing in the GS class.
While the finishes were not spectacular—20th, 11th, 31st—the experience was priceless. "I was able to produce some results," explained Galante, "even though there were some situations in the races where there were obstacles." Some of the obstacles, he said, were things like trying to sort out handling and other issues that normally take time. Something the team did not have plenty of with only a three-race deal.
"I think I drove pretty well considering the challenge," Galante said. "I fell in love with that Mustang. I never smiled more in a car than the first time I drove the Mustang. It's such a blast, so much fun to drive. Especially in the Grand-Am series."
Both Galante and team owner John Mirachi are still considering the possibilities for 2012, but nothing is set just yet. "My heart says to do a full season somewhere," says Galante. "This is the kind of car you have to have. The Mustang has proven to be the best car in the CTSCC series. Because of its handling and power, it's the best all-around car in Grand-Am.
"The BMWs have great handling and brakes, but the power is not there. The Camaros have great power but not so good in the back section. The Mustang is the best all-around," Galante explained. "I hope we can put something together."
For the near future, Galante continues to work in racing with Cameron Motorsports in California and races Shifterkarts professionally. But he hopes to find the next big opportunity to follow his dream, hopefully, with the continued support with his friend Phil Frengs. For his part, Frengs would like to keep the dream alive as well.
"It's kind of up to Nick and where he wants to be, and in what series he wants to be in," said Frengs. "I like Jon [Mirachi] very much and it's been very cool to race with Ford these few races. Maybe we can build a bigger team. I joke that about the only difference between me and Roger Penske is about $5 billion!," Frengs says with a hearty laugh. "We're the same guy."
You might as well dream big.