NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUE
HALL OF FAME
RICK GALLES 1966 JC
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1946, Rick Galles was destined to be in the automobile business. The Galles family has been an intricate part of transportation in New Mexico since Nicholas Galles arrived in the territory via the Santa Fe Trail and set up a business as a wagon-maker in the mid 1800’s. In 1908, Rick’s grandfather established the first dealership by selling the first eleven cars in the New Mexico Territory.
Mr. Galles father was the owner and president of the Galles Oldsmobile Cadillac dealership in Albuquerque. He attended Albuquerque schools graduating from Highland High School in 1964 after participating in not only the dealership operations of his family’s business Galles Chevrolet, but also his other interests, football, baseball and track.
Mr. Galles decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Lee Galles and attend New Mexico Military Institute for junior college. He was assigned to B Company where he was active in the Corps attaining the rank of Cadet Captain and played linebacker on the Bronco football team both in 1965 and 1966, lettering both years. In 1966, he won the coveted “Golden Helmet Award” for the best defensive player of the year. He also participated in track and field with the shot-put, coming in 5th in the 1966 National Track Meet. After the Institute he attended the University of Kansas and played linebacker for the Jayhawks for his junior year. He also participated in Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity while there. Upon graduation in 1969 with a degree in business, he returned to Albuquerque and began working full time for Galles Chevrolet.
He was a natural to the car sales business and started by attending the nationally acclaimed Dealer Sons School in Detroit, Michigan, and was promoted that same year to New Car Manager. That year he broke regional and national sales records with Galles Chevrolet. In 1977, Rick began a motorsports career in off-road racing as a driver and drove in the Baja 500. This kept his racing interest going and then he was promoted to General Manager of Galles Chevrolet in 1978. In 1979, he switched to sports cars and won the Midwest Division in the Sports 2000 series in 1980. That same year Rick started a Super Vee Race Team, hired Al Unser, Jr. as driver and they won the Super Vee Championship. He further became Majority Owner and President of Galles Chevrolet in 1981. He formed Galles Racing and again signed AI Unser Jr. as his driver. They won every series they entered including Super Vee, Can Am. In 1983, he competed as a car owner in the Indianapolis 500. Late in 1989, Galles and Kraco Racing merged and in 1990, won the CART Indy Car World Series Championship. Also in 1990, he opened Saturn of Albuquerque and became one of the first Saturn Dealerships in the U.S. In his 1Oth year as an owner, Rick led his racing team to 15 first place finishes and 27 second place finishes. In 1990 and 1991, his Galles-Kraco team finished in the top three finishers 29 out of 33 Indy car events. Throughout the team’s 22 year history, their drivers captured 21 wins – 18 by AI Unser, Jr. (6 in 1990, 4 in 1988, 2 in 1991 and 1 each in 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 2000 and 2001), two were won by Danny Sullivan (1 each in 1992 and 1993), and one by Bobby Rahal in 1991 in addition to capturing the 1990 CART Championship and the 1992 Indianapolis 500 with Unser. All of these accomplishments were under the leadership and management of Rick Galles. He has also started a real estate company, Galles Properties in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, in 2001, and competed in National Cutting Horse Association events across the Western United States. In 2001 he opened a performance horse sales and training center in Temecula, California. He is active in his community supporting the University of New Mexico “Lobo” athletic program, the Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Galles “Friends of Youth” organization of Albuquerque.
Mr. Galles is one of the most respected owners in Indy Car Racing. In April 2012, he was recognized by his peers by induction into the Long Beach Grand Prix Motorsports Hall of Fame where there are 22-inch bronze medallions listing each person and their vast racing accomplishments embedded into the street. His medallion joined those of 14 previous inductees.
Mr. Galles has brought great credit upon himself, the Corps of Cadets and the New Mexico Military Institute. He epitomizes the New Mexico Military Institute Credo of “Duty, Honor and Achievement”, everything that the Corps of Cadets has stood for during its illustrious history of developing accomplished leaders in society.
Inducted this 18th day of October in the year 2013