Gale Has Seen It All But Loves the Fun of Bowman Gray
Cale Gale cheering in Winner’s Circle with family after taking the checkered in Saturday’s first Sportsman race. photo by Eric Hylton Photography
(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) Cale Gale has had experience in virtually every level of NASCAR competition, but he says there’s something special about Bowman Gray Stadium. It’s part history, part competition – and it’s all about just having fun.
“I started racing go-karts when I was just four,” said Gale, who grew up surrounded by racing. “My dad’s a nine-time late model champion down in Mobile, Alabama.”
Gale claimed his first title at only 17 – which was just the start of a successful motorsports career. “I’ve won various featured races at all sorts of race tracks,” said Gale. After a high profile victory on national television in 2006, Gale was contacted by Kevin Harvick. “I drove part-time for Kevin for three years. During my stint, I had a pole run at Bristol in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and finished top five a couple times.”
The wins continued to pile up for Gale, including a victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series just last year. Gale now serves as the crew chief for Brandon Jones, who competes in several series such as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
When his job didn’t call him away on weekends, Gale enjoyed coming to the Stadium and taking in the racing. And over the winter, he and his family decided they would try their hand at Stadium racing.
“We thought we’d have some fun, and we wanted to win a race over there since the place is just so historic,” said Gale. “Just to be around it and to be a part of it - the historic aspect and the fan following that comes with it.”
And Gale has been pleasantly surprised by how much fun he’s been having at Bowman Gray Stadium.
“The racing is just a lot of fun - it’s good, tight racing,” said Gale. “There’s going to be some nudging and some rubbing - and as a race car driver, that’s a lot of fun.”
“It’s just different again for me. I don’t have a lot of flat quarter mile experience. It’s something that I can learn. I can get a little bit more aggressive, learn something new, and have fun with it,” said Gale. “There’s a lot of technique to it - and as a driver, I enjoy that.”
Gale didn’t have to wait long to accomplish his goal of taking the checkered at the Stadium. On Saturday, he claimed victory in the first race for the Classic Muscle Sportsman Series.
“Our car was handling well and we were able to make a few passes and get us a win,” said Gale. “When the race started, I felt like we had a car that could compete for the win.”
“All of us have worked really hard over the winter to have a car that would be competitive and race against those guys. There are a bunch of good cars and good drivers over there,” said Gale. “You have Derek Stoltz, you have Taylor Branch, you have 8 or 10 guys that have been doing it for a long time and are really good at their game.”
But the best part for Gale has been the family bonding that’s been able to take place as a result of his Stadium competition. “You race as a family,” said Gale. “When I moved up here and started driving professionally for other teams, you get away from racing with your family and being around your friends.”
“Now I get to race for fun again - race just for the passion of it. Have a good time, win as many races as you can, and just enjoy life,” said Gale.
“I’ve worked my whole life to be a professional race car driver, and I’ve always put myself under a lot of pressure,” said Gale. “But the last couple of weeks have been the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. We have really enjoyed it as a family. I enjoy the atmosphere and the competitors and everybody involved.”
The fun for Gale continues this Saturday – as well as the battle for the 2013 championships. On the racing schedule is a 100-lapper for the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series, twin 20’s for the Classic Muscle Sportsman Series, a 20-lapper for the Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series, and twin 15-lap races for the Summer Shootout Stadium Stock Series.
Gates open at 6:00 for practice, qualifying begins at 7:10, and the first race begins at 8:00 PM – this Saturday night. Ticket prices, directions, and more information can be found online at www.bowmangrayracing.com or by calling (336) 723-1819.