Chubbuck, Hirschman and Perley Win at All-Star Nationals by Denise Dupont
Sometimes You Can Win by Checking Out, Sometimes You Can Win by Surviving
Scott Chubbuck, Matt Hirschman and all split victories as part of the All-Star Nationals at All-Star Speedway (NH) on Saturday night. Here are their stories:
Track owner Bobby McArthur (L) was the producer and Robbie Summers (R) was the leading man in an "All-Star" story on Saturday night. (Jamiw Williams Photo)
SUPER LATE MODELS
It was as though there was a full moon arising as the Super Late Model/Pro Stock division came on the track for their 150 lap race. Just two laps into the race there was a pile up on the track that brought at least nine cars into the pits with car panels and hoods hanging on the ground. The cars re-started and only went two laps before Jeff Crowley hit the third turn wall. The cars went another two laps and then D.J. Shaw’s car stopped in turn two. This type of activity was the norm for the division for the rest of night as they tried to cram in 150 laps of racing.
“Lightening” Lou Mechalides started13th in the field and wasted no time getting to the lead within the first few laps, showing how he got his nickname in the process. Mechalides dominated over the field of cars until lap 35 when he was passed by Travis Benjamin. Right after being passed Mechalides’ car dropped off pace and he soon had to retire to the pits as he saw the race’s $10,000 winner’s jackpot slip right through his fingers.
There was a midnight curfew at All-Star and with the heavy rain that fell earlier in the evening the Super Late Model Division did not have the time they required to run the 150 green laps. Time ran out fast for the racers as the laps clicked off and the race ended up being shortened by the enforcement of the town curfew ordinance.
On lap 80, Scott Chubbuck passed Benjamin for the lead. And this pass was the best pass of the night for Chubbuck because it ended up being for the win and $10,000.
“A huge win, good money win and a good race”, said Chubbuck while in victory lane.
After the race we noticed that Scott Chubbuck’s car was a real mess. It turned out that even the race winner wasn’t immune to the on-track chaos at All-Star.
Chubbuck took his #77 for a wild ride early in the race, but he wasn't alone. (Jamie Williams Photos)
“Something happened right in front of me on lap 4 over in turn three,” said Chubbuck. “I just climbed up over Russ Hersey there was no where to go and I tore it all up. I think I tore the back up when I drove up off him. It did not hurt anything suspension wise so the car was still pretty good. Then later on I had a flat. I think putting tires on is what helped us out. That is probably what got us a win.”
When Chubbuck is not piloting a Hight Motorsports Super Late Model in competition, he has been helping True Value Modified Racing Series competitor Tony Ricci prep the various race cars at the Mulkern Racing shop in Falmouth, ME.
Modified racecars from all over New England came to Epping, NH for the October 20th All-Star Nationals special event for the mighty modified cars. There were eighteen cars
Did Matt do anything to prepare for his first race at All-Star Speedway?
“I just never raced here before, so we had fun with it. Thursday night before we came up, I had the video from when my dad won here in 1990 so we watched it. You kind of said “Oh what do you think?” I think I know what I have to do.
“I remembered the place after watching the video. But I did not remember too much about the track. Like the road was just a parking lot and all that but I did not remember too much about the cars and where they run on the track. Believe it or not it did not hurt to watch it. I did get an idea on some of the things about the track. We came here and put it to work and did it.”
Christopher challenged Hirschman high and low, but in the end Matt was able to hold on to the first spot.
in the pits for qualifying in two heat races. The cars were a mixture of competitors from the True Value Modified Racing Series, SK Modifieds and Mod Tour Type cars.
During practice the fast cars on the track were no surprise: Jon McKennedy, Glenn Brehio, Matt Hirschman and Ted Christopher.
In the race, on lap 19, Andy Seuss was involved in a spin during a caution. When the crew looked at the car, they found a bad front left shock that must have broken on the car during qualifying racing at Lee Speedway earlier during the day. It was a costly price to pay to run so few laps in a 100 lap race, but the team was glad to find the problem before competing in another race.
Matt Hirschman took the race lead on lap 20 and dominated over the field from then on.
“We had a good night,” said Hirschman. “We came here today for the first time. It is the first time that I have ever raced here.”
Hirschman had been to the track before though – it was just a long time ago.
“The last time that I was here was in 1992 with the Busch North Series,” said Hirschman [Matt’s father five-time NASCAR Modified Tour champion Tony Hirschman was a regular in Busch North during the early 1990’s]. I was here in 1990 when my dad won what was then a Winston Modified Tour race here. I knew that there were two races going on here this weekend and they were the only thing going and I wanted to race. So we decided to come here because we never raced here ever before.”
“This is my home track and it was three times the money to win. So it made more sense to come here,” continued McKennedy when asked about his decision to at All-Star instead of in Sunday’s TVMRS race at nearby Lee USA Speedway.
McKennedy was injured in the Modified Tour Connecticut Classic 150 at Stafford on May 25th when his car spun as he got high up in the marbles on the track. His car hit the pit wall entrance flush hard on the driver’s side bringing his car to an abrupt stop. The crash side-lined McKennedy and his crew, but they did not give up.
“Since the crash at Stafford everything has turned around. We won five races this year and every where we go I think that we are a threat to win. We are always a top five usually. It has been a good year.”
Hirschman (orange #59) leads Ted Christopher #00) and Jon McKennedy (#73) to the finish line. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“With a short track like that you just have to work it inches at a time. He (Matt) has a good car and we had a good car,” said Christopher. “You just have to wait for a little mistake. I almost had him a little bit there but no quite enough. You just have to just get it right. I like Matt and I definitely am not going to take him out. I gave him one little shot, but that is about it. “
So in the end TC was the Bride’s Maid when it came toward the $4,000 purse to win.
Jon McKennedy jumped from a third place Big Block Super finish into his modified car where he lost his starting lead but managed to maintain a strong top five car the rest of the race. When the checked flags were thrown, Jon came in third for the second time of the night behind Hirschman and TC.
“At the end all three of us were way too even,” said McKennedy. “I think that all three of us were running the same time. We were too evenly matched to pass anyone. It was a good race. In the long run my car would be better. During the restarts and long runs we were good. We just did not have enough to get by Teddy or Hirschman. They did a good job.
Joe Petro led the first 34 laps of the 50 lap Big Block Super race at All-Star Speedway on Saturday night October 20th. But then on lap 35, 2007 ISMA Champion Chris Perley showed why he is called "Rowley Rocket," as he passed Petro for the lead making a daring and almost impossible move.
Coming from a recent win at Thompson Speedway (CT), Perley the 2007 ISMA Champion came to be a star at All-Star Speedway. And a star he was as he took the checkered flag ahead of the field of Big Block Supers cars.
Petro was a strong runner, but had to settle for second behind the champ. Two time track champion Jon McKennedy ran third after racing hard to get to the front. “
The super was pretty good but somewhere around the halfway point in I lost the brakes,” said McKennedy. “I used them up too much. I do not know if the fluid boiled or not, but I Iost the brake pedal. I fell back to third and I was hanging on. The car was a little tight but overall it was a good night. Two thirds.”
Scott Chubbuck in victory lane. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Chris Perley in victory lane. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Matt Hirschman in victory lane. (Rick Ibsen Photo)