It has been a long and winding road for 23-year old Joey Galloway during his racing career.
Having started out locally at his hometown Emo Speedway and then driving at tracks all over the U.S., Galloway now finds himself living in Manor, Sask., where he’s continuing to race and also building modified chassis with Eagle Motorsports.
“I was originally only supposed to be up there for two weeks in 2009 and I haven’t been back home ever since, except for the [Emo] fair and when we come to race here a few times,” Galloway noted.
Galloway, who began his career racing modifieds at the Emo Speedway when he was just 15, had spent a few seasons racing with Steve Arpin at numerous short tracks in the States, and also was helping him build Shaw by Arpin modifieds as the 2009 season was getting underway.
“By that time, Steve was starting to run in ARCA and I was working for Jeff Taylor Motorsports in Arkansas,” he recalled.
“During Speedweeks that year [in Volusia County, Fla.], Derrick Big Eagle came up to me in the pits and we started to talk about the cars that we had sold to him.
“He said to me, ‘Geez, Joe, I sure would like you to come up for a couple of weeks and help to get the cars ready and stuff,’ and two weeks later I was flying up there,” Galloway added.
Galloway ended up staying the entire summer in Manor. And by the time winter rolled around, Big Eagle came up to him with an idea.
“He said to me, ‘We should build cars,’ and that’s how we started Shaw by Galloway.
“We sort of took over from Arpin’s deal, and some of those customers followed over to us, and it has turned out to be a really good deal,” Galloway added.
This past winter, 20 Shaw by Galloway modifieds were build, with most of them running at the Estevan Motor Speedway, about a two-hour drive from the Eagle Motorsports shop.
“All of the races that have been won there so far this season [were] won by cars we built, so it’s been a very successful year in that sense,” Galloway noted.
Along with a couple of customers in the U.S. and three in Winnipeg, two Shaw by Galloway cars have been running at the Emo Speedway this season, with Denny Trimble piloting a WISSOTA Modified and Chuck Lambert running a WISSOTA Midwest Modified.
“The car has been awesome and I can’t find anything to complain about with it,” enthused Lambert, who has won two feature races so far this season at Emo.
“Both the car and the motor have been running great, and they both seem to be doing everything that I have asked them to,” he added.
Galloway is hoping to eventually have numerous Shaw by Galloway cars running at his home track, but knows it will take some time in order to accomplish that.
“It’s kind of hard to break into the market when you are not around,” he reasoned.
“Hopefully with Chuck [Lambert] doing well, we can get some more cars down here, because this is my hometown and I would like to see my name out there,” Galloway stressed.
However, there’s a bit of buzz starting to build over the performances of Galloway’s cars, especially with their success at Estevan this season, with several drivers having inquired about getting a Shaw by Galloway machine for next year.
“I suspect we will be just as busy as we were last winter,” Galloway said.
“When you see a fast car, you want to have that car, so you need to be able to put up the results for people to have that interest in your product, and that’s what we have been able to do,” he added.
Shaw by Galloway cars all are built up during the off-season (which lasts from the first snowfall in Manor to around April) in a three-day process.
“But we are talking 16- to 18-hour days,” noted Galloway, who is helped by Big Eagle and his two sons, Mason and Jett.
“What happens is that [Larry] Shaw [Race Cars] builds the chassis, and I get the bare frame and a wooden box full of parts,” he explained.
“I then assemble it myself and just do a few little tweaks here or there.
“And I also make a couple of little changes that are just to my own personal preferences,” Galloway added.
Drivers building their own variations of the Shaw chassis is really nothing new in the dirt track world, as many of the top WISSOTA drivers in the U.S. have been offering their versions for a number of years.
But what makes Galloway’s situation unique is the fact that he is the only Larry Shaw Race Car dealer in Canada, which is something he’s still trying to wrap his head around.
“It’s kind of hard to put that into proportion because [when] I was down in the States, it was always around me,” he remarked.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to have the only dealer in Canada,” Galloway stressed. “But to me, it’s just building cars and racing them, which is what I like to do.
“I’m just fortunate to have the Big Eagles come on board, and they have been a big reason that I have been able to get things going.”
While the short-term goal is to build up the Shaw by Galloway brand, and to earn Modified feature victories in his black #01 vehicle, the long-term focus for Galloway is to help the racing careers of Big Eagle’s sons, Mason and Jett, who are 15 and 11, respectively.
“I want to get both of them up front and being a threat to win every night, and try to help them get to NASCAR one day,” Galloway said.
“I shouldn’t really being saying this, but I’m getting a little bit older and they are starting to give those development deals to guys when they are 18 years old.
“So, I see myself getting this going with Derrick and also to help his kids out with their careers,” he reasoned.