the end,” said Hossfeld. “He was just hanging on. It was nice to be catching someone who was just hanging on, but I needed some more time. I was just too far back. We didn’t have that good of a car. It was good enough to run Chuck down, but not good enough for Jerry.”
“I’ll tell you, Doug ran me clean,” said Hossfeld. “He did everything that he could and I did everything that I could and I just nosed him out. I don’t like to lose, but if I can lose to the #4 team it makes it easier. They are the nicest bunch of guys and congratulations to them. To be honest, I love those guys. Jerry’s [Marquis, the race winner] is maybe not my favorite, but oh well.”
And even though the battle was for second, anything can happen in racing and it could have been a really great finish.
“If Jerry had gotten taken out in one of those wrecks, we would have had a battle for the win. You never know what’s going to happen. I came out of the pits and I knew that stuff was going to happen in front of me. I was shocked that it happened when we were all single file. There were guys who had tires and guys who didn’t have tires. I don’t know why they were wrecking each other with 60 laps to go. But that made it that much easier for Jerry, Chuck and I.
“We’re happy to get a top five and put on a good show. We didn’t have the car that we had here for the 300, but it was good enough to get the job done.”
The finish also had some implications when it came to the final point standings.
“It was particularly important that Doug race me clean because I was either going to be third or fourth [in points] depending on where we finished,” said Hossfeld. “We wound up third in points. That was respectable, but not what we wanted obviously.”
Was it hard for Hoag to decide whether to head south to Ace or east to Thompson from his New York shop?
“No. This place is fun. This place is almost a dirt track, so I feel at home at this place. Ace is fun too, but we were out of the points race down there and we really like Thompson.”
After Thompson, Hoag packed it in for the season, deciding not to tow to the North vs. South Shootout or Turkey Derby, but instead take it easy after finishing the season strong at Thompson.
“We’re going to end the year like just this,” said Hoag. “It’s not a bad way to end it.”
GOOD CRAFTSMANSHIP KEEPS FLEMKE SAFE
Eddie Flemke was another driver who crashed hard at Thompson. He emerged from his racecar uninjured.
taking spots when we could get them. Matt got down in the turn and got sideways across the track there. I checked up and I just got shoved right into the fence there.”
Beers wasn’t alone on the hook. Seven modifieds dropped out of the race with accident damage and numerous other ones limped around wounded. That fact wasn’t lost on Beers.
“Everybody was off for a month, so they just came unglued tonight,” said Beers.
HOAG HAS SOLID FINISH
Alex Hoag has had a frustrating year where several promising runs have ended without the finishes that he’s wanted on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. He decided to skip that tour’s season finale to go to Thompson’s World Series and the move paid off with a finish of eighth against some tough competition.
CH - “No.”
51 – “Do you know what you’d like to do next year?”
CH - “I’d like to race Cup, make millions of dollars and date all kinds of beautiful blonde women, but I don’t know what will happen. I might just become a farmer or something. I don’t know yet.”
DONNY LIA vs. THE BROTHERS CHRISTOPHER
Donny Lia got together with two drivers at Thompson. In an ironic twist, those two were twin brothers.
NASCAR WHELEN MOD LEFTOVERS: THOMPSON WORLD SERIES by Mike Twist
Hossfeld, Coby, a Couple of Christophers, Hoag and More
HOSSFELD AND COBY BATTLE TO THE LINE
It took nearly a month of rainouts and postponement to get the World Series at Thompson International Speedway (CT) underway, but the fans that showed up for the race were rewarded with a battle for second-place that was well worth the wait.
Young lions Doug Coby and Chuck Hossfeld battled to the finish line for the runner-up spot. Both drivers ran side-by-side to the line cleanly with Hossfeld getting the advantage at the finish.
“It was a good finish,” said Coby. “Third was great, but it was close. Maybe we can call it second and a half.”
Coby reeled Hossfeld in towards the end of the race and made up a lot of ground just to be able to battle with him.
“Chuck had a bouncer [tire] and he was really slow at
So he was hoping that his season would end much differently than it began when the Tour ended 2005 at Thompson. That wasn’t the case. Beers was the victim of a multi-car wreck in turn two and hit the wall hard. This time he was okay, but his racecar was heavily damaged.
“That’s not the way that I wanted to end the season. I’ll tell you that,” said Beers. “I’m fine. I was just biding my time and running our own deal. We were trying to stay out of the wrecks because everyone was driving like nuts tonight. Nobody was giving anyone respect. It was out of control. We were riding just outside the top 10 and
WHERE’S CHUCK GOING?
Thompson was the final race in the Don Barker-owned #50 car for Chuck Hossfeld. The 2003-championship winning team is calling it quits after this season and selling off their cars. That leaves Hossfeld without a ride for 2006 – so far.
Speed51.com asked Hossfeld what his prospects were, but he had little to talk about after the Thompson event.
51 – “Do you know what you are going to do next year?”
Chuck Hossfeld (#50) barely held off Doug Coby (#77) at the line. (Howie Hodge Photo)
The most memorable part of the day though will be racing with his father early in the race for the lead.
It was neat running with him today,” said Tony Hirschman of racing against his son. “I wish that it was some other time and not when we were running for a championship. On some of those restarts, I would have loved to let him in front of me to lead some laps.”
“I had a couple of good restarts at the beginning with my Dad right next to me,” said Matt Hirschman. “I wanted to race with him, but I wasn’t going to take any unnecessarily risks. He got in front of me every time and I ran second to him for awhile. I felt that we were pretty equal and I ran right with him.
“We lost a couple of spots. Jerry [Marquis] was fast. On the next restart, I just got pinned on the bottom. I don’t want to move people up to get in, but I’m getting bounced around quite a bit. I guess that’s part of being a rookie. I’m the new guy and I just have to earn their respect. Hopefully, they’ll start giving me a little bit of room too.”
BEERS’ TOUR SEASON ENDS WITH A BANG
Eric Beers started out the season with a hard wreck at Thompson, where he suffered multiple injuries. In the time since, he came back and won his first career Modified Tour race, got into the top five of the point standings despite missing one race and has had a pretty darn good season.
Matt wrecked on lap 42 and was done for the day. He finished 24th.
“It was a rookie mistake,” said Matt Hirschman. “There was nothing that I could do about getting pinned down. The only way that I could have avoided that was to move someone up. But I didn’t expect the car to jump out from under me when I was pinned down. The back jumped out and I tried to catch it, but the guys were right behind me. Eric was right behind me and it wrecked a couple of cars other than mine. I hate for that and I hate it for my guys.
“I’m fast enough to run in the front, but racing side-by-side and getting in the right lane comes with experience and learning I guess.”
Ted Christopher (#13) sits planted into the wall as brother Mike (#79) drives by. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Tony Hirschman (#48) and Matt Hirschman (#59) at the start. (Howie Hodge Photo)
Flemke's #10 didn't look nearly so good after the race. (51 Photo)
Hossfeld's #50. (Howie Hodge Photo)
decided that he wanted to take care of the whole family,” said Mike Christopher. “He took care of my brother early and then he wanted to take me out. We pitted and then we came back through to finish fourth.”
GOOD DAY GOES SOUTH FOR MATT HIRSCHMAN
Matt Hirschman started on the front row with his father Tony at Thompson. At the beginning of the race, they were battling each other for the lead. But the two had very different outcomes to the race. By the end of the day, Tony was celebrating his fifth championship while Matt was loading his battered racecar.
Lia’s spotter mistakenly cleared him on lap 10 when he drifted up and made contact with Ted Christopher. Later on, Lia tagged the #79 of Mike Christopher when they were both racing for the lead.
So Lia probably won’t be sharing a thanksgiving turkey with Christopher family this week.
“He must be after the Christophers because he dumped my brother and then they threw him to the back,” said Ted Christopher. “Obviously, he must need to get his glasses fixed or something.”
“We were running pretty well there when Donny Lia
“We couldn’t have ended the year any better,” said Hoag. “We’ve been struggling the last couple times out and this is definitely a better way to end the year.”
Just surviving the race was an accomplishment that most veterans couldn’t claim at Thompson. So how did Hoag manage to do it?
“That was pure luck,” said Hoag. “I spun out in that one real minor deal. I went through the water and we came in to put tires on. The next wreck that they had was right where I was running. So that was pure luck and being in the right place at the right time.”
together in turn three. I lifted and gathered it back up. He got straight, I got straight and then I don’t know what happened up front. Everybody was lifting and checking up. It was just one of those deals.”
Beers' #3 ends up against the backstretch wall along with Renee Dupuis' #90. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“I’m okay,” said Flemke. “I know the guys who built the car and it’s a pretty good car.”
Flemke’s Gary Teto-owned car was built by Raceworks, the company owned by Flemke and Reggie Ruggiero. After Flemke’s comments, Speed51.com jokingly asked if Reggie built this particular car.
“Yeah, Reggie did this one…actually it’s funny because this car I did build,” laughed Flemke. “It’s not like we keep usually track of what we do, but this is Gary’s car and we’ve been friends a long time, so he said that he wanted me to do it. Not that it matters.”
Flemke didn’t let himself get too down after the wreck.
“I’m happy,” said Flemke. “What are you going to do? We had bad luck and we put ourselves in a couple of bad positions.
“You can say that we did this today by pitting early, but it was the right thing to do. Even this wreck, Charlie and I got