Bill Gallagher Memorial Honors Legendary Car Owner

Bill Gallagher Memorial Honors Legendary Car Owner

Williams Grove Speedway paid tribute to renowned sprint car owner Bill Gallagher. The first annual Bill Gallagher Memorial took place at the Pennsylvania speed plant last Friday. Alex Bright (pictured) won the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars event and took home the $5,000 to win. Coincidentally, Gallagher fielded cars numbered 5G. Gallagher’s team car, driven by Briggs Danner, came home second.

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“This race pays great respect to our father,” Joey Gallagher said. “This is the way he would want to be remembered. He loved racing since he was a little kid, and this is one of the best ways to honor him.”

Gallagher, who was from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, died last July at age 67. (For more on him, read “Bill Gallagher: A Win for their Late Car Owner”.)

One of Gallagher’s longtime drivers and crew chief for his team, Curt Michael, owns the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars. The wingless 360 sprint car circuit visits 15 tracks among four states — Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. When Michael sought a track to host the Bill Gallagher Memorial, he said Williams Grove Speedway “stepped up.”

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“Bill had been a car owner for more than 30 years, and helped bring back URC as a club and won 10 championships,” said Michael, who drove Gallagher’s car for 14 years and was behind the wheel for five of his championships. “After my wife and I started USAC East, he was committed to our series, opening the door to full-sized sprint car racing for kids who have done well in 600s.”

An assortment of 600 sprint standouts drove Gallagher’s cars, including Brady Bacon, Tim Buckwalter, Eddie Strata, among others.

(For more on Bacon, read “Brady Bacon: Racing’s Macho Man, Oooh Yeah!”)

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(For more on Buckwalter, read “Tim Buckwalter: An Emotional Win”.)

(For more on Strata, read “Horse Trailer Transports Winning Car”.)

“We gave some guys who normally wouldn’t have a chance to race a sprint car the chance to do so,” Michael said. “We scouted drivers for the wingless sprint cars.”

The Bill Gallagher Memorial provided some closure for many Gallagher had touched through racing.

“The race was a chance for those who could not make the funeral to get together and reminisce,” said Joey Gallagher. “Old drivers, sponsors, and crew members were all there.”

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