Nov 24 - Wall Stadium - Tour Mod - Win - SK Mod - 16
Wall, NJ — Although the temperature was 38 degrees with a brisk chilly wind that blew all day, the race fans packed the stands to witness the Modified portion of Turkey Derby XXXIX 2012. 27 Modifieds took time trials on the high banked 1/3 mile track with Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT pulling down the fastest timed lap of the day at 11.914 seconds. Matt Hirschman was second fastest with 11.932, Jimmy Blewett third with 11.953. The top 10 redrew for starting positions for the 150 lap event. The redraw had #60 of Hirschman on the pole and #29Zane Zeiner of Lancaster, PA outside pole, bringing the field to green. Hirschman slipped into the lead with Zeiner, #76 Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ, #08 Tommy Farrell III of Neptune, NJ, #06 Hinckley and #14 Ken Woolley of Howell, NJ rounding out the first six. On lap 5, Blewett shot by Zeiner for second and by lap 10 the leaders already running into lap traffic. 13 yellow flag periods slowed the action constantly throughout the 150 laps, the first coming out on lap 19 for a minor spin which helped to sort out and close up the field. A lap 33 yellow had #93 Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA pitting from his 7th position, never to return to action. The leader board changed very little until lap 73 when Zeiner and the #65 Danny Bohn of Mooresville, NC raced by Blewett for second and third place, respectively. Bohn was on a mission. A lap 90 yellow saw a parade of the top 10 cars pull into the pits for fresh tires. This handed the lead to #659 of Mike Bohn of Cornelius, NC while he was wheeling brother Danny’s back up car. A restart and another crash on lap 101 had Mike Bohn now pit for his tire change. The new restart saw Zeiner in the lead, Blewett, #55 of Steven Reed from Jackson, NJ, Hirschman, Farrell III, Hinckley and Danny Bohn in tow. Lap 124 saw Blewett power his way past Zeiner for the lead, and lap 129 saw Hirschman drive past Zeiner for second spot. During the last 20 laps the heat was turned up to high as Hirschman gets by Blewett on a bumper tag restart. While this was taking place, Danny and Mike Bohn were making their way to the front of the pack, picking off competitors on by one. Mike had not been racing for several years due to other obligations, but you would never had known it as there wasn’t any rust on his driving talent. The final caution came on lap 141. The top 5 were Hirschman, Blewett, and D. Bohn. M. Bohn and Hinckley. The final 5 laps saw more bumping and grinding with Danny Bohn getting into 2nd past Blewett, but did not have enough time to catch the winning Matt Hirschman. The first 10 over the line were: #60 Hirschman, #65 Danny Bohn, #76 Jimmy Blewett, #659 Mike Bohn, #11 Will Weichert, #44 Tim Arre #29 Zane Zeiner, #06 Les Hinckley, #22 Chuck Hossfeld and #51 Kyle Ebersole. Sources: Jim Snape
TOURING MODIFIED FEATURE – 150 Laps – 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN, NORTHAMPTON, PA., 2. Danny Bohn, 3. Jimmy Blewett, 4. Michael Bohn, 5. Ken Barry, 6. Tim Arre, 7. Zane Zeiner, 8. Les Hinckley, 9. Chuck Hossfield, 10. Kyle Ebersole, 11. Tom Barrett, 12. Ron Silk, 13. Tommy Farrell, 14. Shaun Carrig, 15. Ken Darch, 16. Steven Reed, 17. Brian DeFebo, 18. John Markovic, 19. Danny Sammons, 20. Jamie Tomaino, 21. Billy Cole, 22. Don King, 23. Bill Weichert, 24. Ken Woolley, 25. Jason Treat, 26. Rowan Pennink
WALL/SK MODIFIED FEATURE – 100 Laps – 1. ZANE ZEINER, BATH, PA., 2. Anthony Sesely, 3. Eric Mauriello, 4. Reed, 5. Arre, 6. Woody Pitkat, 7. Michael Gervais, 8. Roger Coss, 9. Craig Lutz, 10. Ron Frees, 11. James Prichard, 12. Keith Rocco, 13. Scott Branick, 14. Matt Prymzewski, 15. Jonathan Mandato, 16. Matt Hirschman, 17. Treat, 18. Dave Cranmer, 19. Blewett, 20. Chas Okerson, 21. Silk, 22. Adam LaCicero, 23. Shawna Ingraham, 24. Christian LaCicero, 25. Chris Reynolds, 26. Tom Cottrell
Nov 9-10 North South Shootout - Tour - 3
Ryan Preece saw an opportunity he simply couldn't pass up. Preece, of Berlin, Conn., was in the right spot when the leaders wrecked ahead of him with four laps remaining Saturday night at Caraway Speedway, inheriting the lead he would not relinquish on the ensuing restart to win the 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG. Preece held off Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman to win the 125-lap Tour-Type Modified feature event.
Preece was making his debut in the No. 7ny owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and previously piloted by Ryan Newman to wins at Bristol Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. “I'm still in shock right now,” Preece said. “I don't even know what to say. That was just the most up-and-down race. I can't thank my Dad enough, ‘Bono,' and everybody who gave me this opportunity. Holy crap!” Preece was fourth on Lap 121 – when the three cars ahead of him got together in Turn 2 to bring out the caution. When the race went back to green, he held off both Hossfeld and four-time race winner Matt Hirschman to take the checkered flag and the winner's payday of more than $6,000. Danny Bohn and Chris Pasteryak finished fourth and fifth, respectively. “I knew (Hossfeld) was good, but I knew we were a little bit better,” said Preece, who led early in the event but was shuffled back in traffic following his pit stop on Lap 56. “I just wanted to keep those guys out there, because I've lost two races to Matt Hirschman this year on the last lap. I wanted to keep him behind me. Awesome job by my crew, awesome job by everybody on this car. “I'm so thankful right now, and I'm so happy to be here.” Earlier in the day, Michael Gervais Jr. of Southbury, Conn., led every lap of the 25-lap SK Modified feature event for his first career North-South Shootout victory in his first trip to the event. Jimmy Zacharias finished second, while Glen Reen capped the podium with a third-place effort. “This is really special. We only got our first two wins this year (at Stafford Motor Speedway), so to come down here and be competitive, it really feels great,” Gervais said. “I can't thank everybody enough.” Jay Fogleman of Durham, N.C., won the 150-lap PASS Super Late Model event to begin feature racing on the .455-mile oval. Kaz Grala won the 25-lap Legends feature, while Justin Newlin won the 75-lap Truck feature, and Kenny Bost capped the day with a win in the 40-lap Sportsman event.
Oct 27-Mahoning Speedway - Win
By DINO OBERTO
(LEHIGHTON, PA 10-27-12) It was the biggest payday and longest race distance for the Modifieds, Late Models and Street Stocks ever at Mahoning Valley Speedway and race teams responded to the cash and laps offerings with a very impressive field in the highly touted “Octoberfast 2012, Fright Night in the Valley.
When all was said and done, Matt Hirschman proved once again why he is the undisputed king of extra distance races at the paved quarter mile oval as the Northampton ace drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a decisive $5000 victory in the 130 lap feature, Earl Paules of Palmerton won his 10th Late Model race of the season and TJ Gursky, also from Palmerton, took top honors in the 100 lap Street Stock feature and it was all in front a full grandstand.The Octoberfast 2012 goes down as one of the most successful days in track history and brings to a close the first year of promoting under Floyd Santee. The racing was the track’s season finale and was part of a close to $50,000 purse. It drew 34 Modifieds, 20 Late Models and 31 Street Stocks from throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.“We wouldn’t be here tonight if it hadn’t been for (promoter) Floyd Santee and his family. They stepped up to the plate and did something here that no one else had ever done before. This means that we’ll come back again next year. We have to keep this event going. They did an excellent job with the fans and the racers,” said Hirschman.An all-star 24 car field began the Modified main. Hirschman, in the J & J Motorsports No. 59, became the sixth and final leader when he assumed the top spot under a lap 59 caution. He then drove the rest of the way with little resistance for his track leading seventh 100-plus lap feature win at Mahoning Valley.“This was unbelievable. To race in front of this size of a crowd in late October, it’s my favorite time of year,” said Hirschman.Some crafty pit strategy early on played nicely into his hands too. Under the race’s first yellow on lap 34, Hirschman gave up his fifth place running spot to duck in for a left rear tire. He came back out ninth and patiently held steady after reaching sixth place.Then on lap 59 leader Lou Strohl spun and brought out a caution. Much to Hirschman’s benefit all five cars ahead of him made pit stops which then moved him to the front of the pack.At Mahoning Valley it’s rare to see Hirschman passed once he takes the lead and this time was no different as the rest of the way was near effortless.“It worked out to be a masterpiece of perfection. I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better than that. I’m a big believer in momentum and when you got that behind you and you’re not doubting yourself and your car and your team in the pits, it almost comes easy,” he said.A redraw after heats saw newly crowned track champion Paules snag the pole with New York star Chuck Hossfeld alongside.At the drop of the green Paules took to the early lead with Hossfeld closely alongside him. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standout Ryan Preece, 2011 Mahoning champ Tyler Haydt and Hirschman made up the top five.Hossfeld, who was making his first appearance at Mahoning Valley, was giving Paules a handful to deal with, attacking from both the high and low lanes. On lap seven he drove to the inside and took control of the lead.Haydt had worked to third and was now running two-wide with Paules while they each went nip-and-tuck with Hossfeld.Utilizing his home track advantage and keen ability of running the high groove, Paules was able to shake free of Haydt and continued towards Hossfeld, retaking the lead on lap 22. Likewise Haydt also followed Paules as did Preece.The rapid paced action was halted for the first time on lap 34 when Jimmy Zacharias made contact with Tony Hirschman in turn three and put an end to both them.Under the yellow a handful of cars went pit-side including M. Hirschman. Upon returning he would be shown in 10th. Paules was still out front with Haydt followed by Nevin George, Eric Beers Roger Coss.When the race got back underway Paules got very defensive as Haydt and George were attacking from either side of him. George, who was on the inside, made a thrusting surge coming through turn four on lap 37 and entered into the lead.Hard charging Coss was starting to make his presence felt by this time as well. He and Paules began going back and forth for second. Also on the move was Strohl in the Matt Higgins owned No. 88.After a lap 45 restart, Strohl was third behind George and Coss and within two laps of going back green he powered his way past both. Things were looking good for the all-time Modified wins leader as he was chasing after his first in three years.George was keeping right on his tail but Strohl was not showing signs of uneasiness. The leaders then came upon lapped traffic by lap 58. Just ahead of them was Matt Wentz. On lap 59 as they came off of turn one, Strohl and George, while running to the inside of Wentz, just cleared him but as they were heading into turn two, George tapped the back of Strohl and the leader went into a spin.With the caution now out George along with third, fourth and fifth runners Paules, Haydt and Beers, all made pit stops. That elevated Hirschman to the top. Bobby Jones was now second with Chip Santee, Hossfeld and John Bennett making up the top five.Once the action got back underway Hirschman would remain in charge. Even with a few more cautions that allowed others to challenge, he would have nothing to do with it. He was even passing cars on the final few laps despite his comfortable lead. “I had a great car. I felt comfortable and ran that pace. The lapped cars worked with me and it was a perfect day,” said Hirschman who drove away to a five car length margin of victory.“You slack off a little bit and leave the door open and somebody’s filling it. We’re racing for five grand here today and you don’t give someone an opportunity if you don’t have to.With 32 laps to go Coss progressed to second and similar to Hirschman would not be challenged the rest of the way.“It was a good run. I was trying real hard but he was a little better than me. I finished second to the best in the business, there’s no question about it,” said Coss who pocketed $3000.“It’s a good payday. One spot higher would be a lot nicer but we’ll take second in this case.”Beers, who like Hirschman always comes into the extra distance races as a favorite, fought hard to come home third. His efforts netted him $2000. Zane Zeiner came from 17th to fourth with Paules rounding out the top five. They cleared $1600 and $1200 respectively.
There were four heats which were won by Tony Hirschman, Don Wagner, Beers and Kevin Rex, Jr. Zeiner and Bennett won the consolation races.
Modified Feature Finish, 100 Laps: 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Roger Coss, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Chip Santee, 7. John Bennett, 8. John Markovic, 9. Nevin George, 10. Todd Baer, 11. Tyler Haydt, 12. Bobby Jones, 13. Chuck Hossfeld, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Anthony Sesely, 17. Rick Kirkendall, 18. Matt Wentz, 19. Kevin Rex, Jr., 20. Brian DeFebo, 21. Scott Adams, 22. Ryan Preece, 23. Tony Hirschman, 24. Jimmy Zacharias
Did not qualify:
Modified B-Main, 25 Laps: 1. James Pritchard, Jr. 2. Tom Flanagan, 3. Shaun Carrig, 4. Troy Bollinger, 5. TJ Zacharias, 6. Matt Clemens
Did not start: Tommy Farrell, Bobby Drown, Terry Markovic, Ron Frees
A B-main for non-qualified cars was held and in the non-stop 25-lapper James Pritchard, Jr., of Roxberry, NJ led every lap and won for the first time in a Modfied. The race was worth $1000. It was his first win since a Factory Stock victory back in 2006.
Oct 13 - King of Mountain - Mountain Speedway - WIN
Matt Hirschman time trialed quickest in Modified qualifying, but Earl Paules pulled the pole position when the top ten fastest qualifiers redrew for starting position in the 150-lap main event. Paules led the opening circuit over Jimmy Zacharias, Dave Brigati, Brian DeFebo and Zane Zeiner but was overtaken by Zacharias for the lead after one lap was complete. Two laps later DeFebo climbed to second. Following a lap seven restart, DeFebo took his turn at the lead and Zacharias settled into the second spot. With 50 laps complete, DeFebo remained the leader over Zacharias. Chuck Hossfeld cracked the top five and ran third, followed by Brigati and John Beatty. Hossfeld began to climb further toward the front as the halfway mark approached and then overtook Zacharias for second on lap 71. Meanwhile, Hirschman began to make his move and overtook Brigati for fourth two laps later. The yellow flag waved when Brandon Oltra slowed on the track on lap 82 and several drivers pitted for tires, including Zacharias and Brigati, who ran third and sixth respectively. With DeFebo in the lead for the restart, Hirschman overtook Hossfeld and then took the lead from DeFebo on lap 84. Zeiner climbed to second by lap 90 before the yellow flag waved on lap 98 when Vince Biondolillo and Jason Hearne collected in turn two. Several of the frontrunners pitted under the caution period, including Hirschman, Zeiner, DeFebo, Paules and Hossfeld. Green flag racing resumed with Nick Pecko, who had pitted earlier in the event as the leader. Zacharias restarted in second, followed by Brigati. While heading into turn one on lap 104, a lower control arm broke on Zacharias’ car and he made hard contact with the fence, ending a great run. Four laps following the restart, Brigati overtook Pecko for the lead and Hirschman, who had made his way back to the top five, followed through for second. Hirschman reeled in the leader and then made his bid for the lead on lap 109 and Zeiner quietly worked his way back to second. Despite an inside pass attempt by Zeiner following a late race restart, Hirschman led all of the final circuits to claim his second straight King of the Mountain victory and third of his career over Zeiner and Pecko. Todd Baer stayed out of trouble all night to finish fourth and Hossfeld completed the top five. Modified (150-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Zane Zeiner 3. Nick Pecko 4. Todd Baer 5. Chuck Hossfeld 6. Earl Paules 7. David Brigati 8. Bobby Jones 9. Brian DeFebo 10. Nevin George 11. John Beatty 12. John Markovic 13. Vincent Biondolillo 14. Barry Callavini 15. Randall Richard 16. Brian Romig 17.Daren Scherer 18. Brian Sones 19. Jimmy Zacharias 20. Andy Walko 21. Jason Hearne 22.David Roys 23. Brandon Oltra 24. Dan Watts 25. Rob Ormsbee DNS: Eric Kocher
Oct 6 - Mahoning Speedway - 2
Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman, neighbors from Mud Lane in Northampton, don’t race regularly at Mahoning Valley Speedway but make no mistake that when they do you’ll usually see them vying for the win, especially when it comes to a 100 lap feature. After they drew the front row, Beers was then able to lead every lap and held off Hirschman for the $3000 victory. It was the sixth time that Beers has won a Mahoning race of that distance, equaling the mark with Hirschman for most at the paved quarter mile oval. And, while that race unfolded, third place finisher Earl Paules clinched the division championship which complimented his Late Model crown from two weeks earlier. Zane Zeiner was fourth and in the process picked up an additional $2000 from the $6000 purse as the overall winner of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series. Rookie Scott Meckes completed the top five. 26 Modifieds time trialed which locked the top 12 into the starting grid. Don Wagner turned the fastest lap at 9.798-seconds, a mere .001-second over Beers. Beers, driving the Horwith Trucking No. 45, got a quick jump on Hirschman when the race commenced. Paules also snookered Hirschman and grabbed second spot. Throughout the first half of the contest the front duo waged a solid battle with many of the laps run in near two-wide formation. Numerous attempts by Paules to move into the lead where thwarted by Beers. “Earl (Paules) is the master here. Had he started pole and me second I would most likely not have won this race,” admitted Beers. Hirschman never was a factor during the first half and had fallen back to seventh at one point. It wasn’t until the final 32 laps that he reemerged as a contender. After a restart on lap 65, he displaced strong running Meckes for third and then aimed his attention on Paules. It would take him the better part of the next 20 laps to do so. Once he did his motivation was now Beers. At that point there was only six laps left and he did all he could to race into the lead, however, with Beers’ car sticking perfectly to the inside, the former track champ was able to hold his line and score the big win, his first of any kind this season. “With the dampness the track didn’t have a whole lot of grip tonight and without having a mirror or a radio which we have on the (NASCAR) Tour all the time, you don’t know how close anyone is to you so you’re always going as hard as you can,” said Beers who now has 28 career Modified wins at Mahoning Valley. “I knew he (Hirschman) was right on me and he and everyone else ran a clean race. This is home to me and I’m glad to be here.”; Beers, Hirschman and several other “outsiders” used the race as a tune-up for the upcoming October 27 $5000-to-win season finale, 130 lap event.
“This gives us a lot of confidence coming into that race,” offered Beers. “We have a little bit of work to do to get the car better for that one. It’s going to be huge here that day and you can expect a lot of hot shoes from around the Northeast.”
DJ Wagner and Brian DeFebo were b-main winners.
Modified Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Eric Beers, 2. Matt Hirschman, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Scott Meckes, 6. John Markovic, 7. Nevin George, 8. Ed Brunnhoelzl, 9. Bobby Jones, 10. Brian DeFebo, 11. Tony Hirschman, 12. Don Wagner, 13. Roger Coss, 14. Chip Santee, 15. Shawn Sitarchyk, 16. Lou Strohl, 17. Matt Wentz, 18. Troy Bollinger, 19. Joe Mooney, 20. Kevin Rex, Jr., 21. Tyler Haydt, 22. Tom Flanagan, 23. DJ Wagner, 24. John Bennett Did not qualify: Vinnie Biondolillo, Matt Higgins,
Sept 29 - Stafford Speedway - 10th
Bobby Santos waited until the end to make his move and then powered past Woody Pitkat to win the CARQUEST Fall Final Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Santos made the winning pass with four laps to go en route to his first win of the season. It was the seventh career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win for the Franklin, Mass., driver. Four of those wins have come at Stafford, including the 2010 Fall Final.“I was taking care a little bit and saving for 10 to go, but Flemke held me up a little and that kind of motivated me,” said Santos, the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion.Pitkat led a race-high 128 laps at his hometown track. The Stafford driver had a cushion of over a second late in the race before Santos cleared lapped traffic and tracked him down. Santos wound up winning by .644 seconds.
“I have to congratulate (Pitkat). He did an awesome jog,” stated Santos. “I really wish he could have gotten his first win, but it feels great to win for us, too.”
While Pitkat had to settle for second place, he was proud of his team’s performance.“The car was really good. I wanted to stay out front so I wouldn’t have to abuse the car and that’s what we did,” said Pitkat. “But something happened toward the end. I think we started leaking power steering fluid or something. It was all over the front of the car there at the end.“This team has worked really hard and it was nice to prove that we have a top-five car. It’s an honor to drive for these guys. Hopefully we can be one spot better at Thompson.”Jimmy Blewett, who won his second career Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying Saturday, finished third. Blewett pitted early for tires but the strategy backfired when the race ran 93 laps under green. Neither Santos nor Pitkat pitted.“The car was a little too free at the beginning. We came in put the tires on and made a chassis adjustment,” Blewett said. “We hoped that we’d get a late-race caution and everybody else would pit and pick up track position. We didn’t get that caution we really wanted. We had to go when we did and it was just a little too late in the game.”Ron Silk and Ryan Preece finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Mike Stefanik was sixth, followed by Donny Lia, Bryon Chew, Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman.With one race remaining Coby holds a 17-point lead over Ryan Preece and 18 over defending tour champion Silk. Lia and Justin Bonsignore round out the top five but are mathematically eliminated from championship contention.With the victory, Santos locked up a spot in the NASCAR Whelen Modified race at the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the .4-mile oval at Daytona International Speedway next February during Speedweeks.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour concludes the season Sunday, Oct. 14 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-CARQUEST Fall Final Results - UNOFFICIAL
Sunday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 74.462 mph.
2. (4) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 150.
3. (1) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
4. (3) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
5. (10) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
6. (17) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 150.
7. (9) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 150.
8. (8) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
9. (11) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (6) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA, Chevrolet, 150.
11. (13) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
12. (14) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (7) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
14. (16) Richie Pallai,, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
15. (12) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
16. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
17. (21) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
18. (23) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 149.
19. (15) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, Mass., Chevrolet, 149.
20. (20) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 149.
21. (19) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
22. (25) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 142.
23. (5) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 128.
24. (26) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 70, clutch.
25. (22) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 50, steering.
26. (18) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Ford, 10, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 0 minutes 26 seconds
Margin of Victory: .644 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: J. Blewett (98.318 mph, 18.308 seconds)
Caution Flags: 4 for 24 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Blewett 1-2; R. Silk 3-16; W. Pitkat 17-144; B. Santos 145-150.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 518; 2. R. Preece, 501; 3. R. Silk, 500; 4. D. Lia, 466; 5. J. Bonsignore, 435; 6. T. Szegedy, 434; 7. J. Blewett, 431; 8. E. Beers, 430; 9. T. Christopher, 421; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 412.
Sept 23 - Shangri-La -RoC - 4th
JIMMY ZACHARIAS USES HOMETRACK KNOWLEDGE TO WIN RoC FINAL AT SHANGRI-LA II…. HIRSCHMAN CHAMPION
BY JR KENNERUP
Tioga Center, NY… Racing on a track that he knows like the back of his hand was all that Jimmy Zacharias needed on Sunday evening at the Shangri- La II Motor Speedway. The third generation driver knew that with the cool temperatures and racing at night that he wouldn’t need to pit for tires.
Zacharias started sixth and took the lead officially for good on lap 61 when leader Bobby Holmes spun into the turn one foam after contact between the top two drivers. Zacharias then withstood the relentless challenges of Erick Rudolph over the final 31 laps to record the win. Rudolph settled for second with Chuck Hossfeld in third, Matt Hirschman a quiet fourth and Andy Walko in fifth.With his fourth placed finish Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. became the 2012 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour champion.“Running here all the time really helped me tonight as I know what the track is like and what it is going to do when the weather conditions are like they are and we’re running under the lights ,” said the very happy race winner. “When the conditions are like that here you don’t need to pit for tires.”Tommy Cloce and Billy Putney brought the full field of Modifieds to the green flag with Cloce grabbing the lead over Bobby Holmes, Putney, JR Kent and Jimmy Zacharias.With darkness settling over the big half mile concrete oval Zacharias was the driver on the move early as he took fourth on lap four. He was followed by Erick Rudolph who moved into fifth on lap five. Zacharias moved into third using a strong run off the corners on lap seven.Cloce, Holmes, and Zacharias were putting on quite a show for the race fans as they battled hard for the lead. Zacharias slipped under Holmes on lap 12 and made a strong move under Cloce in turn two on lap 17 to grab the lead.Holmes moved into second as Cloce slipped up the track due to contact by Zacharias when making the pass for the lead. Cloce obviously having a problem lost third to Rudolph on lap 25 and fourth to Chuck Hossfeld one lap later.The first yellow of the race appeared on lap 32 and during this time Zacharias was placed back to second for the rough pass of Cloce for the lead. Due to the penalty Holmes was now scored as the leader and while this was taking place many drivers pitted for a new tire.Matt Hirschman was the first driver to return to the track after the pit stops.When the race resumed Holmes led Zacharias, Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, and Putney. TJ Potrzebowski moved into fifth on lap 58 but a hard charging Rudolph took fifth on lap 60.The complexion of the race changed exiting turn four to complete lap 61 as Holmes and Zacharias got together while racing for the lead. Holmes lost control of the Kluth Motorsports entry and spun into the turn one foam blocks. Officials determined that Holmes came down on Zacharias making contact and caused himself to spin.“I held my line coming off the corner and he came down into me,” said Zacharias when asked about the contact.When the race went back to green Zacharias led Hossfeld, Scherer, Rudolph, and Potrzebowski. Rudolph driving the fastest car on the track moved into third on lap 68 and one lap later took second from Hossfeld.The battle for the RoC championship took a decided turn toward Hirschman as his closest completion Kyle Ebersole suffered a flat left front on lap 77 to bring out the yellow.After Ebersole pitted and returned Hirschman picked the pace up to move into the top five on lap 79.Up front Rudolph was starting to apply heavy pressure on Zacharias for the lead and got along side of him a couple of times. But each time Zacharias would have just enough momentum to stay in the lead.Rudolph appeared to have his best shot at passing Zacharias coming around to complete lap 92. However the car of JR Kent was out of power and coasting into the pit area and Zacharias was able to create a little space between him and Rudolph at that point, Hirschman moved into fourth at this time.With five laps to go a blanket could have been tossed over the top four as they all raced hard for the lead. Zacharias had just enough to hold off Rudolph at the line with Rudolph barely holding off Hossfeld for third with Hirschman in fourth and Andy Walko rallying late for fifth.“This was a big win for me, my first RoC win, to get it at my home track and in front of my fans and family, which means a lot to me,” said the Candor, NY resident.Zacharias credited a little change in his driving style as a big difference in the outcome of the race. “Usually I race balls to the wall from green to checker in every race I’m in. But today in the heat race I stayed in fourth, which put me into the redraw and didn’t try to push and save my tires instead. As I knew we would be racing under the lights and tire wear wouldn’t be a factor. So I needed to save my tires early then get to the front and make everyone go around me if they wanted to win.”
Qualifying for the 32 car field saw heat race wins go to Rudolph, Hirschman, and Hossfeld.
NOTES; RoC Officials would like to say thank you to the staff and management of Shangri- La II for working with the Modified race teams in moving their show up in the running order to create the best possible race for the fans. TJ Zacharias was the only B Modified to start the feature and he won the Gater Racing News $500 cash bonus and also captured the RoC B Modified championship. A couple of hard heat race crashes ended the day for Patrick Emerling, Jim Storace, and John Ramsey. The two day show was condensed into Sunday with the Modified portion starting at 5:30 and ending three hours later. Tom Zacharias was driving the Jake Rought owned car while Dan Harpell was co- announcing the racing program on this day. The Modified 100 lap event provided the fans with an outstanding show to end the season as the teams have certainly adapted to the American Racer Tire. Bobby Holmes was in contention for the win for most of the race on four used tires that had 40 laps previously logged on them prior to today’s event.
FINISH; Jimmy Zacharias, Erick Rudolph, Chuck Hossfeld, Matt Hirschman, Andy Walko, Daren Scherer, TJ Potrzebowski, Kyle Ebersole, Rusty Smith, Billy Putney, John Markovic, Nick Barzee, Matt Wentz, Dan Kurzejewski, Brandon Oltra, Todd Geist, JR Kent, Dean Rypkema, Tommy Cloce, Bobby Holmes, Austin Kochenash, Brian DeFebo, TJ Zacharias, Ken Canestrari, Tom Zacharias.
DNQ/DNS: Jim Storace, John Ramsey, Bob Mosher, Chris Clemens, Matt Clemens, Jerry Dineen, Patrick Emerling.
Sept 22 - New Hampshire - 8
COBY CAPTURES FIRST MAGIC MILE WIN
Fifth Win Of The Season For Whelen Modified Tour Leader
Doug Coby held on in a two-lap dash to the finish to win the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday to score his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season.It marked the seventh career win and first victory at the Magic Mile for the Milford, Conn., driver - who extended his lead in the championship standings.“I’ve only won at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford in my career and to come outside of Connecticut – being a Connecticut boy – to come to this stage and on TV, it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” Coby said.In a race that featured lead changes on nearly every lap early on, Coby took command on Lap 84 and never relinquished the top spot. While he charged to the checkered flag after a restart with two laps remaining, second-place running Ted Christopher ended up slamming the wall after contact from Donny Lia, who went on to take the runner-up spot as the race finished under caution.Lia led eight different times for a race-high 47 laps after qualifying on the pole.“We were gonna fight for the win and I got a run there on the 3 car [Christopher] and got into the back of him, unintentionally, and caused a wreck,” Lia said. “It’s racing, I feel really bad about it, by no means was it intentional. I got a run and was trying to go to the bottom and got him in the left rear corner.”The race appeared to mark a turnaround for Coby - who started the season with top 10s in each of the first eight races, but had finishes of 11th, 13th and 22nd in the three outings leading to New Hampshire.Following Coby and Lia across the finish line were Ron Silk, Ryan Newman and Rowan Pennink. Eric Beers, Richie Pallai Jr., Matt Hirschman, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10.With the win Coby extended to a 21-point lead on Ryan Preece with just two races remaining in the season. Defending champion Silk is three points further back in third.The race featured 23 lead changes among six different drivers. It marked the most lead changes in a Whelen Modified Tour event since July 15, 2006 when there were 28, also at New Hampshire.
The F.W. Webb 100, the second of two visits by the tour this year to NHMS, and the 57th all-time at the 1.058-mile oval. It was televised live on SPEED.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action with the CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 30.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - F.W. Webb 100 - Unofficial Results
Saturday At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Lap length: 1.058 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 100 laps, 96.817 mph.
2. (1) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 100.
3. (3) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 100.
4. (6) Ryan Newman, South Bend, IN, Chevrolet, 100.
5. (11) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 100.
6. (16) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 100.
7. (13) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
8. (20) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 100.
9. (12) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
10. (4) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 100.
11. (15) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
12. (18) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 100.
13. (24) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 100.
14. (22) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 100.
15. (27) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100.
16. (19) Cole Powell, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet, 100.
17. (5) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 99, accident.
18. (9) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99, accident.
19. (30) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.
20. (28) Mike Christopher, Plainville, CT, Dodge, 98.
21. (31) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 98.
22. (23) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 97.
23. (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 95.
24. (14) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Chevrolet, 94.
25. (21) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 92.
26. (8) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 92.
27. (26) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92.
28. (17) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 59, suspension.
29. (10) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 32, engine.
30. (29) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 30, handling.
31. (25) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 7, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 34 seconds
Margin of Victory: Under Caution
Fastest Qualifier: D. Lia (129.763 mph, 29.352 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 17 laps.
Lead Changes: 23 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Lia 1-3; R. Preece 4; D. Lia 5; R. Preece 6-11; R. Silk 12; R. Preece 13-14; R. Silk 15; R. Preece 16; R. Silk 17; R. Preece 18-19; D. Lia 20-23; R. Silk 24; D. Lia 25; D. Coby 26; D. Lia 27; D. Coby 28; D. Lia 29-45; P. Emerling 46; D. Lia 47-61; D. Coby 62-68; D. Lia 69-73; D. Coby 74-76; T. Christopher 77-83; D. Coby 84-100.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 483; 2. R. Preece, 462; 3. R. Silk, 459; 4. D. Lia, 429; 5. T. Szegedy, 414; 6. J. Bonsignore, 401; 7. E. Beers, 399; 8. T. Christopher, 397; 9. J. Blewett, 389; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 380.
Sept 15 - Lancaster - Win
HIRSCHMAN CAPTURES 5TH RoC WIN IN A ROW BY WINNING US OPEN AT DUNN TIRE
BY JR KENNERUP
Clarence, NY … He’s been the hottest driver on asphalt since late June and on Saturday night Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. continued his dominance of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour, as he won the 24th US Open 100 at Dunn Tire Motorsports Park.
Hirschman started 11th in the field of 23 and had to survive numerous cautions attributed to damp and cool conditions. Hirschman survived a opening lap turn four skirmish and then with 22 laps to go in the 100 lap feature Hirschman was in the middle of a three wide race into turn one.
When Matt was in the middle he said to himself it was time to go and he did. The winning pass came exiting turn two on lap 83 as Hirschman got around leader TJ Potrzebowski. Once in the lead Hirschman put it on cruise control for the win. Kyle Ebersole came back from the opening lap skirmish with right side nerf bar damage and pitted three more times to finish second. Erick Rudolph ended up third with Rusty Smith coming back from a lap 76 spin to claim fourth and Potrzebowski was fifth. “It was a handful out there tonight and I know my car was tough to handle and I imagine everybody else’s car was tough too,” said the tired but happy feature winner. “There were some tangles, cars got wrecked, and I don’t think any of us drivers are the blame. It got cold, harder tires, it’s late, and the car was a handful I learned on that first lap up there in turn four.”
After many extra laps to get heat into the tires Daren Scherer and Jan Leaty brought the field to the green of Larry Woodruff. Just after the leaders crossed the start finish line to compete the first lap a wild scramble took place in turn four. The result saw Doug Reaume jumping the right rear wheel of Kyle Ebersole and vaulting into the turn four outside concrete wall, Reaume walked away from the scary looking accident.
With cold conditions the race restarted single file and Scherer led Leaty, TJ Potrzebowski, Erick Rudolph, and Mike Leaty. Potrzebowski showed plenty of strength early as he rocketed past Jan Leaty for second on lap six and one lap later passed Scherer for the lead. RoC Director Andrew Harpell commented on the single file restarts, "We had made requests with the track management earlier in the day to give us the opportunity to race the feature before it got cold and damp. That didn't happen. We were not going to get someone hurt for the sake of having double file restarts and wrecks." He added, "The safety of our teams is always our top priority, that won't change." The pit strategy started to come into play on lap 22 as Billy Putney and Chuck Hossfeld both pitted for tires under yellow. The race stayed green for the next 14 laps with the running order the same with the exception of Terry Cheetham who took fifth from Mike Leaty. The solid run of Cheetham ended on lap 36 as the left rear wheel came off the car exiting turn two. During this yellow Scherer, Mike and Jan Leaty, Hirschman, Ebersole, and Putney pitted for new right rear tires. The running order on lap 42 when the race went back to green saw Potrzebowski now leading Jimmy Zacharias, Rusty Smith, Bobby Holmes, and Austin Kochenash. Hossfeld who was sixth spun out on lap 64 to bring the yellow back out and at this time Smith, Kochenash, Andy Walko, Karl Hehr, Hossfeld, and Putney all pitted. Between laps 65 and 75 five yellow flag periods with two no starts tossed in kept everyone on the edge of their seats during this portion of the race. Potrzebowski kept the lead at lap 76 with Zacharias now applying heavy pressure for the lead. Holmes was holding off Hirschman while Rudolph was looking for a way around Matt for fourth. With the top five all bunched up Kyle Ebersole now joined the fray making a six car blanket racing for the lead. The turning point of the race took place on lap 78 entering turn one as Ebersole got under Hirschman coming down the homestretch while Rudolph got outside of Hirschman. Hirschman who was saving his equipment stomped on the throttle to get out of the middle of the three wide battle and powered his way into second exiting turn two.
Matt spoke about that bit of excitement. “I was sitting in a good position but I didn’t have the confidence to go to the outside to make a pass. I wanted to run a couple of more laps to get heat into the tires but Kyle and Erick weren’t as patient and I don’t blame them. We went into one three wide and I said we got to go and if I didn’t go they were going to leave me in the dust.” Once in second Hirschman reeled in the leader Potrzebowski and after sizing him up for two laps made the move to the outside to grab the lead exiting turn two with 18 laps to go. With Hirschman in front Ebersole now became the show as he moved into contention by taking second with 11 laps to go. However he had nothing for Hirschman and had to settle for second with Rudolph in third, Smith in fourth and Potrzebowski in fifth. Matt summed up the evening of racing. “It all worked out, it was tough out here and you had to be really cautious and I’m glad we made it through clean. But unfortunately some guys didn’t and I wished we would have run earlier in the day while the track had some heat in it.” Ebersole meanwhile had this to say about his second. “I thought we were done after the first lap as I saw the right front was pointed way out, the side bar was sticking way up, I wasn’t sure what we had. Got the tow fixed and went back out there and it felt pretty good and we adjusted more during our pit stops to make the car better. But I’m getting tired to finishing second to the 60 car.”
Qualifying heat races were captured by Hirschman, Kochenash, and Scherer.
NOTES; The event was slated to take place over two days however rain on Friday night pushed the complete eight division show to Saturday with racing starting at 1:15 in the afternoon and ending at 12:16 Sunday morning. RoC Officials had hoped to have the Modified portion of the program moved up earlier in the schedule due to dropping temperatures and damp conditions. Speedway management did not support the request. Bobby Holmes picked up the ride in the Kluth Motorsports entry as Sege Fidanza was absent and had a great outing. Don King won the Gater Racing News $500 bonus as the first 2 barrel Modified across the line. King, T.J. Zacharias and Kevin Lewis had a spirited battle throughout the 100 lapper for that bonus. Motor woes kept the cars of Tommy Cloce and JR Kent at home. Buffalo Sabres National Anthem singer Doug Allen did an outstanding job in his rendition of the anthems. Head Flagger Larry Woodruff flagged his final race at the track after 14 years of service. The RoC season wraps up this Sunday at Shangri – La II for the Fall Brawl. Matt Hirschman takes a 24 point lead in to the season finale 100.
RACE REPORT 24TH US OPEN
FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Kyle Ebersole, Erick Rudolph, Rusty Smith, TJ Potrzebowski, Bobby Holmes, Jan Leaty, Daren Scherer, Mike Leaty, Billy Putney, Jimmy Zacharias, Karl Hehr, Andy Walko, Don King, TJ Zacharias, Kevin Lewis, Austin Kochenash, Chuck Hossfeld, Terry Cheetham, Mike Odwazny, Tim Nies, Andy Jankowiak, Doug Reaume.
LAP LEADERS; Scherer ( 1 – 6 ), Potrzebowski ( 7 – 82 ), Hirschman ( 83 – 100 ).
GATER RACING NEWS $500 TOP B MODIFIED BONUS; King.
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Ebersole ( 13th to 2nd ).
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Cheetham ( 7th to 19th ).
Sun, Sept 9 - Thompson Speedway - WSMT
JUSTIN BONSIGNORE WINS NWMT TOWN FAIR TIRE NORTHERN 75
Bonsignore Gets Second Career Win at Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid
Starting second at the green and dropping back to sixth before five circuits were complete, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY in the M3 Technology sponsored Chevrolet went to task and worked his way methodically forward. On lap 68 he made the winning move passing Ryan Preece to score his second career win, his first at Thompson International Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire Northern 75.
Crossing for second was Bobby Santos, Ryan Preece third, Todd Szegedy fourth and Ted Christopher fifth.
“This is huge,” smiled Bonsignore. “Our team has been up and down all year, we really thought we'd come out of the box and contend like Doug (Coby) has all year. We kind of took a step backwards, made some changes with our team, this is only our third race together, we struggled our first race, Bristol showed we can do it. I have all the confidence in the world in my guys. They are so dedicated and when they get to the race track, it's a good time.”
The 75 lap point race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had a total of four cautions including the finish under yellow when Ron Silk running seventh hit the turn one and two outside wall on the white flag lap, the field crossing the stripe under a yellow checker.
It was after the caution with 22 laps to go that Bonsignore noticed his car was coming to him. "We were just really tight in the beginning, our car just had no forward drive, then we got that caution and I don't know if everyone else just came back to us or if we got a little bit better but we got a really good restart that got us up to third there.”
Bonsignore gained three positions on that restart and found himself two spots from the checkers - only Ted Christopher with thirteen Tour wins at Thompson and Ryan Preece who had led the entire event was between him and pulling the Ken Massa owned modified into victory lane. Bonsignore knew there was not much time, 22 circuits to be exact and he took his move forward to task. “I started working Teddy over as hard as I could, showed him a nose, showed him an outside, it's real hard to pass him here, everyone knows that, he's the best. Finally I just put the slide job on him in turn three and we didn't make any contact which is how you're supposed to do it then we ran Ryan down. I didn't think I was going to get him as easy as I did. He tried to cross back over but our car was really good up off."
Bonsignore became the second leader of the day and just as he was putting some distance from the field a turn four incident involving Bryon Chew, Ed Flemke, Rowan Pennink and Patrick Emerling brought out the yellow, three circuits shy of the checkers. “The last thing I wanted to see was that caution. That's not what you want to see when you're driving away from them with two to go.” The Town Fair Tire Northern 75 was going into overtime.
Bonsignore lined up to lead the field for a green, white, checkered finish with Preece, Christopher, Santos and Mike Stefanik the top five. Bonsignore maintained his lead while the scramble for the checkers became fierce. Silk got the worse of it on the white flag lap and was forced into the outside wall bringing out a yellow, checker finish. Santos secured second and Preece claimed third on the extended feature at lap 82, seven over the advertised distance. “We got a good start, rolled in on the top- Bobby was coming- I knew it was going to be exciting- the way our season's gone, I'll take it with the caution that ended the race.”
Rolling into his hometrack next weekend, Bonsignore will no doubt be a top choice for victory at Riverhead Raceway where he collected his first career Tour win last year. “We've got another good week next week at Riverhead, I'm really looking forward to that, maybe we can go two in a row. We're going back home, we ran there recently and won two weeks ago- I think there is a really good chance.”
He may be a part time driver on the NWMT, but when he does make it to the track, Bobby Santos of Franklin, MA seems to make a statement, for the good, in the ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. sponsored, Sully Tinio owned Chevrolet. Third at the initial green, Santos challenged Preece in the beginning, then Bonsignore at the end, his day’s work resulting in a solid second. “My guys gave me a really good car, that Billy the Kid Motor is really good. We just got a little loose, we were off just a little bit- I want to thank those guys they did an awesome job.”
Setting fast time, collecting his fifth Coors Light pole award of the season, Ryan Preece turned on a torrid pace keeping the competition in his rear view mirror. If the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 had remained green, there would have been no catching the Berlin, CT driver.
After Bonsignore made his move for the lead, the final caution occurred with a less than a handful of circuits left on the board. The caution cost Preece yet another position, his day ending third. “I want to thank East West Marine, Flamingo Motorsports, Sanderson McCloud, R&B Enterprises, American Lamp Recycling, everybody involved in this whole deal. We wouldn't be here without them.” Preece was already looking ahead before he even climbed out of the car. “We know what we have to do to make our car better for the 50 lap showdown and hope we can put on a show for the fans.”
Mike Stefanik crossed sixth with Donny Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai, Jr the remaining top ten finishers.
Point leader Doug Coby finished the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 in 13th- while not the best points day for the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct title contending modified, Coby maintains a 32 point lead over Ron Silk heading to Riverhead Raceway this next Saturday, Sept. 15th.
ANDY SEUSS TAKES TO THE HIGH SIDE
TO WIN THE NWSMT AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY
With Lady Luck on His Side Seuss Gets First 2012 Win
by Denise DuPont
Race teams from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) traveled north for the second annual North South Showdown on Sunday September 9th.
There were twenty-two NWSMT teams registered and all started the Green Pointe EnergySouthern75 tour race. The southern race was the first of the two tour events scheduled to run. There was a caution on lap1 after two cars made contact on the backstretch and then pulled away. After that the race continued to the finish without caution.
As the laps clicked off there was a lot of passing and just good hard racing. Coming into the race at Thompson Speedway, NWSMT regular Andy Seuss was winless in 2012. The #11, Ideal race team has had more than their share of bad luck and damaged cars this season. But the team’s bad luck finally turned around at Thompson. Andy Seuss started the race on the outside pole, passed for the lead on lap 24 and out drove Matt Hirschman to take the win.
As the laps clicked off and race leaders made their way through lapped traffic, fans were on their feet cheering the leaders on and waiting to see if lapped cars would change the race outcome. But Seuss used the cars to his advantage to pass them and remained ahead of Hirschman. On lap 75 Andy Seuss took the checkers winning the GreenPointe Energy Southern “75” race.
“I started to get worried when they said that he (Matt Hirschman) was coming. I do not know if lapped track helped or hurt,” said Seuss from victory lane. “I cannot thank this team enough. We have had a terrible year luck wise. There were times over the past few weeks that I was not sure if I was going to get a win this year. Everything was just right today. I just went where the car was fast and that was where they told me the car was fastest to get good momentum. “
“The crew worked so hard in practice yesterday and then this morning we threw everything at it (the car). So I just had to drive it based on how it was handling. It (the car) was loose all race and I was chasing the rear end up the hill but it worked up there. The crew chief, my dad the interim crew chief, told me to run up there and I did and it worked out. ”
Seuss may have had a loose car but he had a car that ran good on the outside which he could use to his advantage to pass lapped traffic. “My crew said “Run up top you are getting a good run off the turns”. So I did and a couple of times I got to the outside of cars running up there.”
At the end of the race Seuss was still racing hard after the checkers flew. “I got confused when it was two to go and they did not show it because of the lapped cars. Then I thought I saw the white flag waving and I thought I saw them throw the checkers but I was not taking chances. I keep going until my spotter told me to slow down. I have to thank all those lapped cars for giving me respect and room. Lapped traffic always plays into a race here. Matt Hirschman ran real clean. I have to thank him. . I cannot wait to come back here for the World Series. ”
Matt Hirschman brought the Goodale #50 car across the finish line right behind Andy Seuss for a solid second place finish. “The car just came up a little bit short,” said Hirschman after the race. “I was able to get to Andy but not make a move around him. It just did not have it coming up off the corner there. We were about equal and then he was a little bit better the last few laps.”
This was the first time Hirschman drove the Goodale family car but it did not show as he maneuvered the car like it was his. “I did not know what to expect coming into this race today. This is the first time that I have driven this car and raced for this team, so considering that I think that this was an excellent run for us. I appreciate the opportunity that these guys gave me with Goodie Motorsports.”
Rob Fuller came from the rear of the field for a podium finish in the NWSMT race at Thompson. Even though he won the pole during qualifying, Fuller was forced to dropped to the rear of the field after his spotter missed a pre-race meeting. “It felt great. Starting in the back I felt a little nervous but I think that we showed them that we belonged up front. With one more caution, I tell you that I do not think that the fastest car won the race.”
Fuller had to get from the back to the front if he wanted to win and knowing that he passed eighteen cars by lap 50. “I have never raced before with these southern guys and I have to say that these guys gave me all the room in the world. I have to give this one to my guys. They worked their butts off. The crew chief let us down a little by missing the meeting or whatever happened there but we stuck together and pulled something good out of it.”
The NWSMT cars will return south and have a few weeks off before their next race on September 29th at Caraway Speedway.
Notes from Thompson Speedway:
What are your thoughts on securing a guaranteed starting spot at Daytona race in February?
“It is really big. This is really exciting. That was one of the things that Eddie Harvey said when I got out of the car. He said “We are going to Daytona.” I did not think of that at first because of the win. But having that is really cool.”
What does this win mean to you?
“It is huge because I recently thought what if I cannot get a win in 2012? Now that is a weight off our shoulder. I hate to do the first win this late in the season but hopefully by the end of the year we can chaulk up a couple more.”
Your thoughts on competing in the UNOH 50 lap Showdown Race:
“The 50 lapper is going to be tough. They guys have run here a few times over the year and a few of these guys run here weekly in the SKs. They know this track and even though I am originally from up here I do not have all that many races here. And you can never say that experience does not help you because it does. So we are going to go out there and compete and do the best we can.”
After a second place finish in the NWSMT Matt Hirschman still had the 50 lap Showdown to compete in and he was ready. “Now we will have a good test to see how we compare with the northern guys because they really have a handle on this place. This is a trial here today to maybe do more with these guys and so far so good. We will see what we have a little bit later.“
And Hirschman definitely passed the test with a seventh place finish in the Showdown.
“It was all fun; I am looking forward the 50 lapper. We will start the 50 lapper in a good starting position and we will see how it goes.”
NOH SHOWDOWN WIN TO CHRISTOPHER IN FAMED BOEHLER 3
Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid
It was big. The buzz was there- the best of the best in the NASCAR North and South Tour modifieds came to Thompson International Speedway to compete in the 50-lap, $15,000 to win UNOH Showdown. The second year that UNOH and Thompson have collaborated to make this ‘the modified event of the year,’ it was Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT in the 3 Ole Blue making his move early for the lead and never looking backwent on to claim the coveted UNOH Showdown victory.
“We had a pretty good run going into the first race,” said Christopher. “Scott (Richards) said he’d make some adjustments to get it better and it really did. I really want to thank them- Mike Boehler, Scott, Greg, Rabbit, everyone on this crew for allowing me to drive after the unforeseen circumstances losing my other ride. It’s good to be back in a car, especially when you’re winning.” In addition to his payday and UNOH Showdown bragging rights, Dale Wolbrink awarded Christopher a special helmet painted by Ryan Young of Indocil Art in victory lane in honor of the late Charles Kepley. “I really appreciate this” said Christopher. “Charles did so much for the North South race, he is definitely missed.”
Jimmy Blewett came from a distant 27th starting position to finish second with Ryan Preece third, Donny Lia fourth and Doug Coby fifth.
The 32 car field was set by the finishes of the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 and the Green Pointe Energy 75, NWMT winner Justin Bonsignore brought the field to green with NWSMT winner Andy Seuss on the outside. Christopher lined up tenth and while Bonsignore was the leader early, Bobby Santos made his move to take the lead on the second circuit while Christopher passed for fourth by the first caution on lap 3.
Santos on the restart with Ryan Preece and Bonsignore the top three, Christopher turned his fourth into a second and by the time seven circuits were on the board, Christopher was the new leader. Holding off the challenges of first Preece, surviving a caution just before the half way mark and then a final surge from Jimmy Blewett in the final dozen laps, Christopher held on for the win and the lucrative payday.
“I really didn’t think my odds were that good starting tenth and I knew there were real good guys in front of me- it was really weird, under the warm up laps (NASCAR allowed a handful of laps prior to the green to scuff tires), I was really fast, I mean it was only warm up laps but as a driver you can tell how your car feels and I was like, this car is getting drive, I was thinking I just might have something for these guys. I was happy we lined up on the outside and got the run going good there, then I had to pass. I had to. I didn’t want to stay behind people. A lot of people always say ‘save yourself, save yourself’ and after all these years, I’m still not that mentality to do that. I had to go.” Christopher continued. “I’m happy for those guys, when I led laps at Bristol, it had been three years since they led a lap with that car so to lead laps and finally win with that car- that means a lot. They’re really nice people, great guys to work with. Scott and Greg are cool guys. I was disappointed at Bristol ‘cause I had such a great car and I’ve led so many laps there but haven’t been able to win there. Next year.”
A 50 lap shootout isn’t much time to make your way through the field. But someone forgot to tell Jimmy Blewett about that. Taking the green more in the back than anywhere else at 27th, that didn’t deter Blewett who used the spot as a launch to the front. “I’m just really proud of my guys, the only thing that stinks about this is my grandfather left after the first race, “this one’s for him.”
Blewett continued. “My car was just a tick off in the first race, it looked like I didn’t have any motor, like I wasn’t there, but the minor changes for the second race, it puts you right to the front. I enjoy doing runs like that because it proves to people that work with me how much I really appreciate it- they stick with me no matter how many good runs I have or how many bad runs I have. My grandfather funds my whole operation- he left to go home not realizing we were going to be in the second race.” The top ten transferred to the UNOH Showdown plus five each North and South provisional spots and two promoter’s picks, Blewett finishing 20th in the first event, it would be easy to see why the Howell, NJ driver might be watching this one from the sidelines.
“My grandfather said he was tired and was heading home but he told me don’t give up, keep going, keep your nose clean, try the best you can and where you finish you finish. He said he was proud of me. He puts his money into this and without him, our sponsors and our crew, I would not even be able to be standing here right now.”
Preece finished the day with a pair of top three finishes. “Thought I had something for the 3 there- I remember when driving for them, I had a lot of fun, congratulations to them. We had a phenomenal day. We’re definitely working our way forward to victory lane and I plan on being there before the season is done.”
“Making a tire adjustment and tightening up the car a little bit, that’s all we needed,” said Preece. “It made it almost a completely different car, even coming off the corner, it was unbelievable. It’s just the fine tuning that makes you that much better in the end. In the modified Tour, everybody’s right there, it’s almost like you have to be perfect to win these races and we’re close, definitely close. It’s all crew chief, crew, we drive the cars, we keep it out of trouble, but they’re the ones that get us up front, those are the guys that keep me, Teddy, Jimmy, Todd Szegedy, Ron Silk, Doug Coby all up front. It’s all crew chiefs, crew, a lot of hours in the race shop. We got it really racing today, we’re looking forward to the rest of the races this year.”
“We had some luck finally,” said Michael Boehler after the Showdown withOle Blue car owner Jan Boehler. “The first race, he was just too loose, a lot of guys were, he was just hanging on there getting in and coming off. It was a lot better this time, they tightened it up a little bit and the tires were good. This is good for the guys. It was tough at Bristol a couple of weeks ago leading and get a flat there. The guys worked hard, Teddy drove hard and finally, it all came together. It’s been like three years, a lot of races, a lot of tough luck, if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be, in life and in racing. The guys build this car in house, the chassis, the body, a lot of the suspension stuff, the bars, it’s even more gratifying to win. We’re still trying to keep everything going 55 years later.”
Crew chief of the Boehler 3, Scott Richards is doing his part to contribute to the Boehler legacy. “We didn’t do a lot of changes, we took a little bit of stagger away and put some spring rubbers in. He told us it was too loose going in and it was obvious to the naked eye that it was too loose, that helped us. I’m really excited, it’s been a long time since the 3 has been in victory lane and we do it because we love the race car. This car here, Greg Fournier and I actually built ourselves, the first one we built in the stable, it’s pretty exciting to have it in victory lane.” Richards laughed when asked how long he has been with the team. “Ah, like twenty years, twenty five years? Since I was a little kid. I grew up across the street from the shop. Michael and I were friends since we were little. We raced big wheels together, we raced lawnmowers, whatever we could get. I swept the floors, we played in the racecars, Lenny yelled at us for sitting in the racecars during the week- that’s how I learned it.” The likes of Richards, Fournier and others on the team and now Christopher, are indeed part of the what makes the Boehler legacy a continued success- 55 years and counting.
The anticipated weekend is in the record books. Donny Lia echoed best the general feeling of the last two days of competition. “I'm thankful to see Thompson and UNOH working together to do something like this, it's really great for the modifieds- the response of the southern guys coming up here, the whole thing, it's a good deal."
Next for the NWMT is the rescheduled Riverhead Raceway event on Saturday Sept 15th while the NWSMT heads to Caraway Speedway Saturday Sept 29th.
By Travis Barrett, Special To NASCAR
THOMPSON, Conn. – Not that Jimmy Blewett needed to live up to his nickname, but “Showtime” was at it again on Sunday at Thompson International Speedway.
Blewett drove from 27th in the 32-car UNOH Showdown field and finished second after challenging eventual winner Ted Christopher for the lead in the late going of the non-points showcase featuring both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. After being a non-factor in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 earlier in the afternoon, Blewett was a force in the main event.
“I enjoy making runs like that, because it proves to the people who work with me how much I really appreciate this, you know what I mean? They stick with me no matter how many bad runs I have or how many good runs I have,” said Blewett, who finished 20th in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75.
“It's nice to show people you can still do it.”
One person who didn't see Blewett's impressive performance was his grandfather, John Blewett Sr. – though the family patriarch had some pertinent advice for his grandson before the 50-lap UNOH Showdown.
“My grandfather, he's getting a little older and he funds the whole operation, he came and watched the first race. The car wasn't running the way we needed it to run today, and he left after the first race because he didn't realize we were in (The Showdown),” Blewett said. “He said, 'I'm on my way home, I'm really tired, but I just want to tell you: Don't give up, keep going.'
“It's a shame he couldn't be here to see it, because everybody knows this place has a weight on our shoulders.”
In 2007, Blewett's brother, John Blewett III, was killed in a crash at Thompson during a Whelen Modified Tour event.
For a myriad of reasons, Blewett was happy to have returned to his “Showtime” ways on Sunday.
“This place was (at) one time my home track weekly,” said Blewett, of Howell, N.J. “To come from the back like that and be able to show some of the fans that are still here from when I used to race here that I can still get it done, it feels good.”
TWO-TIME: Justin Bonsignore's championship season never took shape, but he's rounding into form in the late stages of 2012.
Bonsignore passed Ryan Preece with 14 laps remaining Sunday afternoon and went on to survive a green-white-checkered finish to win the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 at Thompson. It was Bonsignore's first win of the season and second of his career, and it came at a track where he had three DNFs in his three most recent starts.
“This is unbelievable. This is just long overdue for this team,” Bonsignore said. “We've been struggling all year. We were so close last year, we thought we could contend for the title this year. Things just didn't go our way. We made some changes, and it just proves that hard work and dedication can (come through) when you need it.”
Bonsignore's victory wasn't without its anxious moments.
Bonsignore had to compete with two of the best competitors Thompson has seen – both this year and in recent years – as well as some radio issues in the No. 51. He had to chase down the pole-sitter Preece – who has nine wins in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified competition at the track this season – while holding off Christopher. Christopher has 13 career Tour wins at Thompson and has now finished in the Top-5 in 15 of the last 18 Tour events at the track.
“We had a lot of radio trouble, and I was complaining a lot,” Bonsignore said.
“I had to work Teddy over, and he's the best around this place. I can't thank Ryan and Teddy enough for racing me clean. It was a lot of fun racing with those guys.”
The Tour now heads to Riverhead Raceway – Bonsignore's home track – where he won a Whelen All-American Series Modified feature two weeks ago and earned his first career Tour victory last season. He's moved to sixth in the Tour standings, 13 points out of fourth.
NEW LOOK: Andy Seuss' win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour GreenPointe Energy Southern 75 came as a result of having found a new way to get around the high-banked Thompson track.
Seuss rode the high line all the way along the wall for most of the event, holding off Matt Hirschman in heavy traffic to record his 12th career victory.
His best previous finish at Thompson was ninth in a Whelen Modified Tour race in 2007.
“I jst went where the car was fast, and that's where they told me the car was fastest,” said Seuss, a native of Hampstead, N.H., who recently moved to North Carolina. “I could get good momentum on people.
“It was loose the whole race. I was chasing the rear end right up the hill, but it worked up there.”
Seuss qualified third for the GreenPointe Energy Southern 75, but he said his car hadn't been that good during practice and qualifying on Saturday.
“This crew worked so hard in practice yesterday,” Seuss said. “We threw everything at it this morning. It's a different car. I just had to drive it how it was handling.”
FURTHER BACK: While Bonsignore was winning the Town Fair Tire Northern 75, the point leaders were engaged in one of the quietest point battles seen in quite sometime. It may have lacked the lap-by-lap drama of last season's XtraMart World Series 150 at Thompson last October, but it may end up having no less of an impact.
On a day that looked like leader Doug Coby's point lead was going to take a big hit with an ill-performing car, things changed on the final lap when Ron Silk brought out the caution with a wrecked car in Turn 2.
Silk was running seventh on the green-white-checkered restart when he brushed the frontstretch wall and then ended up having wrecked a quarter of a lap later as a result of the damage he suffered. He lost five points to Coby – who started third but spent the bulk of the race running outside the Top-10.
Unofficially, Coby now holds a 32-point lead over Silk with four races remaining.
By Kevin Green, NASCAR
THOMPSON, Conn. (Sept. 9, 2012) – No stranger to Victory Lane at Thompson International Speedway, Ted Christopher once again came out on top in the UNOH Showdown combination race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours.
Christopher took the lead from Bobby Santos on Lap 7 and held off a hard-charging Jimmy Blewett in the closing circuits of the 50 green-flag-lap exhibition showcase between the two tours. Ryan Preece crossed the line third in the second edition of the non-points event at the historic .625-mile oval in northeastern Connecticut.
Donny Lia and defending race winner Doug Coby finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the UNOH Showdown. Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Santos, Andy Seuss and Burt Myers brought home the top 10.
The UNOH Showdown was the premier event of the weekend, but two points races preceded it on Sunday. Seuss was victorious in the GreenPointe Energy Southern 75 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race while Bonsignore took the checkered flag in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour contest.
Changes made to his car after qualifying gave Seuss what he needed to win the Green Pointe Energy Southern 75, the first on Sunday’s card. The Hampstead, N.H., driver credited his crew with making the changes that led to his first win of the year and 12th career victory.
Seuss qualified third, but ended up leading the field to the green because polesitter Rob Fuller had to drop to the back for the start after his crew chief missed a mandatory meeting. Although he slipped back at the drop of the green flag, Seuss quickly mounted a move to the front and took the lead from Burt Myers on Lap 24.
Seuss held on for the win over Hirschman, with Fuller charging through the field to take third. Myers was fourth, with Tim Brown fifth. Completing the top 10 were Steve Masse, Danny Bohn, George Brunnhoelzl III, John Smith and Cole Powell.
Brunnhoelzl, with five wins this year, continues to lead the championship standings - with 385 points. Jason Myers is second with 337, Bohn with 328, Brown with 321 and Seuss with 313.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour followed with the Town Fair Tire Northern 75, which saw Bonsignore power to the lead past polesitter Preece on Lap 68 and hold on through a green-white-checker finish for the victory.
It was the second career victory for Bonsignore, who hails from Holtsville, N.Y. The first came at his home track, Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, in 2011.
Santos crossed the line second in the Town Fair Tire 75 and Preece, who led the first 67 laps from the pole, settled for third. Todd Szegedy and Christopher brought home the top five.
Mike Stefanik, Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Points leader Coby finished 13th in the Town Fair Tire 75, but second in points Silk suffered a last-lap accident and was relegated to 18th. As a consequence, Coby extended his lead to 441-382 on Silk with Preece ranked third after 10 races at 379.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Riverhead while the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will next contest a race at Caraway Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Whelen Modified Tour Unofficial Results
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Chevrolet 82 47 4 Running
2 3 44 Bobby Santos ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. Chevrolet 82 42 Running
3 1 16 Ryan Preece East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford 82 43 2 Running
4 6 2 Todd Szegedy UNOH/Dunleavy Repair Ford 82 40 Running
5 7 3 Ted Christopher Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Const. Chevrolet 82 39 Running
6 8 66 Mike Stefanik Cady's Tavern/Town Line Farms Ford 82 38 Running
7 13 4 Donny Lia Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 82 37 Running
8 10 45 Eric Beers Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc Ford 82 36 Running
9 11 46 Eric Berndt Cape Cod Agts/North End Auto Parts Chevrolet 82 35 Running
10 17 39 Richie Pallai, Jr. Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet 82 34 Running
11 19 58 Eric Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 82 33 Running
12 21 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 82 32 Running
13 4 52 Doug Coby Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet 82 31 Running
14 16 64 Ron Yuhas, Jr. Fast Track Elect./Complete Const. Chevrolet 82 30 Running
15 18 07 Patrick Emerling Emerling Chevrolet Dealership Chevrolet 82 29 Running
16 23 33 Wade Cole Perf Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 82 28 Running
17 20 88 Bryon Chew Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet 82 27 Running
18 9 6 Ron Silk Calverton Tree Farm/T.S. Haulers Chevrolet 81 26 Accident
19 5 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 81 25 Running
20 14 76 Jimmy Blewett John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet 80 24 Running
21 15 28 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard's Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet 76 23 Running
22 12 79 Jon McKennedy Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 72 22 Rear End
23 24 38 Brian Schofield Perf Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 56 21 Suspension
24 22 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Chevrolet 47 20 Suspension
Fastest Qualifier: Ryan Preece, Time: 18.828 Seconds, Speed: 119.503 mph
Caution Flags: Laps 43-46 (Car #76 spin Turn 3 <33>); 50-52 (Cars #88 & 64 accident Frontstretech); 73-79 (Cars #07 & 93 spin Turn 4 <76>). 3 for 14 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ryan Preece 1-67, Justin Bonsignore 68-82.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 67, Justin Bonsignore 15. 1 changes involving 2 drivers.
Whelen Southern Modified Tour Unofficial Results
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 3 11 Andy Seuss Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Chevrolet 75 48 5 Running
2 8 50 Matt Hirschman Heritage Wide Plank Flooring Chevrolet 75 42 Running
3 1 71 Rob Fuller Draco Springs Ford 75 41 Running
4 5 1 Burt Myers Citrusafe/NAPA/Adams Towing Ford 75 41 1 Running
5 2 02 Tim Brown Hayes Jewelers/T&C Mtrspts Chevrolet 75 40 1 Running
6 4 13 Steve Masse * R&R Landscaping Chevrolet 75 38 Running
7 6 65 Danny Bohn * Rifenburg Const/Rustoleum Chevrolet 75 37 Running
8 7 09 George Brunnhoelzl, III Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Chevrolet 75 36 Running
9 9 25 John Smith Havoline Plus/Shady Grady Racing Chevrolet 75 35 Running
10 17 73 Cole Powell * Copp's Buildall/Tricar/Fountain Chevrolet 75 34 Running
11 14 76 Jimmy Zacharias * Wilbur Auto Sales Chevrolet 75 33 Running
12 10 4 Jason Myers Trantham Moorefield/Wendell Edwards Ford 75 32 Running
13 15 7 Thomas Stinson Cowardin Jewelers/United Solar/Dennis' Towing 74 31 Running
14 12 77 Gary Putnam Stock Car Steel Chevrolet 74 30 Running
15 19 55 Ken Bouchard Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores Chevrolet 74 29 Running
16 18 40 Frank Fleming Autos By Nelson/Lewisville Motors Ford 74 28 Running
17 21 80 Michael Speeney * MRI Graphics Chevrolet 74 27 Running
18 20 37 Joe Scarbrough * Dreadnought Shaving/Atlantic Solar Chevrolet 73 26 Running
19 13 51 Kyle Ebersole * Ebersole Excavating Inc Ford 73 25 Running
20 11 59 Renee Dupuis Ed Bennett Properties Chevrolet 73 24 Running
21 16 9 AJ Winstead * Health Diagnostic Chevrolet 54 23 Engine
Race Comments: Prior to the green flag, the following drivers, under penalty, dropped from their original starting positions to the rear of the field for the reason indicated. #71Rob Fuller, #13 Steve Masse (missed crew chief meeting).
Fastest Qualifier: Rob Fuller, Time: 18.947 Seconds, Speed: 118.752 mph
Time of Race: 26 mins, 52 secs Average Speed: 104.684 mph Margin of Victory: .475 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 2-4 (Cars #59, #51 spin Backstretch). 1 for 3 laps.
Lap Leaders: Tim Brown 1-13, Burt Myers 14-23, Andy Seuss 24-75.
Total Laps Led: Andy Seuss 52, Tim Brown 13, Burt Myers 10. 2 changes involving 3 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: George Brunnhoelzl, III 385, Jason Myers 337, Danny Bohn * 328, Tim Brown 321, Andy Seuss 313, Kyle Ebersole * 302, Frank
Fleming 300, John Smith 295, Thomas Stinson 289, Michael Speeney * 281
* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
By Brian Danko
Thompson, Ct.----The second annual UNOH showdown at the Thompson International Speedway has been the talk since the season began and once again, one of the big draws for the fan appreciation party was North Carolina’s Burt Myers.
Myers, one of the ‘stars’ on the History Channels presentation of the ‘Mad House’ which portrayed the weekly racing at the historic Bowman-Gray Stadium and was clearly one of the favorites with the fans. “We look forward to this race.” Burt said. “This is one of the races that we look forward to. We enjoy coming up here and the Hoenig family has gone out of their way to make it easier for us from the south.”
While Myers loves racing at the Thompson Speedway, it costs him and all of the southern competitors a lot because of their much smaller budgets.
“One of the reasons that we love coming back here is the passion of the fans and how much they love the modifieds. We have pockets of fan support but not like up here. This is modified country.” Burt said winning over more of the ‘Yankee’ fans with his quick smile.
While Myers would like to see a track down south reciprocate and run twin races like here at Thompson and then a shootout, he realizes that it is tough.
“You look at some of our races this year, we’d have 25 cars and at some of the races we’d only have 15 so it’s kind of a hit and miss.”
When I asked Burt what would be the perfect track to host a mod tour doubleheader and shootout, he naturally said Bowman-Gray Stadium. “Could you imagine that? I can tell you one thing is that it would be entertaining. Then with the shootout….”
When you think about it, it would be the only track that realistically could play host in separate paying tour shows. They traditionally draw anywhere from 10,000 to upwards to 18,000 fans on a WEEKLY basis and it could get downright ugly if an incident occurred with a southern driver and a guy from the north. But wouldn’t it be a great event!
While Myers would like to make more starts at other tracks in the northeast, he said he must weigh his racing budget.
“I would love to race at Hew Hampshire. That is definitely on my bucket list.” Burt said as the line of autograph seekers continued to get bigger. “I would love it but you’d have to manage it just right. It’s hard to spend money like that for just one race when we could race a lot of southern races with that money.”
When I brought up the race at Daytona Speedway during Speedweeks, he said that is another track and race that he would love to be a part of and it would be nice if he had that guaranteed spot that comes with winning a modified series event.
“That is a long way to go and not get in the show, though I am sure that we would and it would be something to race at Daytona and win that race.”
While Myers priorities are running the southern modified tour and the weekly series at Bowman-Gray, he always looks forward to seeing his northern competitors and friends.
“As I said, we look forward to this because of the way the Hoenig’s help all of us out from the southern tour and how much we enjoy racing at Thompson speedway.”
COBY COUNTING DOWN
Doug Coby has had a ‘dream season’ in many ways on the modified tour but don’t expect him to say that.
Coby, of Milford, CT is the current modified tour point’s leader and has been the most consistent driver on the tour. Coby is also the defending champion of the UNOH shootout as well as northern modified tour feature and earned over $25,000 for his days work last year in his major break out win.
“I’d like to have the same kind of results today.” joked Doug. When asked about the ‘dream season’ he said he doesn’t look at it that way. “As a driver, you go to each race thinking that you are going to win but you know realistically, that isn’t going to happen.”
Coby driving the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace and Duct Supply Company #52 has three wins at Stafford this year on the tour and one at Waterford and has a 27 point cushion over last year’s champion Ronnie Silk.
With just five races left in the 2012 season, I asked if there is a point when you are points racing instead of racing to win.
“Well, I’d say you have to wait at least until after New Hampshire before you can afford to do that. You have to get through today and then the wildcard in Riverhead and who knows what can happen at New Hampshire.”
But, Doug said in a perfect world, he love to have a good lead heading into Stafford, the second to last points race of the year before he’d think about points racing.
“Right now, we are just focused on today race and when it’s over we’ll look at Riverhead. That could be the key race for this year. We would love to win at New Hampshire because it’s New Hampshire. Once we get through the next few races we’ll know better where we are. A couple of bad races and you can go from 30 up to 30 down so the best way is one race at a time.
As I walked through the pit area, I ran into many long time friends who ran the tour when I covered the series from 1985 to 2007 full time.
Reggie Ruggiero was seen walking through the pit area talking with many people as way his long time car owner, Mario Fiore.
Had the chance to talk with former modified tour champion, Wayne Anderson from Long Island. Wayne was the 1994 series champion driving the Len Boehler modified.
Wayne is still involved with racing, owning a car at the Riverhead Raceway where Ted Christopher ran it in the top five on a consistent basis ending up fourth in points and TC missed two shows because of a tour commitment.
Talked with both Tony Hirschman, Sr. and Tony Jr. Senior is now following and helping out with his son, Matt’s career. Matt was making a start in the southern modified tour race as the youngest Hirschman has won every big modified race in both prestige as well as purse wise.
Young Tony is spotting for Kyle Busch on the Sprint Cup series as well as spotting for current truck points leader Timothy Peters but he has to come back ‘home’ to get his modified fix.
Also chatted with Charlie Pasteryak and brother, Carl. Charlie son, Chris is an upcoming modified driver on the Modified Racing Series and finished second at Waterford Saturday night. Also in the pit area was Kevin “Bono’ Manion, crew chief for Jamie McMurray on the Sprint Cup series.
The twin races for the 2012 edition of the UNOH Shootout were reduced from 125 laps last year to 75 laps this year and most people expect that to make the races much better this year. While each race pays separate points and is important to the overall series champion, many drivers are concerned with keeping their cars ready for the $50,000 shootout portion of the shootout plus with the additional Lap money, one driver, like Doug Coby last year, could walk away with over a combined pay day of over $25,000.
DRIVERS LOCKED IN FOR DAYTONA SHOOTOUT
With the Thompson win. Seuss now joins George Brunnhoelzl, III, Brian Loftin, Brandon Ward and Jason Myers as southern winners and a guaranteed spot in Daytona from the southern series while on the northern side, Doug Coby, Ron Silk, Ryan Preece, Mike Stefanik, Justin Bonsignore and Donny Lia all have northern spots all sewed up.
CROWD GOOD BUT NOT GREAT
The crowd for the second annual race was good but certainly not great. With the opening of the NFL season, kids back in school and hundreds of New England Fairs to attend it wasn’t quite what the Thompson Speedway management was hoping for. Also, a $55.00 adult admission is still very tough to swallow in this very poor economy, especially in the eastern part of Connecticut.
SEUSS WINS SOUTHERN 75
While Andy Seuss may talk with a New Hampshire accent, he won the 75 lap feature for the southern modified tour in a race that ran green to checker. Matt Hirschman chased him across the line with pole sitter, Robby Fuller third.
Fuller, who set the fastest lap in time trials, was forced to start last when his crew chief missed the drivers meeting but still worked his way back to the front in a very entertaining race.
Burt Myers was fourth and fifth was Tim Brown while points leader George Brunnhoelzl, III was eighth but extended his points lead over Jason Myers who was 12th.
BONSIGNORE CAPTURES NORTHERN 75
Justin Bonsignore used a great move on lap 68 to secure his first modified tour win of 2012 season as he passed Ryan Preece to earn his second career win.
Bobby Santos was second followed by Ryan Preece, Todd Szegedy and Ted Christopher. The race only had three cautions but it ended when Ronnie Silk bounced off the wall and then crashed hard in turn one after the leaders had taken the white flag.
Doug Coby had a miserable day as he finished 13th but extended his points lead with Silks bad finish although Preece cut into points off the runner up spot.
Fri, Aug 31 - Stafford Speedway - MRS- 21
TOMMY BARRETT WINS HIS FIRST EVER VMRS RACE
Seventeen Years Old And On Top Of His World
Denise DuPont/Polly Reid
A full moon, a blue moon hung over Stafford Motor Speedway for The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) first 2012 race at the half mile track. There were thirty-one modifieds in the pits ready to qualify and compete. Seventeen year old, Tommy Barrett of Millis, MA. was the lucky driver in the end that took the checked flags to win his first ever VMRS race. Barrett pitted just before the race began for last minute adjustments and started the race at the rear of the field. “We qualified third and I pulled in just before the race started so I started the race last. I was trying to save my tires and just pick off the slow cars so that we would not go a lap down.” He made his way up to mid-pack on Lap 30, when he decided to pit during the race’s first caution. While in the pits, Barrett’s crew made adjustments to the family owned Victory Lane Bar and Grill #9 modified and sent him right back out. Two laps later another caution came out and Barrett pitted one last time (Lap 32). “When we pitted, it was the team’s plan to come in and swap tires so that I could pass more cars.” After his crew swapped tires, Barrett headed back out again picking up again at the rear of the field. But he was not in the back for long as he started a forward charge. “I knew that the car was going to be good. We have been good pretty much almost every week from the first two races. I did not really think that we would have a problem that was why we took the risk and went to the back, saved the tires and then swapped the right side tires.” The #9 car was on rails running a strong outside groove making his way back to mid-pack as the race passed the half-way mark. Barrett followed Ted Christopher up through the field for a while until he passed not only Christopher, but also Doug Coby, Louie Mechalides and Jon McKennedy to settle in to fourth by lap 65. As the laps ticked off there was no stopping Barrett’s forward momentum. “I followed Teddy up for a while until I got by him and then worked my way around the top five. Then before you know it there were 15 laps to go and I was battling the #25 car for the lead.” said Barrett in victory lane. “I started to get a little loose but I had a lot more to pass the lead cars because I saved my tires a little more. When I got up to the top five cars it was all tour guys – Pennink, Christopher, Hirschman, Coby and I did not know what was going to happen but the car was good enough and I finally got there.” Barrett took the lead on Lap 70 and then the race went to caution. On the restart with only ten laps to go, the cars lined up single file. When the green flag flew, Barrett ran hard for the next ten laps to take down the win. “I was able to get a run, get under him (Rowan Pennink) and pass him coming off of turn three. This is pretty much the best moment in my career. I grew up watching Teddy Christopher. I watched him my whole life and I wanted to try to be like him. I just tried not to be aggressive and get to the front.” NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and VMRS regular, Rowan Pennink started the race on the pole and lead for 70 laps until he was passed on the outside by a hard charging Tommy Barrett. “As the end of the race approached, I was just hoping for no more cautions. The car was good all night. It just took a little bit to get going on the restarts and that was what hurt us with all those cautions.”
In the end after each caution and restart, Pennink saw Barrett coming through the pack in his rear view mirror. “My spotter said that Barrett was quick but I really thought that I was going to be able to hold him off. If I was not quite so tight on the bottom when he had me pinned down I would have been alright if I got out in front of him. He had gone in and swapped tires around that helped him a little bit but I do not know if something happened to the Monks Hand Cleaner #25 car or not but it got wicked tight at the end after it was good the whole race. But second is a good night for the points I guess but I would have liked to have gotten the win here.” Defending series champion, Jon McKennedy, started the race ninth and race with the leaders all night long. His car was a little off but good enough for a podium finish for the Art Barry team. “It was a good run. We started ninth and a third place finish is good. The car was a little tight in the middle and I had a hard time rolling the car into the corner. All and all it was a good night, the guys worked really hard and I want to thank everyone at SPAFCO and Art Barry. They are a great bunch of guys and I am glad that I can drive for them. So a third place finish overall it was a decent night. I want to thank CARQUEST and Shark Cycle for helping us out with the race.” Ted Christopher, driving Joe Brady’s 00, took the green flag deep in the pack, eighteenth in the twenty-eight car field. Up to seventh twenty circuits in, Christopher picked up another spot before the first caution of the night on lap 30. Lining up sixth, the field was up to speed when contact sent Timmy Jordan around in turn four. Officials penalized Christopher sending him to the tail end of the lead lap for the incident. “He came down,” Christopher explained. “I was like, stay in your own lane, he didn’t want to be on the bottom. He crowded the #85 (Louie Mechalides) the lap before- I was watching, I was going like, oh boy, he doesn’t want to be there. Oh well.” After pitting, Christopher headed to the rear of the field. “I passed like 70 cars- back to the front, back to the front, back to the front. It was fun.” With his strategy changing as fast as his track position, Christopher wasted no time going forward. “It really screwed us for the win going to the back again. You can only pass so many cars once, let alone twice. I beat up the right rear too much.” At the checkers, Christopher crossed for a fourth. The night for Todd Owen started playing out well – on the starting grid fourteenth in the Jack Bateman owned #17, Owen was in a solid tenth by lap 30 when the first yellow waved. Catching a piece of the Timmy Jordan /Ted Christopher incident, Owen needed to pit and found himself back to the tail end of the lead lap with Christopher. Back up to twelfth by lap 50, Owen was tenth when a game changer came on a restart with fifteen to go. Chris Pasteryak, running third had a tire going down on a lap 65 restart and went around going into turn one. A red flag was called to remove Pasteryak’s bumper from the outer wall in turn two. Owen was collected in the melee and was forced to pit. His restart found him once again, at the tail end of the lead lap cars. The final yellow with ten to go, Owen was in seventh and as the final circuits ticked off, Owen got by Doug Coby to claim a respectful top five at his home track. “I passed a lot of cars,” said Owen. “The wheels were still turning after both of those incidents. There were a couple of saves, it was a good run.” Driving for car owner Jack Bateman, Owen is having fun competing on the VMRS. “We haven’t had the finishes a couple of times that we should have had but we’re having fun.” Bateman echoed in the background, “That’s what it’s all about.” The longer races have suited Owen. “We’ve had some bad nights but basically it’s different racing. You can take your time, pick off a spot here and there, people pretty much race you clean, it’s about all you can ask for. It’s a whole learning curve for me, the longer races, save it, but the opportunity Jack has given me here, working with these guys, it’s been awesome from the time we first got together.” The VMRS returns to Stafford in two weeks and Owen is looking forward to putting more of his home track experience to good use. While Tommy Barrett will see if he can repeat that; ”Once in a Blue Moon win.”
Extra Notes - Stafford Motor Speedway MRS Race: How could you pass Jon McKennedy and save tires at the same time? Tommy Barrett
“Ever since the Lee race, Jon McKennedy and I have been racing real clean and real hard together. He did not throw a block on me like other guys were. He gave me the room to get in front of him.”
How much did your Stafford experience in SK Lights help you in today’s race?
“I never learned to save tires in the SK Lights. The MRS and the tour cars are completely different. The groove is completely different. So it helped me a little bit just having been here but the ride was nothing alike.”
What are you thought after tonight’s race?
“I hate it for the #25 team, we really wanted to get a win here at Stafford, but we will have to get them next race. We will take notes on what to do different. We had a good car but we ended up in second. We will get them next tim
Stafford Springs, CT)---The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of two visits of the 2012 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 3rd Annual Shark Cycle 80. Tommy Barrett, Jr. was the big winner of the night, coming from the back of the pack to pick up his first career VMRS victory. Rowan Pennink shot into the lead from the pole with Dave Etheridge riding in second. Chris Pasteryak was third, with Timmy Jordan in fourth and Louie Mechalides was fifth. Jon McKennedy was sixth, with Norm Wrenn, Max Zachem, and Jeff Malave behind him. Ted Christopher, who started 18th, was already in the top-10 in the first ten laps of the race and by lap-15, he had moved into seventh place, just ahead of Doug Coby. At the lap-20 marker, Pennink was still in command of the race with Etheridge, Pasteryak, Jordan, and Mechalides behind him. McKennedy was still sixth, but Christopher was closing in on him as he was pulling away from Coby in 8th place. Christopher got around McKennedy for sixth on lap-26 and the caution came out with 30 laps complete for Tom Bolles, who spun in turn 2. Pennink took the lead back under green with Pasteryak getting around Etheridge for second. Coming off turn 4 with 31 laps complete, contact between Christopher and Jordan sent Jordan around and collected the cars of Bryan Shumway, Matt Hirschman, George Sherman, Doug Coby, and Todd Owen to bring the caution out. Christopher was sent to the rear of the field by VMRS Officials for making the contact with Jordan. Pennink again took the lead back under green with Pasteryak in second. Etheridge was third, with McKennedy moving up to fourth and Mechalides holding down fifth place. Wrenn was sixth, with Zachem, Mark Bakaj, Coby, and Christopher making up the top-10. This was the running order with 40-laps complete.
Bakaj was beginning to slide back several spots as Coby moved into sixth ahead of Wrenn, with Christopher moving up to eighth. Hirschman was ninth with Tommy Barrett, Jr. in tenth place. The order shuffled again on lap-47 as Christopher moved around Wrenn for seventh and Barrett followed Christopher by Wrenn while Pennink continued to hold the race lead ahead of Pasteryak. With 25 laps to go, Pennink was still ahead of Pasteryak, but the remainder of the top-5 had changed as McKennedy was up to third, Mechalides was fourth, and Coby was fifth. Christopher was sixth, with Barrett, Hirschman, Etheridge, and Owen making up the top-10. The caution came out with 59 laps complete for a spin by Bolles on the backstretch. On the restart, Etheridge appeared to have a flat tire and he slowly made his way back to pit road as Pennink powered into the lead. McKennedy moved into second, with Pasteryak, Barrett, and Coby behind him. Coby got by Barrett for fourth on lap-61 and he immediately began to apply pressure to Pasteryak for third. Barrett retook the spot on lap-65 with a move to the inside of Pasteryak in turns 3+4. The caution came back out with 66 laps complete as Mark Bakaj got into the backstretch wall. On the restart, Pasteryak got loose in turn 2 and he shot up the track directly in the path of Hirschman, who climbed up and over Pasteryak’s car, which also collected the car of Todd Owen. The incident brought the yellow and red flags out with 15 laps to go. The restart saw McKennedy briefly take the lead from Pennink before Pennink went back to the point. McKennedy settled into second with Barrett in third. Barrett made a strong move in turn 3 on lap-68 to move into second with Coby fourth and Christopher in fifth. Jimmy Zacharias came to a stop in turn 2 to bring the yellow back out with 68 laps complete. The restart was called back and on the next restart, Pennink and Barrett were side by side for the lead with Pennink the leader by a nose. Richie Pallai, Jr. and Wrenn spun on the frontstretch to bring the yellow back out with 11 laps to go. Barrett and Pennink were side by side on the restart with Barrett taking the lead at the line by a nose. Barrett got clear of Pennink the next lap and took over the lead but the race was slowed again by the caution as Joe Doucette spun in turn 4 with 10 laps to go. Barrett was the leader back under green with Pennink, McKenndy, Coby, Christopher, and Owen lined up behind him. Barrett was beginning to stretch out his lead over Pennink while Christopher was now fourth behind McKennedy with 2 laps to go. Barrett led Pennink back to the checkered flag to pick up his first career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory. McKennedy finished third, with Christopher and Owen rounding out the top-5. For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
MODIFIED RACING SERIES SHARK CYCLE 80 (80)
1) Tommy Barrett, Jr.
2) Rowan Pennink
3) Jon McKennedy
4) Ted Christopher
5) Todd Owen
6) Doug Coby
7) Chris Pasteryak
8) Steven Reed
9) Lou Mechalides
10) Richie Pallai, Jr.
11) Joey Cipriano
12) Tom Bolles
13) Norm Wrenn
14) Max Zachem
15) Jeff Malave
16) Jimmy Zacharias
17) Mark Bakaj
18) Joe Doucette
19) George Sherman
20) Dave Etheridge
21) Matt Hirschman
22) Bryan Shumway
23) John Jensen
24) Tim Jordan
25) Melissa Fifield
26) Roy Seidell, Jr.
27) Todd Annarummo
28) Dennis Charette
Matt Hirschman To Race At Thompson WSMT Event
Posted by northeastmotorsports on August 22nd, 2012
Eric Goodale confirmed on Tuesday that Race of Champions points leader Matt Hirschman will be driving a second car that the Goodale team will field in the UNOH Showdown on September 8 and 9 at the Thompson (Conn.) Speedway.“Matt runs pretty good everywhere he goes,” Eric Goodale reasoned while at Bristol, Tenn., on Tuesday preparing for the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 NASCAR Modified event. “My brother Kevin has been trying to help me out with our motor and whatnot. He’s been a real good asset to us if we could just finish a race.“We were just looking to put someone in the car. We have a good relationship with Matt and he was a real good fit. As of now we plan to enter the southern tour race with Matt, but I’m not 100 percent sure yet.Hirschman, who has won four consecutive RoC events and three big Modified Open events besides, drive on the WMT last season for the Janice and Mike Boehler team.
Sat. Aug 19 Chemung Speedway - - RoC - -WIN
HIRSCHMAN MAKES THE RIGHT CALL TO WIN HIS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE RoC FEATURE AT CHEMUNG
BY JR KENNERUP
Chemung, NY… Before this year on the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour there was no question that in each feature you would need to pit for a new right rear tire. This year with a new brand of tire the old logic of pitting for a right rear tire has basically been tossed out the window.
On Sunday afternoon at the Chemung Speedrome Matt Hirschman used the new logic and made the call not to pit in the 125 lap feature while the rest of the field pitted for a new right rear tire. Hirschman who started on the pole saved his tires and when it became time to go Hirschman had enough rubber left to pull away from the field.
Hirschman inherited the lead on lap 59 when leader Chuck Hossfeld pitted for a new right rear tire. Over the final 66 laps Hirschman basically controlled the pace of the race and at the end when he needed to open up his lead he could with ease as he was turning his fastest laps of the afternoon.
Kyle Ebersole who started 12th was the first to pit and ended up second with early race leader Hossfeld finishing third with Erick Rudolph in fourth and Brian DeFebo in fifth.
“ When things are going right, it seems you can’t do anything wrong and I wasn’t sure about that today “ said Matt Hirschman in victory lane. “ My guys and my dad were trying to talk me into pitting and I went with my gut feeling as I didn’t think we needed to pit. Even when we lost the lead to Chuck ( Hossfeld ) there in the beginning and he pitted, I wasn’t ready to pit at that point. It was my decision not to pit as this is my own deal and I don’t have to answer to anyone tomorrow about whether I should have pitted or not. “
Hirschman and TJ Potrzebowski brought the full field of Modifieds down to the green of Jim Burleigh. Hirschman got the lead with Potrzebowski, Brian DeFebo, Jimmy Zacharias, and JR Kent in tow.
Eighth place starter Chuck Hossfeld was the quick mover early in the race as he moved into fifth on lap six and into fourth on lap 11. Hossfeld took third on a lap 12 restart and used the outside to pass his way into second on lap 18.
Hossfeld got the jump on Hirschman on a lap 20 restart to lead for two circuits only to have Hirschman pass him back. Hossfeld once again got the lead with a strong inside turn four pass on lap 31 and led until the yellow came out on lap 56. Hossfeld pitted when the pits opened up on lap 58 giving the lead back to Hirschman.
When the race returned to green on lap 62 Kyle Ebersole who started 12th and was the first to pit on lap 45 was now in fourth behind the leading trio of Hirschman, Daren Scherer, and Potrzebowski. Ebersole moved past Potrzebowski for third on lap 68 and at the same time Hossfeld moved past Austin Kochenash for fifth.
The yellow came out on lap 73 and nearly everyone figured that the cars of Hirschman, Scherer, Potrzebowski, and Kochenash would all pit as they were the only cars not to pit at this point.
The shocker came when passing the pit entrance Hirschman stayed out in the lead while the other three drivers all pitted. But now Hirschman had Ebersole, Hossfeld, and Erick Rudolph right behind him and all three had new right rear tires on.
When the race returned to green with 40 laps to go Hirschman who is a master of saving his tires showed everyone he had plenty left as he opened up his lead while Ebersole had his hands full keeping Hossfeld behind him.
Hirschman basically had the field covered but still almost lost the race as he got trapped behind lap cars with three laps to go. However he had a big enough of a lead that by the time Ebersole could make a move for the lead Hirschman had a clear track in front of him to stay in front for the win.
Hirschman who won the night prior complemented his hard working crew. “ Great work by my crew all weekend long as they changed the car over after the win last night to get ready for here this afternoon, I know we’ll all sleep good tonight. Last night was a good clean run so we didn’t have a lot of work to get ready for today. But all of the hard work we put in during the week leading up to two races this weekend paid off. Everyone on the crew has been doing a great job and no one is making a mistake and that is what it takes to win these races. “
Matt spoke about winning his fourth RoC race in a row and fifth in a row with his self owned car. “ I’ve been in this position before where you win some races in a row and you’re on top and everything is going your way, it’s tough to stay on top. I’ve been knocked off the top before and you have to work hard to get back to that point and when you’re there you have to work even harder to stay there. It was a good weekend for us as we raced and won at two of my favorite tracks, so it came as no surprise to me that we won both this weekend. “
Second place finisher Kyle Ebersole thought he played his cards right by pitting first. “ Starting 12th we knew we had to do something different than what everyone else was going to do, so that is why we pitted early. It looked like it was going to work but Matt is the best at saving his tires and he is hard to beat. “
Qualifying for the 24 car field saw heats wins captured by Hirschman, DeFebo, and Hossfeld.
With his 12th place finishing TJ Zacharias earned the Gater Racing News B Modified bonus worth $500 cash.
Notes; A big welcome back to former RoC Tour Champion Pistol Pete Brittain who made his first show in over two years, other first time racers with RoC were Austin Kochenash and Brandon Oltra. John Markovic who was a loyal follower of the RoC Tour for many years made his first RoC Tour start in three years. Jimmy Zacharias was racing with some discomfort on Sunday as he suffered a right wrist injury the previous evening at Dunn Tire. Marilyn Toal distributed the lap money from the 62nd Sunoco Race of Champions on Sunday with the money rundown being Matt Hirschman $4,907, TJ Potrzebowski $ 2,944, Erick Rudolph $2,382, Wilbur Hebing $ 2,350, Tommy Cloce $2,060, Kyle Ebersole $1,962, Jimmy Zacharias $ 1,350, Jan Leaty $1,200, Chuck Hossfeld $1,200, Rusty Smith $600, JR Kent $600, Zane Zeiner $600, TJ Zacharias $ 100, Earl Paules $100, and Terry Cheetham $50. The total amount distributed was $22,405 and was raised by Marilyn Toal.
FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Kyle Ebersole, Chuck Hossfeld, Erick Rudolph, Brian DeFebo, JR Kent, Daren Scherer, TJ Potrzebowski, Andy Walko, Austin Kochenash, John Markovic, TJ Zacharias, Brandon Oltra, Pete Brittain, Matt Wentz, Zach Curren, Jody Buckley, Jim Storace, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Odwazny, Doug Reaume, Tommy Cloce, Cory Mosher, Matt Clemens.
LAP LEADERS; Hirschman ( 1 – 19 ), Hossfeld ( 20 – 21 ), Hirschman ( 22 – 30 ), Hossfeld ( 31 – 58 ), Hirschman ( 59 – 125 )
AMERICAN RACER TIRES HARD CHARGER AWARD; Ebersole 12th to 2nd.
AMERICAN RACER TIRES HARD LUCK AWARD; J. Zacharias 4th to 19th.
Sat. Aug 18 Dunn Tire Raceway Park - WIN
MATT HIRSCHMAN HELD OFF A DETERMINED HOSSFELD IN
TOMMY DRUAR/TONY JANKOWIAK 110 LAP MEMORIAL RACE
at Dunn Tire Raceway Park, Lancaster, NY
by Dave Meredith
This race has a special meaning for me as Tommy Druar was my childhood neighbor, and his sisters, Peggy and Debby, were schoolmates of mine. Tommy was friendly and well-liked. He was a skillful wrench and very good racecar driver.
Druar, who was the NASCAR Modified Track Champion at Lancaster Speedway (now known as Dunn Tire Raceway Park) in 1987-1988, was leading the championship mid-season in 1989 when he suffered a life-ending encounter as he ballooned over another competitor’s wheel on June 10th. Tommy’s wife, Mickey, was on hand tonight as were his daughter Ashley and his son Matt, who competes in the #37 Sportsman Division at DRTP. Matt finished second in tonight’s feature. The Druars lost another brother, Robert, earlier this year. According to Debby Druar Jankowiak, Bobby was a big fan of the “the Tommy and Tony Memorial Race.”
In less than a year the Druar and Jankowiak families would suffer another devastating loss as Debby’s husband, Tony, suffered a life-ending injury on the NASCAR Modified Tour event at Stafford Motor Speedway in the Spring Sizzler on April 22, 1990. Tony was driving the #99 Pots/Riggs machine and was passing a lap down car. They touched wheels, sending Tony nose first into the turn one wall.
Tony was survived by his wife Debby Druar Jankowiak, and two sons. Son Andy is the leading the points at Holland Speedway with four wins going into tonight’s event at Holland. Tommy Jankowiak is not a motorsports enthusiast - he is into other sports and athletics.
In attendance tonight in addition to Debby Jankowiak, were Ashley Druar, Peggy Druar and Mickey Druar. The event would pay $3000.00 to win and $300.00 to start. Howie Markel and Lori Ovedorf also collected lap money for the racers. I’m not sure of the exact amount collected, but I believe I heard over the PA system that $5800 was raised. The event offered $370 for the leader of lap 37 and $730 dollars to the lap 73 leader. Both laps were led by Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY.
The event was run under Race of Champions Asphalt Modified rules as far as the weight, motors, and shocks allowed. Lap 73 was a mandatory caution. For the last 37 laps only the green-flag laps were scored - which was a good thing as many cautions came after lap 73, including a green-white-checker finish.
Many of the laps sponsored were in the memory of other racers who have passed. Hazel and I sponsored lap 99 in memory of John Blewett III (lap 66 was taken). There were just too many people to remember and I couldn’t hear all of the announcements.
Qualifying for the “Tommy and Tony” was done with heat races.
Heat 1 winner: Jimmy Zacharias; Heat 2 Winner: Austin Kochenash; Heat 3 winner: T.J. Zacharias.
The race drivers were introduced on the front stretch with Debby Jankowiak and Mickey Druar wishing each competitor good luck. They gave the command to “start your engines.”
Jimmy Zacharias and Mike Leaty started on the front row and Leaty scooted to front on the star with Zacharias in hot pursuit. Leaty lost his challenger on lap 24 when the caution came out. The leaders were Leaty, Zacharias, Storace, Erick Rudolph and Sege Fidanza in the top five. On the lap 24 restart Zacharias and Storace made contact and Zacharias’ nose ended up against the front stretch wall coming out of turn four. He made nice recovery by not hitting the big foam blocks. He took the #71 to the pits to be looked at and returned. The #47 of Storace was sent to the rear for the incident. On the restart Billy Putney in the #88 made contact with the #71 and right front control arm damage caused an early end to the night for Jimmy Zacharias.
On lap 37 Erick Rudolph took the lead from Leaty and held it until the lap 73 break. On the lap 74 restart Matt Hirschman took the lead and was challenged by Hossfeld in the #22 over the last 36 laps. On lap 90 caution came out again. Hossfeld’s car appeared to be stronger on the long run, but no matter what line or tactic he tried, he just couldn’t catch the speedy Hirschman on the numerous restarts. The green-white-checkers was a nice finish with the win going to Matt Hirschman in the #60. Hirschman hails from Northampton, PA, and he thanked the fans for supporting the event. Hossfeld also thanked the fans for the support.
Tommy Druar & Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 110 Feature Finish:
Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Rusty Smith, Billy Putney, Erick Rudolph, Mike Leaty, Jan Leaty, Austin Kochenash, Sege Fidanza, Jim Storace, Doug Reaume, TJ Zacharias, Kevin Lewis, Karl Hehr, Dick Kluth, Kevin Miller, Daren Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Odwazny, Tom Weist, Tim Neis, Tommy Cloce.
Lap Leaders: 1-36 M. Leaty; 37-73 Rudolph; 74-110 Hirschman
Heat Winners: J. Zacharias, Kochenash, TJ Zacharias
Aug 11 - Mahoning Speedway- 7th - Win - 5th
The Mahoning Valley Speedway Triple 25s have been a windfall for drivers Zane Zeiner, Matt Hirschman and Don Wagner. In the nine features that made of the unique event, which is part to the Mahoning Modified Madness Series (MMMS), the trio has combined in winning eight, including this past Saturday night.It was the final installment of the Triple 25s and once again a solid field of Modifieds signed in for the fan captivating show. Time trials firmed the grid for the opening race with Zeiner setting the quickest lap at 9.679-seconds, 92.985 mph.In a heads up start Zeiner and John Bennett shared the front row and when the race began Zeiner was quick to get out first. He was not taking on many challengers either as he ruled with a respectable lead.Although Bennett did give him a close run in the early going, Zeiner was still strong enough to keep a safe gap between them. And, with only one caution, that coming on lap 11 for a spin by Earl Paules, Zeiner used the green flag stretch to take a 1.713-second margin of victory, almost two car lengths. He has now won a feature in all four of his starts this season.“That’s an amazing stat, especially to do that at a place like Mahoning,” said Zeiner of Bath. “I know the next two (features) aren’t going to be easy. We had zero power steering tonight and we’ll see if I’m a man or not in the next two races because it’s going to be a handful. The car had a lot of lower bite on the bottom. My hat is off to my guys, they changed motors this week and Morgantini (Racing Engines) gave us a new power plant.”;Bennett upheld second, with Nevin George, Wagner and Scott Meckes completing the top five.“I really like the Triple 25s. When we invert the field, which is something I like, you have to race hard for 25 laps and use up the car getting it to the front,” added Zeiner.In the second feature the first nine cars were inverted giving Chip Santee and Mike Carroll, Jr., front row honors. Santee jumped out the opening lap lead but third starting Hirschman went to the low lane in turn three on lap two and at the completion of the circuit he was now in front of the pack.Just as the first race, this too was a fast paced affair as the caution was limited to one minor spinning incident near the end. By that time Hirschman was on cruise control and took his Bob Horn owned No. 50 to the victory.“We started up front, in fourth, in the first one and went backwards and that wasn’t fun. In this one we took advantage of a good draw,” said Hirschman from Northampton. “I expected more action in this second feature but you never know with these things. No one has ever won two in a row in these Triple 25s and hopefully we can keep this momentum going for the next one.”A fine run was turned in by rookie Scott Meckes who took second and fended off Zeiner in the process. Carroll and John Markovic rounded out the top five.For the final race the invert number was 11, giving Matt Wentz and Santee the front row positions. Things got off to a rough start as Santee appeared to get bumped coming off turn two on the initial start and spun. With the oncoming traffic looking to avoid him several cars got caught up in the confusion.For the restart Wagner, who hails from Wharton, NJ, advanced to the outside of Wentz and then powered his way into the lead on the opening lap.This was by far the best race of the night as Zeiner soon tagged in behind Wagner and for the rest of the distance they waged a torrid dogfight. Several times Zeiner tried to sneak underneath Wagner but with no power steering and the unrelenting determination by the leader, he would have to settle for second. The win was Wagner’s fourth of the season.Meckes nipped Wentz at the line to get his third straight top five on the night. Fifth went to Hirschman.“There is no better small track than Mahoning Valley Speedway. The competition here and the way they are running the shows, it’s an awesome place to race,” said Wagner.“Zane is one of the best in the business for sure and to beat him is an accomplishment. We want to win this series. Now it’s going to come down to the 100 lapper at the end of the year.”; Indeed the overall MMMS crown will be decided on the final point race of the season on October 6 in all likelihood between Zeiner and Wagner. There is a $6000 purse to be divided amongst the top six point finishers in the series. The champ will earn $2000 with $1500 to the runner-up.“Donny (Wagner) drove a heck of a race and I’m not disappointed. We got a first, third and second tonight and we were passing cars on the top and bottom and the car was hooked up,” said Zeiner.
1st Modified Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. John Bennett, 3. Nevin George, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Scott Meckes, 6. Tyler Haydt, 7. Matt Hirschman, 8. Mike Carroll, Jr., 9. Chip Santee, 10. Bobby Jones, 11. John Markovic, 12. Matt Wentz, 13. Roger Coss, 14. Kevin Rex, Jr., 15. Eric Kocher, 16. Shawn Sitarchyk, 17. Earl Paules 18. Troy Bollinger, 19. Brian DeFebo, 20. Lou Strohl, 21. DJ Wagner, 22. Terry Markovic
2nd Modified Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Hirschman, 2. Meckes, 3. Zeiner, 4. Carroll, 5. John Markovic, 6. Coss, 7. George, 8. Haydt, 9. Don Wagner, 10. Santee, 11. Wentz, 12. Kocher, 13. Jones, 14. Bennett, 15. Bollinger, 16. Rex, 17. DeFebo, 18. Sitarchyk, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Paules, 21. DJ Wagner, 22. Matt Higgins, Did not start: Lou Strohl
3rd Modified Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Don Wagner, 2. Zeiner, 3. Meckes, 4. Wentz, 5. Hirschman, 6. George, 7. Carroll, 8. Paules, 9. Jones, 10. Coss, 11. Bennett, 12. John Markovic, 13. Santee, 14. Rex, 15. DeFebo, 16. Kocher, 17. Terry Markovic, 18. Higgins, 19. Sitarchyk, 20. DJ Wagner, 21. Bollinger, 22. Haydt Did not start: Strohl Did not qualify: Tom Flanagan
Aug 10 - Chemung - RoC - RAIN
Aug 4 - Mahoning Speedway- 7th
Defending Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified champion Tyler Haydt of Kunkletown raced to his first win of the season Saturday, on Checkered Flag Fan Club Night.
Haydt is running a limited schedule this year so when he does compete it’s all or nothing and he showed that with his all out drive.“It feels really good because we had been close a lot of times. We had been trying a whole bunch of new stuff because we aren’t running every week this year and it just feels so good to get another win here,” said Haydt.Starting outside of row one, Haydt got a great jump on pole sitter Troy Bollinger for the opening lap lead. He then had Matt Wentz tucked in behind him and afterwards it would be a race long battle between them.Haydt was hitting all the marks perfectly as he circled the demanding quarter mile oval with swift accuracy. Wentz similarly was keeping concentrated in Haydt’s tire tracks. Nevin George, Tommy Flanagan and Earl Paules were also in line.As the race was progressing and lap 12 had just gone in to the books, Haydt led the pack into turn three and suddenly got tripped up from a nudge on his rear bumper. That caused him to slide ever so slightly and afforded the opportunity for Wentz to go by for the lead.Haydt did a superb job of keeping his mount aimed in the forward direction and only lost the front spot. The caution had then come as a few cars had checked up and Todd Geist wound up spinning.“I don’t know what happened. The car turned sideways and somehow I saved it,” said Haydt.On the restart Haydt would not settle for anything less than the lead and he zoomed by Wentz to retake the top spot.Although Wentz kept right on him, including a last lap, last turn dive to the inside for a run at the leader, Haydt was not going to let him or anyone else deny him victory.It was also the first visit to Victory Lane since the passing of his former car owner and close friend Bill Teel on June 13.“It was so cool for me to get to drive for him (Teel). With him passing away I want to dedicate this win to him. We’ll never forget Bill Teel here at Mahoning Valley,” said Haydt.“It’s also awesome to win on Checkered Flag Fan Club Night. This is the second straight year for us to do that.”Wentz’s solid drive was his best finish of the year.“It was a good night and after he (Haydt) got the lead back I just had to follow him and we just ran out of laps. There was a little bump and running but we’ll try and get it next time,” said Wentz, who came within a half car length of winning.George, Haydt and Paules copped heat wins with Don Wagner annexing the consolation.
Modified Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Tyler Haydt, 2. Matt Wentz, 3. Nevin George, 4. Tommy Flanagan, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Kevin Rex, Jr., 7. Matt Hirschman, 8. Brian DeFebo, 9. John Bennett, 10. Roger Coss, 11. Rick Reichenbach, 12. Bobby Jones, 13. Don Wagner, 14. Scott Meckes, 15. Eric Kocher, 16. Todd Geist, 17. Rob Shultz, 18. Troy Bollinger, 19. Lou Strohl, 20. Shawn Sitarchyk
Aug 1- Seekonk - $10k - WIN
Matt Wentz and Jon McKennedy brought the 25 car field down to the green flag, and it was Wentz who jumped out front. Matt led the first few laps before VMRS Champion Chris Pasteryak took over and started to pull away. Matt Hirschman, who started sixth, quickly moved behind Pasteryak, and put on the chase. Wentz followed in third until the defending Open Wheel Wednesday winner Doug Coby moved past. At the lap 25 mark, McKennedy had moved back into fourth with Louis Mechalidas was fifth. By lap 40, Todd Annarummo and Ryan Preece had moved into fourth and fifth. While battling for the lead, Pasteryak and Hirschman got together, and both were taken out of the lead pack. Coby was involved as well, as he and Hirschman locked bumpers. This handed the lead over to Annarummo, with Preece, Todd Patnode, Austin Kochenash and Dave Berghman the top five. Kochenash had already pitted earlier in the event, and had worked his way back through the field. Preece took over the lead, and survived several restarts with Annarummo and Kochenash in pursuit. Pasteryak and Hirschman were working their way through the pack, and by lap 70, they sat sixth and seventh. Pasteryak spun shortly after, and the field was bunched up once again. Steve Masse started making his moved, and took over the third spot by lap 78, with Hirschman in tow. Hirschman moved past Masse for third, and used a late race restart to take over second from Annarummo. Over the final eleven laps, the pressure was on, and through several late starts, Hirschman showed he could hang with Preece, even taking over on lap 93 as he raced the outside, but Preece took over on the next lap. With a three lap shootout for the win, Preece took over and set the pace, but with a crossover move, Hirschman moved to the bottom, and squeezed under Preece for the lead. The pair ran side by side for the next lap, but Matt took over, and went on to become the first driver to repeat in this High Dollar event. Preece held on for second, with Masse third, Annarummo and Pasteryak the top five. Berghman, Eric Berndt, Wentz, Coby and Mechalidas rounding out the top ten.
July 29 - Shangri La - - RoC - Win
MATT HIRSCHMAN ON A ROLL, COLLECTING THIRD RoC PAVEMENT SERIES WIN IN A ROW IN 2012. CAUTIONS FILL SPORTSMAN AND STREET STOCK FEATURES
Tioga Center, NY
Matt Hirschman extended his hot streak in the Race of Champions Pavement Modified Series Sunday afternoon by winning the 75 lap event at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway in Tioga Center, NY. The second generation driver from Northampton, Pa collected his third consecutive RoC win in 2012, and his second win at the speedway. His previous win at “The Concrete Castle” came on July 9th 2011 in a 100 lap RoC event. Candor, NY’s Jimmy Zacharias had a good day, winning the Sportsman race for the fifth time this year, and collected his third consecutive third place finish in RoC Modified competition.
A beautiful summer afternoon greeted the competitors and fans at the ASA member Shangri-La II Motorspeedway as the facility hosted the second of three Race of Champions Pavement Modified Series events in 2012. Twenty Three Modifieds, Twelve Sportsman, Twenty Two Street Stocks and Six Pudgies Pizza Four Cylinder Stocks were in the pits for a Sunday afternoon drive. The Race of Champions Pavement Modified Series was the featured event of the afternoon. With the top four finishers from the three heats re-drawing for starting position, T.j. Potrzebowski and Jim Storace led the field to the green flag. The first of only two cautions flew on lap one as Kyle Ebersole (started sixth)and Erick Rudolph (started eighth) got together in turn two. Ebersole brushed the turn two wall, while Rudolph spun to the infield. Both were able to continue. Potrzebowski, Storace, Andy Walko, J.R.Kent and Hirschman set out to distance themselves from the field by pulling away from the main pack of cars. Hirschman moved by Walko, who had slipped to fourth on lap three, for fourth on lap six. On lap thirteen, Hirschman passed Kent for third and went to work on Storace. Meanwhile, Jimmy Zacharias, who had advanced from his tenth place start to the sixth spot began to make his charge passing Walko for fifth. A power move to the inside of turn three moved Hirschman past Storace who did not see it coming. Hirschman took the lead two laps later passing Potrzebowski in turn four. The caution flew later in lap nineteen when Ebersole and Daren Scherer made slight contact. Scherer spun the car and had to pit to replace his right rear tire. Zacharias was up to third on the restart and focused on the front, eventually taking second from Potrzebowski on lap 25. Zacharias, whose home track is Shangri-La II used every bit of the experience he has gained at the concrete high banks to try and run down Hirschman,. Zacharias had narrowed the gap from 1.8 seconds to just three tenths of a second, but in doing so, he used up his left rear tire. Ebersole, closed the gap between himself and Zacharias in traffic, passed Zacharias on lap sixty two. Try as he might, Zacharias had used up his gear, and had nothing much left to challenge the drivers with. Hirschman collected his second career Shangri-La II Modified feature win with Ebersole second. Jimmy Zacharias was third with Andy Walko finishing fourth and T.J. Potrzebowski completing the top five.
RoC Modified Finish (75 Laps) 1) Matt Hirschman, 2) Kyle Ebersole, 3) Jimmy Zacharias, 4) Andy Walko, 5) T.J. Potrzebowski, 6) Chuck Hossfeld, 7) Erick Rudolph, 8) Patrick Emerling, 9) Dean Rypkema, 10) Daren Scherer, 11) Brian DeFebo, 12) Billy Putney, 13) Jim Storace, 14) John Ramsey, 15) Tommy Cloce, 16) Doug Reaume, 17) T.J. Zacharias, 18) J. R. Kent, 19) Matt Wentz, 20) Chris Whitenight, 21) Mike Odwazny, 22) Matt Clemens DNS: Jody Buckley Heat Winners: Jimmy Zacharias, Andy Walko, Kyle Ebersole
July 21 - The RoC - Oswego Speedway - RoC WInner
The motor on Matt Hirschman's car died a champion on Saturday at Oswego Speedway.
With the motor in the No. 60 going away in the closing laps, Hirschman managed to hold off a charging Chuck Hossfeld to win the 62nd annual Sunoco Race of Champions. How close was it? The No. 60 had to be pushed to victory lane because the motor had died. "When that motor started to skip, so did my heart," Hirschman said. "It would have been devastating if we hadn't have won this race." Hossfeld, Jimmy Zacharias, Erick Rudolph, and Jan Leaty completed the top five in the 200-lap event for the Race of Champions Modifieds. Hirschman started fourth in the 32-car starting field. He flew around pole-sitter T.J. Potrzebowski for the lead on the second lap. With the cars required to make a pit stop after lap 50, Hirschman gave up the lead when he pitted for tires and fuel on lap 74 during a caution period. He regained the lead when he got under the No. 71 of Zacharias on lap 161, and kept the point the rest of the way.
July 14 - Mahoning Speedway - 3rd and 8th
For Tom Flanagan, the third time was the charm in finally winning a Modified feature this season. In recent weeks he had been leading on two separate occasions but had been befallen with hard luck that cost him a shot at winning. This time, however, the Bethlehem driver was not to be denied as he held off a blitz of pursuers including the late race efforts of Matt Hirschman in winning his first race of the year. In the regular night’s contest, Shawn Sitarchyk of Lehighton bested a number of foes including Nevin George who was all over him in the later laps and captured his career first Modified victory. In the make-up feature from July 7, Flanagan started on the pole and grabbed the early lead. Over the first few laps he was chased by Matt Wentz. By lap nine it was George and point leader Earl Paules who ran side-by-side while riding Flanagan’s rear bumper. John Bennett and Hirschman were also among the front runners, keeping the action tight. Flanagan was at no time at ease as the pressure behind him kept coming yet he never waned as was the case the previous two times he had been out front during a feature. On lap 25 George and Bennett, while running second and third respectively, got into each other in turn two. George went up and over Bennett’s front-end causing each to fall from contention. Hirschman was now second and was trying high and low over the final laps to pass Flanagan but each time he got a door slamming. "Two times in a row we had been leading and the third time was the charm. On the last two restarts I saw that Matt (Hirschman) was on the outside of me and I was really going to have to be on my game. You have to do what you have to do," said Flanagan. "I want to thank my dad for giving me the opportunity to drive these cars every week and my crew who gives me an awesome car to race with." Bobby Jones out-raced Don Wagner on the final lap to grab fourth while Wentz rounded out the top five.In the regularly run race, Troy Bollinger led the first lap but outside front row starter Sitarchyk took to the lead from the high grove the next time by. If one thinks that Flanagan had his hand full on the way to winning, Sitarchyk was dealing with double the load.Over the first half of the 35-lapper Kevin Rex, Jr., made numerous attempts at getting past and then it was Jones who stepped up to battle. On lap seventeen George had raced into second and like the aforementioned two, he also was hounding Sitarchyk. On lap 20 the caution flag waved due to a spin by Hirschman. On the restart George crept into the lead but it would be short lived as the next time around Sitarchyk returned the favor. For the remaining laps it became a great dogfight between the pair with Sitarchyk standing his ground for a well earned win. "I really don’t know what to say. I have to thank everyone who put the car together for me. Everyone ran me clean and this was awesome. I knew we could do this," said an elated Sitarchyk. "On that last restart I saw Nevin (George) on the outside of me and thought we were in trouble but it was all good and he ran me clean and here we are. I’m just so excited to win in a Modified and this is great." Rex, Bennett and Paules completed the top five. Sitarchyk, George and Bennett annexed heat win.Barry Christman, Jr., of Northampton made an inside pass on early leader Tyler Stangle at the completion of lap 11 and then went on to his second 4-Cylinder Stock win of the season. Division point leader Jeremy Miller and Jake Kibler took second and third. With his fourth place finish, Kyle Strohl was the Front Wheel Drive bonus winner. Heat winners were Miller and Jake Kibler
Modified Feature Finish, (from 7/7) 35 Laps: 1. Tommy Flanagan, 2. Matt Hirschman, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Matt Wentz, 6. John Markovic, 7. Shawn Sitarchyk, 8. Scott Meckes, 9. Nevin George, 10. Tyler Haydt, 11. Scott Meckes, 12. Matt Wentz, 13. Don Wagner, 14. Rob Shultz, 15. Keith Mullineaux, 16. Matt Higgins, 17. Jared Nace, 18. Troy Bollinger, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Scott Lesher
Did not start: Doug Bell, Brian DeFebo, Roger Coss
Modified Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Sitarchyk, 2. George, 3. Rex, Jr., 4. Bennett, 5. Paules, 6. John Markovic, 7. Flanagan, 8. Hirschman, 9. Jones, 10. Haydt, 11. Meckes, 12. Wentz, 13. Wagner, 14. Shultz, 15. Mullineaux, 16. Higgins, 17. Nace, 18. Bollinger, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Lesher
Did not qualify: Bell
June 30 - Holland Speedway - RoC- Win
The roar of the Race of Champions Modified Tour was heard throughout the Holland hills this past Saturday night as the best open-wheel drivers on the planet took on their toughest test so far this season in the running of the Holland 100. Second generation driver Matt Hirschman from Northampton, Pennsylvania used a late race pass to claim his first tour win of 2012. In other action at the Holland Motorsports Complex, Tom Northem from Alden, NY won his first feature of the season in the feature event for Bank of Holland Chargers. Kenmore, NY driver Mike Ticco won the feature for the McClurg Auto Group Late Models and Buffalo, NY resident Jeff Szafraniec won his third consecutive 4 Cylinder Hornet victory. Andy Walko and Chuck Hossfeld led the stout field of Race of Champions Modifieds to the green flag from RoC Starter John Nelson and it was Hossfeld getting out to the early race advantage from his outside pole position. Kyle Ebersole went around Walko for second on lap three while TJ Potrzebowski moved into the top five on the fifth circuit after passing Doug Reaume. Potrzebowski had problems just three laps later as his car pulled to the infield after the lap nine restart. Hossfeld continued to show the way over Kyle Ebersole, Walko, Matt Hirschman and Erick Rudolph. A fifth of the way through the Holland 100 and Ransomville, NY pilot Chuck Hossfeld was leading the field around the Holland highbanks with Kyle Ebersole, Andy Walko, Matt Hirschman and Erick Rudolph in the top five and they were tightly followed to the line by Jimmy Zacharias, JR Kent, Doug Reaume and Billy Putney in the top ten. Orchard Park, NY driver and former Holland winner Patrick Emerling moved up through the field as he started 17th in the grid and by lap 35, Emerling was running seventh as he passed JR Kent in his Emerling Chevrolet, Leaty Autosport number 07. Up in front of Emerling, Jimmy Zacharias passed Erick Rudolph to take over fifth place and Emerling followed suit to take over sixth place on lap 40. Halfway through the Holland 100 and as it was on lap one, Chuck Hossfeld was showing the way over Kyle Ebersole, pole sitter Andy Walko, Matt Hirschman and Jimmy Zacharias in the top five with Emerling, JR Kent, Rudolph, Daren Scherer and Doug Reaume in the top ten. East Aurora competitor Billy Putney raced his way into the top ten as he passed Reaume for the position and Reaume got lapped by race leader Hossfeld. Patrick Emerling, Jimmy Zacharias, Daren Scherer, Sege Fidanza, Billy Putney and Erick Rudolph all came in under the caution to make adjustments on their machines after TJ Zacharias came to a stop in turn three to bring out the second caution on lap 64. Cheektowaga competitor Karl Hehr also came on pit road but he did not return as he suffered problems in his Mighty Taco Modified. The restart saw Hossfeld pulled away from Ebersole as Hirschman passed Andy Walko to take over third. “The Hotshoe” continued to show the way on lap 75 as Ebersole, Hirschman, Patrick Emerling and Erick Rudolph were in the top five. One lap later, Hirschman passed Ebersole for second and began to chase down Hossfeld. Hirschman began his assault on Hossfeld on lap 76 as the old rivals put on a battle of the ages on the Holland Highbanks. Hirschman passed Hossfeld for the lead on lap 83 as the second generation driver from Northampton, Pennsylvania was the new race leader. The yellow lights would turn back on for the third time as Andy Walko and lap car Bob Reis made contact on the backstretch. Under the caution, Walko and Kyle Ebersole went pit side. Ebersole was running in third at the time of the caution. The third caution set up a 15 lap Saturday night shootout. The restart saw Hirschman lead Hossfeld, Zacharias, Erick Rudolph and Patrick Emerling showing the way around the speedway as Rudolph went underneath Zacharias for third on lap 86 but Zacharias, a third generation driver from Candor, NY was able to hold off the third generation driver from Ransomville, NY. Rudolph and Zacharias continued to battle for third with Emerling running right behind the battle for the third podium finish as Jimmy Zacharias put the pressure on second place Chuck Hossfeld. Matt Hirschman would go on and join his father Tony in victory lane as Hirschman won the Holland 100. Chuck Hossfeld finish second and he was followed to the line by Jimmy Zacharias, Erick Rudolph and Patrick Emerling, completed the top five. “I thought I messed up when the cars ahead of us went to the pits but it worked in our favor and the car was fast” said Hirschman, who was joined in victory lane by his father, former Holland Modified Tour winner and multi-time RoC 200 Winner Tony Hirschman. “My Dad coached me on how to driver this place and probably the only one person that could beat me would have been Dad” Hirschman continued in victory lane. Chuck Hossfeld came home in second place and said that it was his second time competing at Holland. “It was a tight racetrack and I haven’t raced here in a long time” stated Hossfeld. Current Holland Getzoni Nationwide Insurance NASCAR Pro Modified point’s leader Andy Jankowiak from Tonawanda was awarded the Gater News bonus for being the top two-barrel carburetor modified. The Race of Champions Modified Tour will return to action in three weeks at the Oswego Speedway for the 62nd running of the Race of Champions 200. More information can be found online at raceofchampions.net or oswegospeedway.com
HOLLAND NOTES: Matt Hirschman, Jimmy Zacharias and Erick Rudolph each won $200 from Emerling Chevrolet in Boston, NY for winning the qualifying events for the Race of Champions Modified Tour. Current Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Pro Modified points leader Andy Jankowiak was involved in an incident in his qualifying event as the second generation driver raced in his first Race of Champions Modified Tour event of 2012.
OFFICIAL RESULTS 6-30-12
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED TOUR 100: MATT HIRSCHMAN (Started 9), Chuck Hossfeld (2), Jimmy Zacharias (8), Erick Rudolph (11), Patrick Emerling (15), Kyle Ebersole (4), Billy Putney (16), Daren Scherer (12), JR Kent (19), Andy Walko (1), Sege Fidanza (14), Andy Jankowiak (17), Doug Reaume (6), TJ Zacharias (13), Bob Reis (5), Karl Hehr (7), Randall Richard (20), Tommy Cloce (3), TJ Potrzebowski (10), Mike Odwazny (18) and Jake Wylie (21)
EMERLING CHEVROLET ($200 to winner) Qualifying Winners: Matt Hirschman, Jimmy Zacharias, Erick Rudolph
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD: Billy Putney (Started 16th)
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD: Tommy Cloce (Started 3rd)
GATER RACING NEWS $500 BONUS HIGHEST B MODIFIED FINISHER: Andy Jankowiak
June 23 - Dunn Tire Speedway - RoC - 7
Happy times for Leaty, DTRP brass
by Larry Ott
A victorious Mike Leaty wasn’t the only one sporting a large smile Saturday night at Dunn Tire Raceway Park. Flashing equally big ear-to-ear grins were Ralph Galluzzi and Tim Packman.Leaty was very excited about scoring his first career DTRP win in the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour 75.Galluzzi, DTRP’s promoter, and Packman, president of stock car operations, were celebrating the fact that the ROC event drew the largest stock car crowd in several years at DTRP, which nearly filled all of the grandstand.Galluzzi was so delighted by the fan turnout that prior to the ROC main event he stood on the front stretch and announced: “As a thank you to all of you for coming tonight, I am offering all of you fans free grandstand admission for our July 14 stock car program.”Packman was delighted, saying that Satuday’s crowd “was all about people getting back to their track like it once was.”Leaty took advantage of a collision between Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman to score the win.On lap 73, Hossfeld was leading, but Hirschman was breathing down his neck. Leaty was third, about five car lengths back. Over the last few seasons, Hossfeld and Hirschman have been involved in controversial on-track incidents with one another. On Saturday, it happened again.On that lap, Hirschman, after looking on the high side a lap previous, dove low coming down the front stretch and attempted to get underneath Hossfeld. The two came together, colliding and spinning in Turn 1. Leaty inherited the lead and held it to the checkered flag.“I know their history,” Leaty said of Hossfeld and Hirschman. “They’re both really good drivers. Chuck had a good car but was out of tires and Matt had new tires and he was coming and I knew that was a recipe for a wreck and that’s what happened.“I was in the right place at the right time. This wins means a ton. This is my fourth career Modified win overall. I’ve won at Oswego, Spencer, Chemung and now Dunn Tire, so I pretty much circled the wagons as far as tracks in our area.”The ROC tour visits Holland for a 100 lapper next Saturday, but Leaty is running a very limited schedule due to the expense of building a house and will not be racing at Holland.Instead he will be assisting fellow competitor Patrick Emerling in the pits that night.Not surprisingly, Hossfeld and Hirschman had conflicting views on their big race-changing incident.“I don’t think he was going to let me go around him on the outside,” Hirschman said of Hossfeld. “So if I had enough to go under him that was going to be my move. I was coming down the front stretch and I had enough on him but he squeezed me so tight that he ended up taking us both out.”“We should have won that race,” said Hossfeld, who injured his hand in the incident. “I gave Hirschman the total outside and he just put his nose where it wasn’t going to work. We held him off the best we could.”This season, ROC tour Director Andy Harpell has put the series on a much harder compound American Racer brand tire, opting to drop the much stickier (but more expensive) Hoosier Tires that were used in seasons past. The decision has been a source of much debate among the ROC drivers.“I’m excited about these tires,” Hossfeld said. “These tires have thrown the series for a loop and I knew Dunn Tire [Raceway Park] would be a place that there could be passing. With these tires making it harder to drive, the cream’s going to rise to the top.“It’s not as easy on the outside as it used to be. We came from the back a couple times. The good guys will make their cars better on these tires. I think Andrew [Harpell] is good at adjusting things. This is a learning curve and everyone is in the same curve. We‘ve gotten better on the new tires.”“I would say that this was the best race of the year we’ve had with these tires,” Hirschman said. “We had a flat tire and it seemed like a lot of guys had flat tires, which definitely says there is some sort of issue because I’ve never seen flats like that here before.”“The tires maybe earned a C-plus grade tonight,” Leaty said. “They’re not great but we all got the same thing to work with.”Sege Fidanza, DTRP’s all-time Modified winner, returned to Modified racing at DTRP Saturday after a nearly three-year layoff and placed a solid fourth in the Rick Kluth-owned car.This season Harpell is also allowing two barrel Sportsman a chance to run in the ROC asphalt tour events, with the top finisher among the two barreled cars collecting a $500 bonus at each race.A total of 18 Modifieds were at DTRP and five two-barrel drivers — Bobby Holmes, Mike Fiebelkorn Jr., Tony Hanbury, T.J. Zacharias and Mike Odwanzny — participated to bring the 75-lap starting field to 23.“We were a little slower than them but we stayed out of trouble,” said Holmes, the top finishing two-barrel driver. “We hung back and tried staying out of everyone’s way and we did the right thing and came out of it with a decent finish. I’m pretty happy.”DTRP will showcase a unique program Tuesday night at 7, when the Dirt-On-Asphalt Challenge featuring dirt track 358 Modifieds and Sportsman racing on asphalt takes center stage. The four-race series for 2012 includes two races apiece at Airborne Speedway and DTRP.
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Mike Leaty Wins Dunn Tire Raceway Park 75.
LADY LUCK SHINES DOWN ON MIKE LEATY IN EXCITING DUNN TIRE RoC FEATURE
BY JR KENNERUP
Clarence, NY Admittedly Mike Leaty has never had any racing luck when it comes to competing at the Dunn Tire Raceway Park. On Saturday night in the RoC sanctioned 75 lap asphalt Modified feature lady luck certainly shined down on the Williamson, NY driver.Running a patient third with less than a lap to go in the feature the top two cars of Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman tangled going into turn one racing for the lead. Leaty inherited the lead for a green, white, and checker finish then another accident occurred with less than a half a lap to go in the race resulting in a caution/checkered finish.,Under RoC race procedures the field is frozen at that point and scoring reverts back to the last completed lap for all cars running. Leaty was credited with the win. Ebersole ended up second with current point leader Daren Scherer in third, Sege Fidanza running the Kluth 44 finished fourth and Hossfeld was fifth.“ Yes it is nice to have lady luck on your side but all the credit for this win goes to my hard working crew “ said a very happy Mike Leaty in victory lane. “ They worked their butts off all day long, I drew 97 to start the day off, this car wasn’t that good in the heat, and we they worked even more just to get it dialed in for the feature. Then we had a great pit stop and came out in second basically of the cars who pitted and at the end I knew there would be some fireworks because they ( Hossfeld & Hirschman ) have a past where they can’t race together for the win without fireworks and sure enough fireworks happened and we hung back and got the lead and win. “Erick Rudolph and Tommy Cloce brought the field to the green of Larry Woodruff. Rudolph wheeling the Ed McGuire owned car rocketed into the lead followed by Sege Fidanza, Cloce, Daren Scherer, and Karl Hehr. The caution flew after one lap was scored when Doug Reaume and Chuck Hossfeld spun in turn three. Hossfeld restarted at the rear while Reaume was towed off with front end damage.
After a yellow on lap two the next 30 laps were caution free with plenty of passing taking place featuring Hossfeld coming from 22nd to fifth in just 30 laps and using every square inch of the racing surface.With a yellow coming out on lap 32, eleven of the fifteen cars on the track pitted for a fresh right rear tire. When the race resumed Scherer was now in the lead with Matt Hirschman in second, Andy Walko in third, Bryan Sherwood in fourth, and by being the first out of the pits with a new right rear Hossfeld in fifth.Mike Leaty who was running 14th before the yellow came out in second of the cars who pitted; Mike had this to say about his very quick tire change pit stop. “ My dad called me in the pits and Rick Knapp, he’s the man who got me back out in second with that fast tire change. “Hirschman used an inside turn one pass of Scherer for the lead on lap 34 and at the same time Fidanza suffered a flat tire and Hossfeld made contact with Sherwood sending him into the turn one wall to bring the yellow out. For his role in the contact Hossfeld was sent to the rear for over aggressive driving. Scherer vacated his second spot as he pitted for a new right rear.With the race resuming on lap 35 Hirschman stayed out in front with Walko now in second followed by Leaty, Rusty Smith, and Billy Putney. Rudolph moved into fifth on lap 36 and at the halfway point Smith got past Walko for second and set his sights on Hirschman.Rudolph moved past Walko for fourth on lap 39 with Kyle Ebersole moving into fifth on lap 40. Following a lap 47 restart Rudolph showed he had the car to beat by passing Leaty on the outside for third. Meanwhile Hossfeld came out of nowhere to move into fifth on lap 48, into fourth on lap 49, and into third on lap 52.The large crowd started to stand with 20 laps to go with Hirschman on old tires leading Rudolph and Hossfeld who both pitted for a new right rear.
Exiting turn four on lap 58 Rudolph got under Hirschman to grab the lead and Hossfeld seizing the opportunity rocketed into second right on the back bumper of Rudolph.During a yellow on lap 60 Hirschman ducked into the pits for a new right rear tire. On the restart Rudolph easily pulled away into the lead with all eyes on Hirschman restarting from rear and was using the top groove exclusively to pass.During a yellow flag period on lap 63 disaster struck Rudolph as he coasted to a stop on the homestretch, out of fuel. Hossfeld then inherited the lead on the restart with 11 laps to go, he was followed by Leaty, Ebersole, Scherer, and Hirschman.With ten to go Hirschman moved into fourth and with eight to go he took third and one lap later he moved into second and was closing in rapidly on Hossfeld for the lead. The yellow came out with five to go for Putney who had a flat tire and this set up a five lap dash for the cash.Hirschman immediately jumped to the outside when the race resumed in an attempt to pass Hossfeld for the lead. But each attempt made by Hirschman at both ends of the race track was blocked by Hossfeld, who ran a tad higher line on the track. Just after receiving the two to go signal entering turn one Hirschman tried to fake high dive low move on Hossfeld.The move almost worked as Hirschman got under Hossfeld in turn two but ran out of real estate to get the lead. With the white flag waving Hirschman dove low exiting turn four and entering turn one contact between Hossfeld and Hirschman saw both drivers spin out in turn one to bring out the yellow. By RoC rules the race must finish green, white and checker and the lap counter was turned back to lap 73 with Leaty now in front followed by Ebersole, Scherer, TJ Potrzebowski, and Fidanza.Now a two lap shootout was set and all was calm until exiting turn two after receiving the white flag. Scherer and Potrzebowski got together with JR Kent jumping over the right rear tire of Potrzebowski and nearly going out of the ball park instead making hard contact with the outside concrete retaining wall.The yellow came out immediately and with a potential of a long cleanup RoC officials called for a yellow checker finish with scoring frozen at the last completed lap for all cars running at this point.
Leaty was the winner followed by Ebersole, Scherer, Fidanza, and Hossfeld.“ This place has never been good to me “ recalled Mike. “ I’ve been in position to win here before but Chuck Hossfeld is so good here and Hirschman is always good here and my dad had always been fast here. So if you came out of here with a third or fourth place finish typically you’re doing pretty good. There’s been twice here where I come out of the pits in second, looks like I have a shot for the win and have the right front roll off the rim. I’ve never had any good luck here but I think it all came back to me today. “ Second place finisher Kyle Ebersole had this to say about his second place finish. “ I went from the middle to the back to the front during the race. I held my line and let stuff happen all around me and ended up second, we’ll take that. “Qualifying events for the 24 car field saw heat wins go to Reaume, Scherer, and Hirschman.
By finishing ninth Bobby Holmes won the Gater Racing News $500 cash bonus for being the highest finishing B Modified in the feature.
NOTES: The large gathering of race fans were treated to a very exciting feature with plenty of passing taking place. Current B Modified point leader TJ Zacharias blew an engine in the first hot lap session. Tom Wiest offered his B Modified to use for the remainder of the racing program to retain his lead in the B Modified points. Once again another strong run by Rusty Smith was ended this time by a broken rear end on lap 51 and he was in second. Bryan Sherwood was transported and admitted to a Buffalo, NY hospital for a suspected compound fracture of his arm following his lap 34 accident after contact between him and Chuck Hossfeld saw the second generation racer receiving a broken left front wheel assembly and the contacting the outside turn one wall. RoC would like send wishes for a speedy and full recovery to Bryan who was expected to be operated on at 7 am Sunday morning. TDH Refrigeration awarded a $100 cash bonus to the top three finishers in the feature while huge race fan Howie Markel awarded cash bonuses of $300, $200, and $100 to the top three drivers at lap 38. The RoC Mods are right back at it this Saturday night at the Holland Speedway for a 100 lap feature with all laps being sponsored with a minimum of $20 per lap with half of the money going to the leader and the other half going to a another driver on that lap. The other driver receiving the lap money will be determined by draw.
RACE REPORT DUNN TIRE RACEWAY PARK 75
FINISH; Mike Leaty, Kyle Ebersole, Daren Scherer, Sege Fidanza, Chuck Hossfeld, Billy Putney, Matt Hirschman, TJ Potrzebowski, Bobby Holmes, JR Kent, Andy Walko, Erick Rudolph, Rusty Smith, Karl Hehr, Jimmy Zacharias, Byron Sherwood, Jim Storace, TJ Zacharias, Tony Hanbury, Tommy Cloce, Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., Mike Odwazny, Doug Reaume.
SCRATCHED; Tom Wiest.
LAP LEADERS; Rudolph ( 1 – 32 ), Scherer ( 33 ), Hirschman ( 34 – 57 ), Rudolph ( 58 – 63 ), Hossfeld ( 64 – 73 ) Leaty ( 74 – 75 ).
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Leaty ( 18th to 1st ).
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Cloce ( 2nd to 20th )
HOWIE MARKEL HALFWAY BONUS; $300 – Hirschman, $200 – Smith, $100 – Walko.
TDH REFRIGERATION TOP THREE FINISHERS BONUS $100 EACH; Leaty, Ebersole, Scherer.
GATER RACING NEWS $500 CASH BONUS HIGHEST B MODIFIED FINISHER; Holmes.
Dunn Tire Raceway Park Heat Results - 10 laps - top 4 finishers re- draw for feature.
1. Doug Reaume
2. Sege Fidanza
3. J.R. Kent
4. Karl Hehr
5. Jim Storace
6. Bobby Holmes
7. Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr.
1. Daren Scherer
2. Kyle Ebersole
3. Jimmy Zacharias
4. Chuck Hossfeld
5. Billy Putney
6. Andrew Walko
7. T.J. Zacharias
8. Mike Odwanzny
1. Matt Hirschman
2. Erick Rudolph
3. Rusty Smith
4. Tommy Cloce
5. T.J. Potrzebowski
6. Mike Leaty
7. Bryon Sherwoo
8. Tony Hanbury
June 16 - Star Speedway - Win
Matt Hirschman Cements His Title As King of the Open Modified Show By Winning the SBM 125 at Star Speedway Pennsylvania Driver Makes a Statement By Winning in New England
By Mike Twist
The North South Shootout. The Mason Dixon Meltdown at South Boston Speedway (VA). The Richie Evans Memorial 100 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The SBM 125 at Star Speedway (NH). That isn't just a list of great open competition Modified shows that have taken place in recent years. It's a list of events that Matt Hirschman has won at least once during the same timeframe. The latest victory for the second generation Pennsylvania driver came in Star's SBM 125 on Saturday night. Hirschman, who has won or contended for titles on the RoC Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, continued his record of winning the big open shows by taking home a purse estimated to be around $9,000. “To me, these are my favorite shows,” said Hirschman. “There are no points and no pressure. There's a variety of competition. I would take a win like this over one on the Whelen Tour, MRS or RoC any day of the week. I like all three of those series, but there's nothing like an open show like this.” “There's something about them. They are my favorite races and I just put my absolute best effort and focus on them. I come hungrier than anyone else I think.”; Hirschman has been out of sight and out of mind to a lot of Modified observers this year. He does not currently have a ride in the highest visibility series of Modified competition - the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour - and he has stuck close to home in Eastern Pennsylvania so far in 2012. The trip to race a half dozen states away at Star gave New England racing fans a chance to remember just how good Hirschman is. “This is a big statement win…for the entire team…but for me especially,” said Hirschman. “I was coming with something to prove tonight.”; “So far this year, we've done well close to home but we haven't hit the road. I've always said that you are only as good as your last race and if you aren't winning in front of people, you tend to get forgotten about in this sport. So it was a big win to come up into this area and do this.”; Staying closer to home could have been tempting for Hirschman on Saturday night, but it wasn't a move that he gave much thought to. “Close to home, there are triple 25s at Mahoning Valley. They pay $1,000 each, so you can win $3,000 and that's 25 minutes from home. But when you have people putting forth this kind of effort to have the type of show that this division has so few of, you have to support it. There used to be a lot more of these races. I grew up with my Dad winning big races. Years ago, there were more big paying races and open shows. You could have big paydays and those are limited now, so you have to support something like this. “I love the effort that these guys put in. When you see the effort that guys like Kevin Rice and the Webbers put into this race, and all of the people who support it - from the Long Island Maniac to everyone who sponsored laps and awards - you've got to support them.”; It helped that Hirschman has many fond memories of the track as well - going back to when he was just a teen who watched his legendary father Tony compete at the quarter mile oval. “He won here in a Modified,” Hirschman recalled of his father. “I was here. It was 1989 or 1990 I think. I remember it and then when he came back with the Busch [North]Series. Then, it was a long time since I came here. I came back for the season ending show in 2007. I remembered the place as a kid, but that was my first time out on the track. I just took to it immediately. I felt right at home. I love this layout.”; This time around, Tony Hirschman didn't make the trip to Star, but he gave his son a little bit of advice before leaving the family race shop to hit the road.
“I wish he was here, but before we left he told me to bring the trophy home,” said Hirschman. And seeing that it was Father's Day weekend, Matt must have presented that trophy to his Dad….right? “We will…uh…well…we will enjoy it tomorrow,” said Matt Hirschman elusively. “It's just nice to come home with the win.”; Hirschman led early in the SBM 125 and then pitted for the one fresh tire allowed by event rules. He then wasted no time getting back to the front and held off Ryan Preece and defending Star track champion Josh Cantara for the victory. Now Hirschman is looking ahead to the next big open show - the July 18th Modified Madness event at Seekonk Speedway (MA) - a third mile oval just slightly larger than Star Speedway.
“These kind of tracks are my favorites,” said Hirschman. “These quarter and third mile bullring tracks are great. These cars put on the best shows on these kind of tracks. I'm looking forward to Seekonk and their big show coming up. I always have fun there, so hopefully we can continue to win races this year. I haven't raced a lot, but we have three wins so far. We're having fun and we want to keep that going.”
by Denise Dupont
As a youngster, Hirschman was in the pits watching his father, Tony Hirschman, race and win many an “Open Show”. Since then he has gone forward to build a name of his own in modified racing, particularly in the Race of Champion (RoC) series. “I grew up going to these races with my dad,” said Hirschman after the victory. “And it was not just him. I was here tonight with Mario as I was back in the eighties or nineties. Then there were a lot of good paying shows throughout the whole year. Those drivers and teams were money racers and back then there was a lot there to win. Unfortunately we do not have that many races any more with shows like this where the money is raised and people put into it.” Hirschman was able to come from the rear of the field back to the lead after a pit stop. His team had a strategy and they all executed it as planned. “I came here tonight on a mission. I felt that I had something to prove tonight and this is a good statement for the team and especially for myself. I wanted to real bad tonight and I came here bound and determined to do it and we definitely earned it. It was not easy. We got out front early but then we ended up pitting and coming back and winning it. It was hard earned and well deserved. I think that everybody on this team here put a good effort here into this race and it paid off. I am really happy.” Ryan Preece never gave up when the black flag flew for his car dumping fluid on the track. He was running with the leaders and the last thing he wanted to do was head to the pits. But luck was on his side when a caution flew giving his crew time to regroup and recover. “We were overheating a little bit. The fan on the radiator blew a fuse and then it was not running. The way that short tracks are you really need a fan to keep it cool. Just when it looked like we were not getting out, another caution came out and we kept working at it (#40 car). We found the fuse and changed it.” Changing the fuse and returning to the race was a move that earned the Preece team a second place finish. Not bad for a driver who had been almost ruled out of the race. “We got back out there and kind of rode around picking off spots when we could. Then everything just worked in our favor. I am really happy for a second right now. I am happy for my dad and mom and my family, because this is out of our own pocket. So every time that we can go out and run well, we pay the bills by where we finish. It really helps a lot.” Bringing car home in one piece was the goal of all cars competing in the SBM 125. Piloting the family car, Preece ran to win while keeping the tires on the car. “I am just happy that the car is in one piece and it was a lot of fun. This race was awesome. I just have to thank Kevin Rice, Jim Schaefer and Bill Webber for putting this show on. It takes a lot to put a show on like this. It takes a lot of money put up front. To be able to do this and be able to draw all the modifieds it really shows that they are doing something right.” Star track champion, Josh Cantara, used his track experience to find his way to the front of the field. Once there he ran lap after lap with the leaders holding on for a podium finish. “The race was awesome. Competing with all these guys is a lot of fun and to say that we got a top three is great. What helped was that we already knew the basic setup. Running their tour tires though kind of messed us up a little bit. But we got use to it.” During the ending laps Cantara passed modified champion Mike Stefanik and continued his charge forward. He had saved his car and was ready for more racing when the checkers flew. “I was hoping the race was 150 laps at the end.” The Star Speedway “Open Show” was nostalgic for those who lived through the legendary times of modified racing. And just like then, teams and fans left the race with the urge for more. Winner Matt Hirschman had words that expressed it best: “There were some quality teams and drivers here tonight. What I like about the “Open Shows” is that you get a mix of different guys from different places that do not race together all the time. I wish there were a lot more shows like this. The open show, no matter how few there are, are still a throwback to probably the best days that this division has had. And I certainly wish there was more of them. I am going to support the ones that there are because these are good nights. ” “I really enjoy these open shows. The next one will be Seekonk with “Open Wheel Wednesday “and that is going to be a fun night. I hope that the fans come out and I appreciate the effort that people take to put these shows on.” Thanks Matt. So place Wednesday, July 18th on your calendars for the next modified “Open Show” at Seekonk Speedway with $10,000 on the line to win!
EPPING, NH- Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA., earned $8,792 in cash and prizes on Saturday night, winning the Exeter Decorating SBM 125 Tour-Type Modified event at the Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. The diverse field had 28 cars from ten different states on hand to compete. Hirschman passed Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT.) on lap 111. Preece retook the lead on a lap 116 restart, but he was forced to give it back when a caution reset the field before that lap was completed. Hirschman was able to get the jump on the next restart, and he raced away to the lucrative victory in the J & J Motorsports 59.
The event was slowed numerous times by caution periods, but also featured two and three-wide racing throughout the 125 laps that kept the outcome in doubt. A competitive field of 28 cars attempted to qualify for the special event, which featured teams from all four Modified touring series’ competing against the best teams that run at Star on a weekly basis. The top three finishers were Hirschman, a Race of Champions driver beating Preece from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and Maine driver Josh Canatara in the Hannaford 71 from Star. Preece earned $3,855 for his efforts. Mike Stefanik led the race early before settling for fourth, while Valenti Modified Racing Series driver Dwight Jarvis from Vermont rounded out the top five.
The special event brought Star their largest crowd of the season, and some of the best racing as well. Todd Szegedy made it to second place before fading from the lead pack. In all, 22 of the 28 teams earned bonus money put in place through a variety of local sponsorships from race fans and area businesses. Lap 79 alone paid Hirschman $610, and the halfway bonus added $425 to his payoff.
SBM 125 Modified Open Finish: 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN $8,792, 2. Ryan Preece, 3. Josh Cantara, 4. Mike Stefanik, 5. Dwight Jarvis, 6. Bobby Santos, 7. Jim Boniface, 8. Doug Coby, 9. Richie Pallai, 10. Todd Szegedy, 11. Charlie Pasteryak, 12. Jon McKennedy, 13. Chris Pasteryak, 14. Andy Seuss, 15. Max Zachem, 16. Jacob Dore, 17. Louie Mechalides, 18. Les Hinckley, 19. Rich Ferreira, 20. Jim Storace, 21. Tommy Barrett, 22. Richard Savary, 23. Mike Douglas, 24. Todd Patnode. DNQ: Brian Loftin, Karl Fredrickson, Anthony Nocella, Leo Oliviera.
June 8 - Spencer Speedway - RoC - 16
A PATIENT SCHERER GETS FIRST RoC VICTORY
IN A ROUGH AND TUMBLE SPENCER 75
A flat paperclip type of race track where passing comes at a premium will test the patience and metal of a driver and that was certainly the case on Friday night at the Spencer Speedway. It took four tries to start the race and after a yellow on lap one single file restarts were the law of the land for the remainder of the event. Daren Scherer of Binghamton, NY used a inside turn two pass of leader Karl Hehr on that lap one restart to grab the lead. Once in front Daren put it on cruise control to lead the final 74 laps to claim his first career RoC Modified feature win. Billy Putney ended up second with Chuck Hossfeld in third, Hehr slipping back to fourth and Jan Leaty in fifth. “ Yes, patience was the key tonight “ said race winner Daren Scherer. “ I wasn’t sure if I could make it there on the outside especially with the way the outside wall comes up on you here and the 59 ( Hehr ) kept trying to run me up in the wall there on the original starts. “ By luck of the draw Karl Hehr and Daren Scherer brought the 23 car field to the green of starter Johnny Nelson. The action started almost immediately up front with tire smoke, being the norm and a multi car turn one accident taking place ending the evening for TJ Potrzebowski and Patrick Emerling. The second start almost got a full lap in except entering turn three when JR Kent slid up the track collecting Jan Leaty and Matt Hirschman. All three cars slid into the grassy area outside of turn three to bring out the yellow, with all three continuing. The third time wasn’t the charm as once again turn one was the culprit with Doug Reaume and Jim Storace ending up turned around. At this point RoC officials called for single file restarts for the remainder of the race. On the fourth try one lap was able to be scored with Hehr leading Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, Billy Putney, and Tommy Cloce. Just after the cars completed the first lap Mike Leaty went sliding off turn one into the outside tire barrier to bring out another yellow. On the restart Scherer was able to get under Hehr at the apex of turns one and two to grab the lead exiting the second turn. Scherer spoke about the winning pass. “ I knew from the starts that he was trying to push me higher and higher so I faked him into thinking I was going to try and go around him to make a pass for the lead. When he moved up just a hair in between turns one and two I was able to turn my car quick enough to get underneath him and get the lead. I think I could have gotten past him later in the race if I didn’t pass him on that restart. “ The next 24 laps remained green with Scherer on cruise control in front with Zacharias applying plenty of pressure on Hehr for second. A shuffle in the top three took place on lap 30 as Zacharias got under Hehr entering turn one. Contact between the two drivers took place and the result saw Zacharias spinning into the infield grass to bring out the yellow. The next 32 laps went caution free and once again Scherer was comfortably in front with Hehr holding second strongly. Now it was Billy Putney’s turn to attempt to take second and after patiently trying to make the pass for 30 laps Putney was able to sneak under Hehr in turn two on lap 59. The top five would see a shuffle again on lap 62 when Hehr, now in third bobbled exiting turn four. Tommy Cloce got on the brakes to avoid contact and this left Rusty Smith nowhere to go and he hopped the right rear tire of Cloce and into the outside retaining wall, ending his great run. The action within the top five continued on the restart as Hossfeld thought he was racing on dirt as he kicked the rear end out and this worked as went from sixth to fourth exiting turn two, Wilbur Hebing followed suit and moved in fifth. After a lap 70 restart the action for third got heated once again as Hossfeld tried to go around Hehr for third. Hebing stuck his nose in there, while Hossfeld backed out it and entering turn one with three laps to go got under Hehr. Contact once again between the two cars saw Hebing spinning into the infield grass to bring out the final yellow of the race. On the restart Hossfeld dirt tracked his way into third but up front Scherer in for his first career RoC win over Putney, Hossfeld, Hehr, and Jan Leaty. Scherer spoke about the start of the race and his fearfulness of the infamous Spencer turn four wall. “ It kind of reminds you of racing at Wall, the way it jumps out at you “ said Scherer. “ But the big thing for us tonight was that this was the first time with these American Racer tires that the car wasn’t pushing. That felt really good as I could drive it straight off the corner and never had to fight to get it back the entire night. The car stayed consistent all night long, we never had to change one item in the setup of the car, that is how good this car was “ remarked Daren. When asked about winning his first RoC race Scherer quipped, “ I can relax now ( with a smile )? “ “ Hopefully this has broken the ice and there are more wins for me down the road. “ Second place finisher Billy Putney perfectly summed up racing at Spencer and how this race panned out. “ It’s a tough track and it’s really difficult to pass here as it’s a paperclip and it is flat and the outside groove is sparse. You really have to be patient and wait for somebody to make a mistake, so you can get in there. Unless you ram them out of the way or are day and night faster than everyone, you have to take what you can get here at Spencer and tonight we got second. “ Daryl Lewis, Jr. won the $500 Gater Racing News B Modified bonus after a spirited race long duel between him and TJ Zacharias.Qualifying heat race winners for the 24 car field were Putney, Jan Leaty, and Scherer.
NOTES; A large gathering of racing fans came out for the evening of racing entertainment. JR Kent missed hot laps due to not being able to start the car after unloading it, his night didn’t get any better as hard contact with the turn two outside wall late in the feature saw significant damage take place. That same outside wall collected Chris Risdale in the heat race and the result saw Risdale missing the remainder of the evening with a front clip replacement coming up. Matt Hirschman encountered motor woes during the feature. Kyle Ebersole was looking for three wins in a row and a fourth place start had him in prime position to give it a shot but a left front flat after the initial start forced him pit side and he recovered for a sixth place finish. Many teams spent considerable time after the races working on their wrecked racecars in the infield due to the next race the following evening. Plenty of attention directed to the unique body styles on the Mike Leaty, Jan Leaty, Patrick Emerling, and TJ Zacharias cars as teams are experimenting on ways to get the car to go through the corners better. These four cars will look different at the next race due to their body style not conforming to RoC Body Rules.
FINISH; Daren Scherer, Billy Putney, Chuck Hossfeld, Karl Hehr, Jan Leaty, Kyle Ebersole, Jimmy Zacharias, Andy Walko, Tommy Cloce, Wilbur Hebing, Jim Storace, Daryl Lewis, Jr., TJ Zacharias, JR Kent, Rusty Smith, Matt Hirschman, Andy Lewis, Mike Leaty, Doug Reaume, Mike Odwazny, Jerry Boerman, Patrick Emerling, TJ Potrzebowski.DNS; Chris Risdale.
Hard Charger - Andy Walko
Hard Luck - Mike Leaty
Gater Racing News $500 Top 2 barrel finisher: Daryl Lewis, Jr.
June 2 - Mountain Speedway - 1
With twenty-two cars registered for the 50-lap cone style Modified feature, it was deemed to be a great show. The top six heat qualifiers redrew for feature starting positions and Wayne Szerencsits started from the pole position. Szerencsits led the opening lap over Austin Kochenash, Harry Buchman, Dave Brigati and Nick Pecko until a quick caution flag waved on lap six. Kochenash shot by the leader and into the top spot on the restart and Pecko and Bobby Jones slipped by to take second and third. With 20 laps in the books, Kochenash continued out front over Pecko and Jones. Todd Baer made his way to fourth and Zane Zeiner held fifth. Pecko worked on the leader and tried to use a lapped car to make his bid for the lead on lap 28. The tactic almost paid off, but the pair touched wheels and Jones slipped by to take second from Pecko. Five laps later the yellow flag waved when Kochenash’s great run came to an end, as he slowed on the speedway, giving up the lead to Jones on lap 31. The culprit was clutch problems. At that point in the race Kochenash was getting ready to put Matt Hirschman a lap down. Following a trio of lap 32 yellows and after choosing inside or outside for the restart, Jones continued out front over Pecko, Zeiner, Ken Vogel, Jr. and Baer. Luckily for Hirschman, the yellow flags kept him on the lead lap.
With the green flag back out, Vogel overtook second from Pecko on lap 33 and then set sail for Jones. Vogel tried to make a turn two pass for the lead stick with 10 circuits remaining, but the duo bumped wheels and Vogel spun from contention. Green flag racing resumed and Jones led. However, Hirschman had patiently climbed all the way to second, with Pecko, Zeiner and Baer in tow. Hirschman overtook the leader following the restart and continued on to take the victory. Pecko finished as the runner up, followed by Zeiner, Jones and Baer. Heat race victories went to Harry Buchman, Austin Kochenash and Nick Pecko. Tommy Wanick was the consi victor.
Modified (40-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Nick Pecko 3. Zane Zeiner 4. Bobby Jones 5. Todd Baer 6. David Brigati 7. Justin Gumley 8. Ken Vogel Jr 9. Alan Creveling 10. Brandon Oltra 11. Tom Wanick 12. Randall Richard 13. Harry Buchman 14. Scott Adams 15. Joe Mooney 16. Brian Sones 17.Wayne Szerencsits 18. Austin Kochenash 19. Matt Higgins 20. Jim Bojonny 21. Tom Casagrande DNS: Brian DeFebo
May 26 Oswego Speedway - RoC - 3
THE PASS “ GIVES EBERSOLE HIS SECOND CONSECUTIVE RoC MODIFIED FEATURE WIN
BY JR KENNERUP
Oswego, NY … Every racecar driver no matter how talented they are throughout their driving career always has a moment that they do something that the racing public will never forget. Early Saturday evening at the Oswego Speedway in the Richie Evans Memorial for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds Kyle Ebersole had that moment. Ebersole, a college student from Hummelstown, Pa. was running exclusively in the outside groove attempting to get the lead from JR Kent. The two drivers raced side by side for the first 19 laps in the 75 lap feature event. Coming around to complete lap 20 Ebersole changed his strategy as he was exiting turn four he dove to the bottom to get underneath Kent. Ebersole then completed the pass for the lead entering turn one as he had Kent on the outside now to lead lap 21.Once in front Ebersole was never challenged to claim his second consecutive RoC Modified feature win and his first Richie Evans Memorial win. Kent ended up second holding off eighth place starter Matt Hirschman with Billy Putney in fourth and Terry Cheetham in fifth.“ I was trying really hard on the outside for so many laps to get the lead and he ( Kent ) kept moving up a little bit and I was getting tight running up that high. So I decided just to follow him for a little bit and I went into turn three a little high. I saw him get tight in the middle of the turn and I dove underneath and got a good run off the corner to get under him and that finished it “ said Ebersole when talking about the pass.Kent spoke about the pass, which did surprise him. “ Yes it really did surprise me. Between three and four I looked up in the mirror and I saw him ( Ebersole ) right behind me. When we exited four I couldn’t believe he was under me and wheel to wheel with me, he’s got a real strong piece under the hood. But it was a clean pass and you have to give him credit for that. “By the luck of the draw JR Kent and Kyle Ebersole brought the 26 car field to green with Kent taking the lead over Ebersole, Terry Cheetham, Jimmy Zacharias, and Billy Putney. Putney moved into fourth one lap later while on lap three Rusty Smith displaced Zacharias to move into fifth.Ebersole barely got the lead on lap five as he and Kent still raced side by side with Kent retaking the lead on the next lap. Ebersole got moved back to third on lap seven as Cheetham joined the battle for the lead.Cheetham tried an outside turn one pass for the lead on lap eight, which saw his slip up the track and this shuffled the running order as Ebersole, Putney, Smith, and Matt Hirschman moved into second through fifth in the running order.On a lap 14 restart Smith got trapped in the outside groove and this allowed Hirschman to fourth and Cheetham to fifth.The top five remained the same for the next 32 consecutive laps until Hirschman moved past Putney who bobbled entering turn one on lap 48 to move into third.With Ebersole way out in front all eyes were focused over the final 25 laps on the battle for second between Kent and Hirschman. The two second generation drivers battled hard with Hirschman using every trick in the book except hard contact to try and get the position.At the checkers Ebersole in for the win over Kent, Hirschman, Putney, and Cheetham.Ebersole who seems to have the new American Racer tire figured out spoke about his two wins in a row on these tires. “ You definitely have to drive the car different with the American Racers. You can’t run the car as hard with the American Racers as you could with the Hoosiers. We have had the perfect setup now for two weeks in a row and starting on the front row two weeks in a row is a plus too. But we’ve known right from the start what we wanted to go with setup wise and the tire brand change, there isn’t that much of a difference. “ Having a good base setup was a key on this day for Ebersole as he only got five laps of practice due to arriving late. “ That was the key for us today as we got here late due to our truck breaking down and we had to call for another truck to come up and that made a four and half hour trip into eight hours. The car was a little off for the heat and we made a small adjustment that got it right on for the feature “ said Kyle.Kyle spoke about winning his first Richie Evans Memorial. “ It’s awesome especially to win it here at Oswego as we have had some up and down races here in the past. I’m proud to win it here and win my first race at Oswego. I just can’t believe I’ve won two races in a row on the RoC Tour. ““ As happy as you can be with a second, you really want to win but it’s been a while since I’ve run the RoC Tour, it just feels good to be competitive, it’s a great night “ said second place finisher JR Kent.Kent spoke about the high level of competition that he is facing on the RoC Tour this year. “ It’s a tough bunch of guys running with us now. Before when I ran full time there were maybe five or six guys who could win, now there is ten to fifteen who could win on any given night. It’s a different deal now like with anything once you’re out of it for a while it takes a bit to get back up to speed. My dad is going to run this car at Spencer as my new one should be done by then and then we’ll see what we got for them. “ For the second consecutive race TJ Zacharias, who ended up 21st won the Gater Racing News $500 bonus for being the highest finishing B Modified.Qualifying for the 27 car field saw heat wins go to Jimmy Zacharias, Cheetham, and Daren Scherer.
EVANS MEMORIAL NOTES; Veteran driver Sege Fidanza was driving the Kluth Motorsports entry for this show. Erick Rudolph made a rare asphalt start in the second Ed McGuire owned car. Second generation driver Bryon Sherwood had to be push started all day long due to the car being stuck in fourth gear. Chris Whitenight was the only car not in the feature due to contact with the homestretch wall in his heat race. TJ Zacharias making his way around the pit area on crutches due to a sprained left ankle suffered during the week. For the second consecutive race Mike Odwazny drove a Terry Zacharias prepared car. The car that was driven by JR Kent will see his father the legendary George “ The Duke “ Kent driving it in the next RoC event at Spencer on June 8th. The 50/50 was $2,520.00.
FINISH; Kyle Ebersole, JR Kent, Matt Hirschman, Billy Putney, Terry Cheetham, Jimmy Zacharias, Rusty Smith, Andy Walko, Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, Erick Rudolph, Jan Leaty, Patrick Emerling, TJ Potrzebowski, Doug Reaume, Sege Fidanza, Wilbur Hebing, Jim Storace, Nick Barzee, Karl Hehr, TJ Zacharias, Ken Canestrari, Tommy Cloce, Bryon Sherwood, Chris Risdale, Mike Odwazny.
DNS; Chris Whitenight.
American Racer Hard Luck Award: Chris Ridsdale (16th - 25th place). American Racer Hard Charger Award: T.J. Potrzebowski (26th - 14th place).
Sportsman 2 Barrel Modified Gater Racing News: $500 - T.J. Zacharias.
Current Top Ten Point Standings After Oswego
Pos. Driver Total
1 5 Kyle Ebersole 120
2 3 Daren Scherer 101
3 71 Jimmy Zacharias 99
4 60 Matt Hirschmann 98
5 16 JR Kent 91
6 22 Chuck Hossfeld 89
7 27 Andy Walko 84
8 88 Bill Putney 78
9 34 Rusty Smith 68
10 72 TJ Potrzebowski 66
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Kyle Ebersole Claims Back-to-Back RoC Modified Wins Earning the Richie Evans Memorial Championship Every racecar driver no matter how talented they are throughout their driving career always has a moment that they do something that the racingpublic will never forget. Early Saturday evening at the Oswego Speedway in the Richie Evans Memorial for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds Kyle Ebersolehad that moment. Ebersole, a college student from Hummelstown, Pa. was running exclusively in the outside groove attempting to get the lead from JR Kent. The two drivers raced side by side for the first 19 laps in the 75 lap feature event. Coming around tocomplete lap 20 Ebersole changed his strategy as he was exiting turn four he dove to the bottom to get underneath Kent. Ebersole then completed the pass for the lead entering turn one as he had Kent on the outside now to lead lap 21. Once in front Ebersole was never challenged to claim his second consecutive RoC Modified feature win and his first Richie Evans Memorial win. Kent ended up second holding off eighth place starter Matt Hirschman with Billy Putney in fourth and Terry Cheetham in fifth.“ I wasn’t trying really hard on the outside for so many laps to get the lead and he (Kent ) kept moving up a little bit and I was getting tight running up that high. So I decided just to follow him for a little bit and I went into turn three a little high. I saw him get tight in the middle of the turn and I dove underneath and got a good run off the corner to get under him and that finished it “ said Ebersole when talking about the pass.Kent spoke about the pass, which did surprise him.“Yes it really did surprise me. Between three and four I looked up in the mirror and I saw him ( Ebersole )right behind me. When we exited four I couldn’t believe he was under me and wheel to wheel with me, he’s got a real strong piece under the hood. But it was a clean pass and you have to give him credit for that. “By the luck of the draw JR Kent and Kyle Ebersole brought the 26 car field to green with Kent taking the lead over Ebersole, Terry Cheetham, Jimmy Zacharias, and Billy Putney. Putney moved into fourth one lap later while on lap three Rusty Smith displaced Zacharias to move into fifth.Ebersole barely got the lead on lap five as he and Kent still raced side by side with Kent retaking the lead on the next lap. Ebersole got moved back to third on lap seven as Cheetham joined the battle for the lead.Cheetham tried an outside turn one pass for the lead on lap eight, which saw his slip up the track and this shuffled the running order as Ebersole, Putney, Smith, and Matt Hirschman moved into second through fifth in the running order.On a lap 14 restart Smith got trapped in the outside groove and this allowed Hirschman to fourth and Cheetham to fifth.The top five remained the same for the next 32 consecutive laps until Hirschman moved past Putney who bobbled entering turn one on lap 48 to move into third.With Ebersole way out in front all eyes were focused over the final 25 laps on the battle for second between Kent and Hirschman. The two second generation drivers battled hard with Hirschman using every trick in the book except hard contact to try and get the position. At the checkers Ebersole in for the win over Kent, Hirschman, Putney, and Cheetham. Ebersole who seems to have the new American Racer tire figured out spoke about his two wins in a row on these tires.“You definitely have to drive the car differentwith the American Racers. You can’t run the car as hard with the AmericanRacers as you could with the Hoosiers. We have had the perfect setup now fortwo weeks in a row and starting on the front row two weeks in a row is a plustoo. But we’ve known right from the start what we wanted to go with setup wise and the tire brand change, there isn’t that much of a difference.”Having a good base setup was a key on this day for Ebersole as he only got five laps of practice due to arriving late.“That was the key for us today as we got here late due to our truck breaking down and we had to call for another truck to come up and that made a four and half hour trip into eight hours. The car was a little off for the heat and we made a small adjustment that got it right on for the feature “ said Kyle.Kyle spoke about winning his first Richie Evans Memorial.“It’s awesome especially to win it here at Oswego as we have had some up and down races here in the past. I’m proud to win it here and win my first race at Oswego. I just can’t believe I’ve won two races in a row on the RoC Tour. ““As happy as you can be with a second, you really want to win but it’s been a while since I’ve run the RoC Tour, it just feels good to be competitive, it’s a great night “ said second place finisher JR Kent.Kent spoke about the high level of competition that he is facing on the RoC Tour this year.“It’s a tough bunch of guys running with us now. Before when I ran full time there were maybe five or six guys who could win, now there is ten to fifteen who could win on any given night. It’s a different deal now like with anything once you’re out of it for a while it takes a bit to get back up to speed. My dad is going to run this car at Spencer as my new one should be done by then and then we’ll see what we got for them.”For the second consecutive race TJ Zacharias, who ended up 21st won the Gater Racing News $500 bonus for being the highest finishing B Modified.Qualifying for the 27 car field saw heat wins go to Jimmy Zacharias, Cheetham, and Daren Scherer.
Richie Evans Memorial Feature (75-laps): 1. 5 – Kyle Ebersole, 2. 16 – JR Kent, 3. 60 – Matt Hirschman, 4. 88 – Billy Putney, 5. 50 – Terry Cheetham, 6. 71 – Jimmy Zacharias, 7. 34 – Rusty Smithg, 8. 27 – Andy Walko, 9. 22 – Chuck Hossfled, 10. 3 – Daren Scherer, 11. 51 – Erick Rudolph, 12. 6 – Jan Leaty, 13. 07 – Patrick Emerling, 14. 72 – TJ Potrzebowski, 15. 14 – Doug Reaume, 16. 44 – Sege Fidanza, 17. 51 – Wilbur Hebing, 18. 47 – Jim Storace, 19. 31 – Nick Barzee, 20. 59 – Karl Hehr, 21. 77 – TJ Zacharias, 22. 17 – Ken Canastrari, 23. 69 – Tommy Cloce, 24. 95 – Bryon Sherwood, 25. 1 – Chris Risdale, 26. 1x – Mike Odwanzy
1st Heat (10laps): 1. 71 - Jimmy Zacharias, 2. 60 – Matt Hirschman, 3. 88 – Billy Putney, 4. 16 – JR Kent, 5. 31 – Nick Barzee, 6. 1 – Chris Risdale, 7. 95 – Bryon Sherwood, 8. 77 - TJ Zacharias, 9. 17 - Chris Whitenight
2nd Heat (10laps): 1. 50 – Terry Cheetham, 2. 34 – Rusty Smith, 3. 5 – Kyle Ebersole, 4. 6 – Jan Leaty, 5. 59 – Karl Huhr, 6. 14 – Doug Reaume, 7. 69 – Tommy Cloce, 8. 1x – Mike Odwanzy, 9. 17 - Ken Canastrari
3rd Heat (10laps): 1. 3 – Daren Scherer, 2. 22 – Chuck Hossfeld, 3. 44 – Sege Fidanza, 4. 27 - Andy Walko, 5. 51e – Erick Rudolph, 6. 51b – Bill Hebing, 7. 07 - Patrick Emerling, 8. 47 - Jim Storace, 9. 72 - TJ Potrzebowski
May 20 Shangri La 2 Speedway - RoC - 4
EBERSOLE GETS HIS FIRST CAREER RoC ASPHALT MODIFIED WIN AT SHANGRI – LA II SUCCESSFUL DEBUT FOR AMERICAN RACER TIRES
BY JR KENNERUP
Tioga Center, NY … In the last appearance of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour at the Shangri- La II Speedway Kyle Ebersole felt he should have won the feature last year. On Sunday afternoon the youngster from Hummelstown, Pa. left no doubt who had the car to beat in the 75 lap feature event. Ebersole drew the pole position in the pre feature lottery drawing and turned that good fortune into leading all 75 laps for the win. Daren Scherer started from the outside pole chased Ebersole for the entire distance but didn’t have enough to make the winning pass ended up in second. Jimmy Zacharias started third dropped backed to fifth, recovered to finish third. Matt Hirschman started 12th and finished fourth with defending RoC Champion Chuck Hossfeld finishing fifth after starting tenth. “ I learned a lot last year leading all of those laps in front of Matt here and I felt I used up all of my stuff when he got to me. Today I knew I wanted to be careful while leading so I had something at the end. Daren was real good on the restarts and I had enough to hold him off, at the end I saved a little so our car was real good at the end and that was the difference “ said the soft spoken driver. Kyle Ebersole and Daren Scherer brought the 26 car field to the green of starter Jim Burleigh. Ebersole jumped out to the lead over Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, JR Kent, and Billy Putney. Earl Paules moved into fifth on lap two with the race staying green until lap 12 for the spun car of Andy Walko in turn four. On the restart the top three remained the same with Patrick Emerling moving into fourth and Kent now in fifth. Just before the second yellow would come out for the spun car of Billy Weichert on lap 17 Chuck Hossfeld passed Kent for fifth. Hossfeld moved into fourth on the restart but 12 laps later Zacharias whose car would get faster the longer the race stayed green blew past Hossfeld to retake fourth. On a lap 35 restart disaster struck Emerling as the transmission linkage broke as he went to shift into high gear. When the Emerling car didn’t go it shuffled the field and when lap 36 was scored Ebersole still led Scherer with Zacharias now back in third, Matt Hirschman was in fourth and Hossfeld stayed in fifth. The last half the race saw the top five remain the same with plenty of racing action taking place behind them. The only scare for Ebersole came with four laps to go as he bobbled exiting turn four, the effects of a blistered left rear tire. After the scare Ebersole easily held Scherer for the win over Zacharias, Hirschman, and Hossfeld. Ebersole spoke about all of the racing he has done with the southern Modifieds this year and the big bobble with four laps to go. “ Anytime you can race against that level of competition down there, it can only help you. As far as the bobble goes my crew kept saying Daren was on my bumper and I was tight in the middle of the turn and loose coming off. When that happened I was just driving really hard to keep Daren behind me and I really wanted to win. “ Kyle spoke about how consistent his car was all race long with his quickest laps being turned over the final ten laps of the feature. “ The car never really fell off the entire race, it was consistent the whole time and that is what you look for in a racecar. I think we won’t change a thing for Oswego this week. “ Kyle spoke about the race and running on the American Racer tires. “ They really didn’t drive that much different than the tires we used previously. I don’t think you can be as quite as aggressive driving as you could with the Hoosiers. I like them. “ Kyle used tires that were not grooved as some teams were fearful of tire blowouts due to excessive heat and grooved their tires. Kyle responded to why they didn’t groove their tires. “ Our tires were between 20 and 30 degrees cooler than some of the guys who were having problems today. We ran 60 laps of practice here yesterday and had no problems, so we saw no reason to go ahead and groove our tires like some of the guys were doing. “ “ If I was going to make a pass for the lead it would have been right after a restart “ said second place finisher Daren Scherer. “ After about four laps my car would get so tight that I was hanging on from that point. I couldn’t break my car loose if I wanted to, that is how tight we were. “ “ Third place finisher Jimmy Zacharias wanted more green flag laps as his car was getting faster. “ The longer we raced under green my right rear got better while the two in front of me got worse. I definitely had something for them today, I just ran out of laps. We have a new Hutter for Saturday, so we’ll have something for them I think. “ TJ Zacharias who finished on the lead lap in 16th edged out Jody Buckley to win the $500 bonus for being the first two barrel carburetor powered car to cross the finish line. This was the first race on the RoC Tour that the American Racer tires were used. A majority of the teams used the day prior to practice with them and then came back on Sunday using the same exact tires. Fred Woodward of Lias Tire was on hand helping all the teams and came away very pleased with the outcome. “ I’m very happy with how today went “ said Fred after the racing program ended on Sunday. “ With the extreme heat I was a little concerned with the tires blistering, so that is why I suggested to the teams about grooving the tires to make them cool quicker. In the end there were only two tires that blistered the entire day and one of them was on the left rear of the winning car. This is a work in progress for us and the RoC but I’m happy with the first show and I’m quite sure that the drivers were happy with the tire and its performance. A great example of just how good the tires were you look at Andy Walko. He spun out on lap 12, pitted to make an adjustment, and then he passed everyone on the outside to finish sixth. I can’t wait until this Saturday at Oswego. “ Qualifying for the 27 car field saw heat wins being captured by Patrick Emerling, Hossfeld, and Scherer.
FINISH; Kyle Ebersole, Daren Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Andy Walko, Brian DeFebo, Wilbur Hebing, TJ Potrzebowski, JR Kent, Doug Reaume, Bryan Sherwood, Billy Putney, Jim Storace, Rusty Smith, TJ Zacharias ( B Mod ), Jody Buckley ( B Mod ), Chris Risdale, Ken Canestrari, Billy Weichert, Nick Barzee, Tommy Cloce, Dean Rypkema, Earl Paules, Patrick Emerling, Mike Odwazny. DNS; Terry Zacharias.
May 5 Mahoning Valley Speedway - 3rd
At Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Opening Night race for the Modifieds, Bobby Jones of Palmerton lost the lead on lap 18 to Zane Zeiner who would go on to claim the race.This past Saturday night he was again leading up until the 18th circuit when once more got passed, this time by Don Wagner.However, this time around Jones wasn’t settling for anything less than first as he used a lap 20 restart to regain the top spot and from there to the finish it was a nip and tuck battle between himself, Wagner, Matt Hirschman and Earl Paules.Over the first three weeks of the season Wagner has been making full use of the outside groove, passing most of his competition from there and it was on that same route which he went by Jones. “I wasn’t going to give another one (win) up. The outside was fast tonight and the place to be. I lost it (lead) there and took it back out there,” said Jones.After the take-back Jones had to stay on the defensive as Wagner was constantly working alongside him. Hirschman and Paules were right on the heels of the front pair which only added to the intensity of the race. Hirschman actually tried a few inside attempts on Jones as well as taking the same course with Wagner but to no avail.Jones, who is driving this season for owners Ivan and Wanda Morgan, went under Roger Snyder’s waving checkered flag by a slim .153-seconds over Wagner. It was his 24th overall Mahoning win and 14th in a Modified. For the Morgan’s it marked their first return to the Winner’s Circle since a May 2009 win by Mike Quinn.“It’s unbelievable the money that they (Morgan’s) put out to build this car. They wanted to do this and I volunteered I guess. I was supposed to be taking a break this year but now I’m into harder than I’ve ever been,” said Jones.Wagner’s runner-up marked his fifth straight and also elevated him to the top of the point standings.“When you got good racers that will let you run side-by-side, the racing is always exciting. I know what it looked like from my seat and I’m sure it was thrilling from the fans view too,” said Wagner.“Bobby (Jones) is tough and he’s got a lot of laps here and a lot of wins here. I enjoy racing with him and you know it’s always going to be clean. We’ll take second place money. We’re here for the championship.”;Hirschman, Paules and rookie Scott Meckes completed the top five. Heat wins went to Jones, Nevin George and Kevin Rex, Jr., with John Markovic taking the consolation.
Modified Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Matt Hirschman, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Scott Meckes, 6. Tommy Flanagan, 7. Matt Wentz, 8. John Markovic, 9. Chip Wanamaker, 10. John Bennett, 11. Joe Mooney, 12. Kevin Rex, 13. Lonnie Behler, 14. Keith Mullineaux, 15. Paul Skodacek, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. Nevin George, 18. Jimmy Zacharias, 19. Shawn Sitarchyk, 20. Troy Bollinger Did not qualify: DJ Wagner, Stacy Brown
April 28: Mahoning Speedway - Overall winner
(LEHIGHTON, PA 4-28-12) In the first installment of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series which featured the Triple 25s, Zane Zeiner, Bath, Don Wagner, Wharton NJ, and Matt Hirschman from Northampton picked up victories.
Each race paid $1000-to-win and was highlighted by an inversion of the second and third features. The well thought out concept proved to be a success as 30 quality asphalt Modifieds where pit-side looking to make the 22 car starting grid via time trials and a pair of B-mains.The first feature was a heads-up start after time trials with Zeiner’s lap of 9.769 good enough for the pole. Hirschman would start second and once the race got underway it became a fast dash as the first 23 laps were reeled off nonstop.Zanier, who was the Opening Night winner, was flawless in his Cojones Energy Shots No. 76 while staying at the head of the pack. All Hirschman could do was ride along in second as the leader was too strong for him to challenge. Earl Paules, Mike Carroll, Jr., and Don Wagner kept in tow to round out the top five.“I’m sure Matt (Hirschman) and Earl (Paules) where right behind me the whole time and we may have abused the car a little but we wanted to get into Victory Lane here and we made it. What a blast this was,” said Zeiner.“The track was very fast and I like this format so far. There was bite up top and on the bottom and I know the next one (feature) is going to be real tough and I’m sure the third one will be a lot of beating and banging.”;
It was indeed a tough one for race number two. The invert was 11 which put Matt Wentz on the pole with Troy Bollinger to his right. Just as the field was coming around to complete the first circuit, Wentz had a tire blow which sent him into a wild spin while the rest of the pack was in his path.Cars were scattered across the front stretch. After all was cleared the race resumed with Bobby Jones the new leader and Wagner moving to second. Several times Wagner made it very exciting when he would pull even with Jones from the outside lane.He then made his race winning pass with six laps to go, utilizing the same path on the top groove to earn the second feature. Paules had tagged along with Wagner and made the race to the checkered a barnburner as he was zeroing in very quickly. Wagner just barely nipped him with a slim .051-second margin of victory. Kevin Rex, Jr., Zeiner and Jones completing the top five.“I saw Earl on the outside there at the end and he’s tough and so is Bobby Jones. I really like these Triple 25s, they’re pretty cool. We came here to try and win all three. We got one so let’s go for the next one,” said Wagner.For the final leg the top ten where flip-flopped which put defending track champion Tyler Haydt on the pole flanked by Bollinger.At the drop of the green Haydt darted out front with a very impressive running Carroll slipping into second.Carroll then kept close to Haydt’s tail and grabbed the lead with a nice inside pass at the conclusion of lap eight. Hirschman, who started fifth, was able to take second two laps later.Carroll was having one of his best night’s and was holding steady with his chances at winning. However, Hirschman, who was piloting the J & J Motorsports No. 59, kept the pressure on and on lap 14 he went to the outside of Carroll and powered his way to the front where he would remain the rest of the way.A master at 100-lap features, this was the first short distance Mahoning win for the popular Hirschman.“That was good race up front. Mike Carroll did a real good job and ran real clean. He made a great pass on Tyler (Haydt) and after that I felt we have to size him up and see what we got. The car then came in real good and here we are ending the night on a good note,” said Hirschman.“These (Triple 25s) are more of a sprint and it was kind of what I expected. The first race, all the fast cars were up in the front and in the second race when you get an invert and it was a higher amount, I kind of expected what you saw there and we got banged up a little but luckily not enough to knock us out.“I’m not going to lie the 100-lappers where really one of my highlights of the past couple years and I thought they were the best races that I’ve seen or raced in and that goes for NASCAR and RoC and all over. But this was something different and they (management) did a great job with this show and we’ll be back for more.”;Carroll had a career best Modified finish with second while Wagner, Bollinger and Paules rounded out the front five. Hirschman was also named the overall winner with the best average finish in all three meets.
Modified Feature Finish (1st Feat.), 25 Laps: 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. Matt Hirschman, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Mike Carroll, Jr., 5. Don Wagner, 6. John Bennett, 7. Kevin Rex, Jr., 8. Joe Mooney, 9. Bobby Jones, 10. Matt Wentz, 11. Troy Bollinger, 12. Chip Santee, 13. John Markovic, 14. Todd Baer, 15. Nevin George, 16. Tyler Haydt, 17. Brian DeFebo, 18. James Pritchard, Jr., 19. Shawn Sitarchyk, 20. Terry Markovic, 21. Jim Zacharias, 22. Mike Sweeney
Modified Feature Finish (2nd Feat.) 1. Wagner, 2. Paules, 3. Rex, 4. Zeiner, 5. Jones, 6. Hirschman, 7. George, 8. Carroll, 9. Bollinger, 10. Haydt, 11. Baer, 12. J. Markovic, 13. Bennett, 14. Pritchard, 15. Scott Meckes, 16. T. Markovic, 17. Sitarchyk, 18. Zacharias, 19. Sweeney, 20. Wentz, 21. Santee, 22. Mooney
Modified Feature Finish (3rd Feat.) 1. Hirschman, 2. Carroll, 3. Wagner, 4. Bollinger, 5. Paules, 6. Baer, 7. George, 8. Bennett, 9. Rex, 10. Meckes, 11. J. Markovic, 12. Pritchard, 13. Santee, 14. Zacharias, 15. Mooney, 16. DeFebo, 17. T. Markovic, 18. Jones, 19. Haydt, 20. Sitarchyk, 21. Zeiner, 22. Sweeney
Did not start: Wentz
Pavement Greats Tony And Matt Hirschman Sign On To Kick-Off 5TH Annual NAPA Auto Parts Dirt Track Heroes Show
The countdown for the upcoming and highly anticipated 5th Annual NAPA Auto Parts sponsored Dirt Track Heroes Show continues on and with each passing day leading up the show's opening on Sunday, March 4th, at the Phillipsburg Mall in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, additional integral pieces of the show develop for the racing fans. There is a full array of driving stars who have already signed on for the week long run of the show just waiting to meet their adoring racing fans and the latest signing his two of the best pavement stars in Modified racing joining in with the celebration for racers of the past, present and future in the world of motorsports. Five time Whelen Modified Tour Champion Tony Hirschman and his son Matt, himself a four time champion on the ROC Pavement Tour, will be among the star studded line-up of racing stars converging at the Phillipsburg Mall for the week long celebration of motorsports. With the recent announcement of the Legends Showcase rolling into the Mall on Friday, March 9th, featuring legendary racing greats Bill Wimble and Freddy Adam and a host of equally as gifted owners and drivers joining them for the 4 PM Friday special edition and seven time AMA Pro Grand National Champion and former world land speed record holder for Motorcycles Chris Carr making a special appearance on March 6th, the five year old showcase Mall show keeps adding the polish and the luster with the latest signings.
Tony Hirschman began his racing career at the Dorney Park Speedway in Allentown, Pennsylvania and quickly moved through the ranks of the racing world by capturing two championships at the Mahoning Valley Spedway in 1977-1978 and two titles at the Mountain Speedway in 1978-1980. Moving into the Whelen Modified Tour ranks, Tony earned his first series title in 1995 and captured additional series titles in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Tony captured ROC titles in 1989 and 1997 and has won numerous awards for his great performances on the race track. While only competing in occasional races currently, Tony still shows the moxie and the necessary talent to get the job done on the race track as evidenced by his second place run in 2011 at the ROC Race of Champions event at Oswego Speedway. In 2003 Tony was named as one of the top NASCAR Modified drivers of all-time earning the number six slot on the list of driving greats. Tony earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Busch East Series in 1992 and captured the Richie Evans Performace award in 1996. Matt Hirschman followed in his Dad's footsteps and quickly earned high marks for his prowess on the race track and just as his father did, Matt has driven with extreme patience and stayle as his Dad and never the abuses the racing equipment he goes to the speedway with. Matt is a four time ROC Modified Series Champion having captured titles in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Matt has captured the North-South Shoot-Out event four times, captured the King of the Mountain at Mountain Speedway in 2011 and became the Concrete King with his win at the new Shangri-La Speedway in July. Matt has been off and on the Whelen Modified Circuit in recent seasons but returned in 2011 to earn a solid sixth place finish at the end of the season driving the famed Boehler car. Matt scored a third place finish on the tour in 2007 and came back to finish runner-up in 2008. Mattalso competed in a couple of K&N Series races with 4th and 6th place performances running for Evernham-Gillette.
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