North-South Shootout Leftovers by Matthew Dillner, Denise DuPont and Jim Blacroch
Tons of Action, Emotion and Good Ol' Fashioned Racing at Concord
THE NORTH-SOUTH SHOOTOUT REACHES OUT TO THE BLEWETT FAMILY
Charles Kepley and C&C Racing Souvenirs donated $10,000 to John Blewett, IV, the son of John Blewett, III at this Shootout. John, III was killed in a NASCAR Mod Tour race at Thompson Speedway earlier this year and the Kepleys decided to name the North-South Shootout in his honor. One of the most emotional points of the weekend came when ‘Little John’ was handed the microphone and introduced the pole-sitter his "Uncle ‘Jimmy—Showtime—Blewett" to the crowded house during driver introductions.
PENNSYLVANIA'S MUD LANE SHINES IN NORTH CAROLINA
Finishing second to Matt Hirschman on Saturday evening was his fellow competitor and neighbor on Mud Lane in Northampton, Pennsylvania, Eric Beers. What most people don’t know is that Matt’s first job in racing might have actually come working for Beers rather then his own father, Modified great Tony Hirschman.
(TOP) Hirschman leads his neighbor during the final laps (Rick Ibsen Photo). (BOTTOM) Hirschman celebrates the big win (Jim Dupont Photo)
UNDERDOG JOHNNY BUSH STRONG AT NORTH-SOUTH SHOOTOUT
After a roller coaster year competing on the True Value Modified Racing Series Johnny Bush drove south to North Carolina to give the North-South Shoot a try. The “underdog” driver fought hard to earn a qualifying spot through the consolation race. Then the Long Island veteran made the most of the spot, making his way up 13th by races end.
“He’s Showtime and it’s his show,” said an upset Christopher. “I ran him perfectly clean to get by him because you know how it is with the Blewetts. It's hard to pass him. My spotter told me ‘quarter panel, quarter panel,’ and he just drove it on underneath me. He was so tight there was no way he was going to make the pass. He got into me and spun me out. If you are going to make a precedence when the second place guy gets into the leader earlier in the race (Woody Pitkat with Keith Rocco), you should do the same no matter who it is. But, ya know it is the Blewett memorial.
“Another lap and it would have been an interesting finish,” added TC. “I definitely passed the most cars today. Oh well, sometimes the fastest car doesn’t win. As far as I see it he didn’t put on “the show”, I did.”
The car Jimmy drove to victory was still lettered up from when John drove it. It said “Jimmy’s Brother III” on the roof.
“He (Keith Rocco) took me down on the apron and they black flag me?” said Pitkat.
“He drives his car into me and then gets by me because he knocked my radio out and I could not hear. I just tried to continue and to drive smooth and tried to work on him to get back by him. Hopefully they are not going to wait until Keith really hurts somebody because the kid is out of control. He drove that way all year and now it was the same thing down here.”
Jimmy Blewett ended up being the victor out of this controversy by inheriting the lead when the smoke settled. Ted Christopher( TC) tried a move on Blewett for the lead and ended up spinning as he was pushed up the track.
“I got under TC and crossed him," said Blewett. "Then he tried to pass me. I was under him and he snuffed me up a little bit. So I got back under him to go forward and we touched. What can you do, it is racing.”
TC pitted for adjustments while an official call allowed Blewett to maintain the lead.
In the next 18 laps, TC made his way through the field and at the end he came cross the finish line behind Jimmy one spot short of a victory.
The Victory Lane ceremony was a very emotional one as Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett had brought brother John’s SK car to Victory Lane for him.
“This one is for you, Bud” , was about all that Jimmy could choke out as he was interviewed about his win. “This is the car that my brother ran all year at Thompson.”
Reflecting on his victory after a little bit of the dust had settled and the car went through tech inspection Jimmy said: “I do not know if I could ever take John’s place but it is good to be here and to get the win for him because this is his car and we have really tried to get a win for him in it but we always came up short. Once again this one if for him and it was a good race.”
TC's #81 battles Jimmy Blewett at Concord. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Jimmy Blewett takes a victory lap in the car his brother drove at Thompson Speedway in SK action this year. (51 Photo)
“Before, when my brother was still spotting for my Dad, I spotted for Eric and when there wasn’t a tour race I would go to Flemington and do that,” related Matt Hirschman with a laugh. “I couldn’t even get in the pits, but he has provided a great influence in my career just as my Dad as. We’ve known each other all of my life.
“Eric might be the most competitive person I’ve ever met. I know him, it kills him to finish second, but I still do look up to him. Up until this year I was always finishing behind him. He’s hit a little bump in the road, but with that new team over there I think they’ve found something and that’s how this business goes. I might be in front of him now, but when the momentum changes he’ll be back in front of me, it’s just how the momentum swings, but when I started racing he was the guy, winning at Mountain, on the Race of Champions Series, the Race of Champions and on the track, I’ve probably learned more from him then anyone I’ve ever raced against.
“We’ve just spent a lot of time around one another mostly running at Mountain, the Race of Champions stuff and now on the Tour. I enjoyed running behind him when I was getting started I would try to catch him and stay with him and never really could have cared less about passing him. It’s been quite a few years, I’m sure the shoe is going to be on the other foot as the momentum swings. We’re still good friends and we’re both very competitive, but he’s been there, he was at my first race.”
Beers talked about his relationship with Matt Hirschman as well.
“I wanted to win,” smiled Beers. “But Matt’s on his game and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He and I have been friends for a long time. Some days, we need to put him in his place and the ‘Mud Lane Gang’ has a way of doing those kind of things and we all laugh about it, but his career has just taken off. The kid has so much talent. He spotted for me at Flemington and I was there when he started racing. It’s a competitive relationship, believe me, but we have fun.”
Busch was impressive against some pretty stiff competition at Concord. (Jamie Williams photo)
“It was a great race,” said the excited and humble Bush. “The car responded well. It got loose in the beginning and we came in and made an adjustment and worked our way back up.”
Folks in the grandstand sat and watched Bush make daring moves on the inside and then the outside to pass several cars to get to the front.
“Everybody runs clean here. It is a great track. It was fun racing with Pete Brittain and everybody. It is a real fast track. Everybody respected everybody. We had a great time. I am definitely coming back next year. I love these big tracks. That is by rule what we are going to do mostly next year (bigger tracks).”
Bush had a great run in his TVMRS cart Concord, but he did not finish ahead of fellow Series competitor Les Hinckley.
” I wanted to be the True Value car to finish but Les got there ahead of me," said Bush.
Hinckley's sharp-looking #06. (51 Photo)
HINCKLEY IS REPRESENTIN’ THE TVMRS
Les Hinckley not only had a top ten finish, but also the best appearing car in the Tour Type Modified race at Concord Motorsport Park. However the team felt that they could have had a better finish to go with their shiny car.
“We could have been better,” said Hinckley. “There always seems to be something that always goes on with this race. It is really nobody's fault but sometimes it seems like a free for all.”
During a caution on lap 32, almost every car in the field came down pit road to make their mandatory pit stop. “When the first caution came out and the leader’s committed to come into the pits there were a bunch of lapped cars in line. All the lapped cars came down the road with the leaders. There was a lead lap car that pitted in the spot right in front of us that we were racing with. And behind us was a lapped car that boxed us in on pit road and we lost some spots there, which we should not have because we had a really good car. Then about half way through I must have gotten rubber on the left front and even my teeth vibrated with it going down the front stretch.”
Les felt that the car was ill handling after he pitted and it never came back to his expectations. “I think that the car really would have been good. I just could not get the car to cut in the center with the left front hopping like that. We ran fifth and with the leaders and all the big dogs so this is a big accomplishment for us.”
BLEWETT WINS CONTROVERSY FILLED SK RACE IN HONOR OF BROTHER
Jimmy Blewett persevered and in the end it was worth the effort as he took a car his brother raced across the finish line first to take the win in the 50-lap SK feature.
It was a typical SK shoot-out as SK drivers from the North and South took to the track on Saturday afternoon for their premier event at Concord Motorsports Park. Pole winner Woody Pitkat led the field of cars to start the race. Pitkat was strong and he showed his car was well tuned by being the dominating force on the track the first half of the race.
But as Woody was tooling around the track, the other experienced SK drivers made their way through the field towards the front.
Keith Rocco made a charge to the front and bumped Pitkat out of the way to take the lead on lap 26. He lost that lead after two laps when he spun out as he while being challenged by Pitkat to regain the lead. Officials felt that Woody was a little too aggressive with Rocco and black flagged him to the rear of the field.
“I think that the track officials made the right call by putting him (Pitkat) to the rear,” said Rocco. “There was no need for that that early in the race. It was not even half way yet. I worked him over pretty good and I got on the outside on one re-start and he did not give me much room. You just can give up and let the guy go by. You have to hold you line and go at it again. That was what we did. It seems like he does not know how to do that.”
Woody Pitkat was not happy with the way Rocco ran him during the SK race.
TC, being the competitor his is, was not happy after the race storming off to his hauler in disgust. He felt that he was wronged by not only “Showtime” ,but by the officials as well.
“To win in that car was extra special," said Jimmy. "He always wanted to win one in that thing and came close. To come here and get a win with it for him with is car, his motor, his seat, his steering wheel and steering wheel cover and his shifter meant something special to me.”
NORTH DOMINATES SK LIGHT/CRATE MOD RACE
There were only six SK light cars that were present at the North-South Shoot-Out Weekend of racing. Chris Matthews and Glen Reen who both regularly compete at Stafford Motor Speedway started on front row. As the green flag was thrown Reen jumped to the lead and was the leader of the pack for the entire race.
“It is awesome. I have to thank the good lord and all my friends.” Reen said from victory lane surrounded by his crew.
JUST HOW BIG HAS THE SHOOTOUT BECOME?
In Canada every Saturday night during hockey season is ‘Hockey Night in Canada and this past Saturday may well go down as ‘Race Night in Charlotte…’
Concord called it the largest crowd in track history. (51 Photo)
With a record crown being announced at the North/South Shooutout, the track estimates anywhere between 6,000-8,000 fans in attendance and well over 12,000 just down the road at the World of Outlaw event(s) at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s that should leave short track industry folks charged up about the future of the sport. On Saturday within less then 30-miles of one-another over 20,000 fans were watching short track racing and not all of the fans were from the Charlotte area. By the boat load, fans traveled from near and far to attend the weekend’s event. Encouraging for the sport, but one of the questions regarding the North/South Shootout is, has it established itself as ‘The Premier’ asphalt modified race in the nation? Lets, let the winner answer.
“I got more attention winning last year’s race then from anything else I’ve ever done and I’m sure it won’t be any different this year,” offered Hirschman. “That is not meant as a knock on anyone else, the Tour, the Race of Champions, it’s just that the race has probably become the highest prestige race of the year with all of the hype and build up. It’s pretty incredible what Charles and Dale have accomplished. The hardware (trophies) you receive, the helmet, the shotgun, the gift certificates, the lap money, overall it’s incredible. They do an incredible job.”
CHUCKY TANGLES WITH BLEWETT IN CLOSING LAPS
Chucky Hossfeld was super-fast with his own #22 car and his home-based NY crew. After getting shuffled back being stuck on the inside groove, Hossfeld fought his way back to the front. While battling for fourth, he got into Jimmy Blewett ruining both of their nights.
Contact with Chuck Hossfeld ended Blewett's top-five run. (Jamie Willams Photo)
Jimmy was doing a real wide arch,” said Chuck. “I was going around the bottom at that point and must have gotten in the gas a hair early and just got into him. He’s the very last guy I wanted to touch on John Blewett, III day. It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t my fault but it’s a pretty crappy deal. The whole day was special though. I went down and talked to him and we were laughing about it. He said his spotter Freddie felt bad about it too.
“It’s just a racing accident,” said Blewett. “You can’t point fingers. Chucky came over here and said he got into me. It doesn’t matter. I’ve gotten into people and people have gotten into me and that is just good hard racing. Without that the fans wouldn’t be here.
“There was only fifteen or so laps to go and we were going for fourth. Who knows, if I had gotten around him I might have wrecked the guy in third?” joked Hossfeld.
VETERAN SHORT TRACKER JEFF MALAVE LOVES RACING THE SK SHOOTOUT
Jeff Malave finished fourth in the 50 lap SK race at the North South Shootout race and enjoyed every minute of it.
“I love this place,” said Malave about Concord Motorsport Park after the race. “I call it a dirt track with asphalt because you can run wide open sideways. It was a lot of fun for us. This racing kind of reminded me of the competition at Stafford and Thompson. There were a lot of cautions though. I really wish that there were not so many of them so that we really could have gotten going racing here. I really have to thank Charlie and C&C Motorsports for bringing this race to all of us. It was great to come down here and race with all of the guys from Jersey and upstate New York.”
SANTOS IMPRESSIVE AGAIN AT HIS FAVORITE MOD EVENT
Bobby Santos III had another great run at the North-South Shootout but came up short again. He did get his personal best finish at the fifth running of the event, finishing third.
“It was a great race," said Santos. "We just needed to stay green the last twenty laps because we were pretty tight. If it went green we could have won this race. It’s easy to say right now but good job by Matt and Eric. Jimmy Blewett and those guys all raced me pretty hard but clean. It was fun.
“This is one of the races I look forward to the most all year. I think this race and Richmond in a Sprint Car that are my two favorite races. Now that it’s the John Blewett race that makes it cooler. I just love getting in a Modified here.”
MYERS SHINES BUT THE SOUTH MISSING GUNS AND AMMO AT THE NORTH SOUTH SHOOTOUT
The southern Mod contingent got spanked in the 2007 edition of the North-South Shootout, plain and simple. They were missing some guns as Junior Miller, LW Miller and Tim Brown did not show up to the event. Burt Myers was the only Southerner to start in the top-24 spots. Burt Myers, in his first race with a Ford motor, was the only southerner to finish in the top-ten. Brian Pack ran consistent and was able to bring home a 12th place run. So what happened to the Southern Mod Squad?
“I really don’t know what happened,” said Brian King, who struggled all weekend and finished 20th. “I’ve been trying a lot of new stuff. The north is a little ahead of us as far as the new stuff that Troyer has come out with. They’ve been running it for the last few years and I just switched over to it a few weeks ago to get ahead for next year. Now we are on the same stuff but a little behind on what we are doing with it.”
Myers was both colorful and fast as he flew the flag for the South at the Shootout. (51 Photo)
Burt Myers was coming at the end of the race. Not only was he the top-southerner finishing fourth, but with some more laps he could have pulled off the win. Myers was pretty pumped about the performance.
“The car was so bad at first,” said Myers of the start of his race. “We pitted and I told them to tighten this thing up like you never tightened it before. They thew some rubbers to it and a few rounds of bite and let as much air out of the right-rear as you could. It took two pit stops to do. At the end it was awesome. They told me at one point that I had to pass one car a lap to win the thing and for a while it looked like we were doing that.”
“I keep hearing them say you were the top-southern guy… hey we are all Modifieds. I finished fourth North or South. I think I had the fastest car on the racetrack at the end of the race. It’s tough on the southern guys. The northerners are used to putting tires on and adjusting on the cars. They may be the same cars to the fans in the stands but they are like two different divisions. Southern guys are used to tip-toeing for 75 laps and then they go. Northern guys run like hell from the beginning. You can’t afford to tip-toe in a race like this. To come here and be faster than Hirschman, Beers and and pass Lia, it’s exciting.”
BLEWETT SAYS HIRSCHMAN REMINDS HIM OF HIS BROTHER
Matt Hirschman is a young driver that a lot of people on the Modified Tour respect. He is not a sivler-spoon kid rather a driver who works on his own stuff. Jimmy Blewett said that there could be no better driver to win the first race in his brother’s name.
“I’m glad to see a guy like him win this race in my brother’s name because of who he is,” said Jimmy. “Matt sets his car up, pays for his own cars and motors. He’s the type of driver that my brother would want to win his race. I’m sure he would want me to but I ain’t the setup guy, I ain’t the guy that pays the bills. I just show up with my bag. Hats off to Matt Hirschman. I saw how hard it was for my brother to do what he is doing and I respect that.”
That was a sentiment that Jimmy expressed to Hirschman during the weekend. Matt was humbled by that and spoke of how much wining the Shootout this year really meant.
“When you came to any racetrack and especially here at the Shootout you compared yourself to John Blewett because that was the guy. I compared myself to him in practice and qualifying because you had to beat him. He won it twice and now I have won it twice and that puts me right there with him and that is really special to me.”
WEST BEATS EAST IN INAUGURAL EAST-WEST SUPER MOD SHOOTOUT
After the # 7 Western Super Modified car driven by AJ Russell blew an engine at Indy last week the team drove east knowing they had a lot of work to do before the car could race in the North South Shoot-Out. They had an engine shipped from California and put it in on Thursday. From there they went nowhere but forward.
AJ Russell wheeled that West Coast small block engine to the win over the East Coast big blocks during the 50-lap feature. AJ took the lead on lap 30 and managed to stay ahead of 2007 ISMA Champion Chris Perley “The Rawley Rocket” to take the checker flag along with his fourth win of the year.
“I could hear him (Chris Perley) back there coming around. But those last five laps I really started to run out of fuel so I started to back off the gas a little. I could kind of feel him back there but if I ran any harder, I might have run out of fuel.”
Perley had saved his tires hanging back in the pack for the first half of the race.
“I just tried to stay clean and then get going. We made a go race of it. Both the winner (AJ) and I came up through the pack and he won. It was good racing all around.”
There was one key reason this win was so big for Russell and the West Coasters, “It really feels good to beat a guy like Chris Perley who dominated for so long. To be a west coast car and to beat an east coast car at a track that you have never been to is quite fulfilling to me.”
AJ Russell had the only small block to finish in the lead pack of Super Modified cars.
“It is the little guy that could! It was a big debacle the whole time. But if you look at the runs, we had the only one west coast car up front and all the other cars were east coast cars. I think that we are pretty close. I think that we have to get matched up.
BEERS FIRST TIME IN #46 A CHARM
One thing Matt Hirschman is right on about is Eric Beers and his competitive nature. Whether it’s a backyard wiffle ball game or the biggest race of the year, Beers wants to win and he wants to win bad. His demeanor wouldn’t really reflect that, but it’s true. Saturday night was no different at Concord, but for the first time out in a new ride, Beers shined and nearly pulled into victory lane.
Russell was the best of the West but more importantly the best overall. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Beers was determined but just fell short in his debut wheeling the #46 car. (51 Photo)
“Yeah, tonight was a good start for us, we needed this, really needed it,” reflected Beers on the performance. “We wanted to time trial in, but in the end, I’m actually glad we didn’t. We learned a bunch from our heat race and put together a pretty good car for the race. We were just a little too loose up off the corner to get a good enough run to get Matt, but we were right there. If you are right there all of the time and I think that potential is here, then you are going to win races.”
Beers will be in the 46 for the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season and then in his own number 9 machine at selected shows throughout the 2008 season, beginning with ‘Speedweeks’ in Florida.
“You try some things and sometimes, it doesn’t work out and that’s kind of how I’m looking at the 2007 Tour season,” explained Beers. “Hell, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It just didn’t go well, the cool thing is that nobody gave up. All of those guys are right here with me this weekend ready to go. Kevin (Crowley) and all of the guys, that’s what this is all about.”
ANOTHER BEERS RACED IN SHOOTOUT, BUT THIS BEERS WON!
Young Austin Beers, the son of Eric, is also racing. On Saturday he came to Concord as the defending champion of the annual pedal car race put together by event promoter Charles Kepley and his staff. Austin debuted his new pedal car, which was one sporting a similar paint job to his Dad’s DART Race of Champions Modified. He even had autograph cards to sign as he showed off his new ride in front of his Father’s new ride.
East your heart out dad! Austin Beers upped his father by winning his second consecutive Pedalcar race at the Shootout. (Jim Dupont Photo)
Austin went on to defend his Pedal Car championship and was all smiles in victory lane.
After the Modified race later that evening, the youngest Beers approached his Father and said, “Dad, I won and you finished second.” To which the elder Beers responded, “Yeah, it wasn’t too bad of a day for the family, was it?”
After Matt Hirschman’s Big Shootout win, Matt and Austin shared in the celebration giving each other high fives.
Matt asked Austin: “What’s the word of the day?” Austin replied chanting “repeat, repeat,” drawing quite a laugh from all of those around.
”Matt won and I won,” said lil’ Beers. “my dad finished second.”
So who is the better driver? “Me and Matt,” Austin quickly replied.
Hirschman of course ate it all up!
ERICK RUDOLPH EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS WITH IMPRESSIVE RUN
“We really didn’t know what to expect coming into this race because we’ve never really ran against this level of competition,” admitted Erick Rudolph. “We weren’t sure if we were even going to qualify.”
Erick not only qualified but a fast lap in time trials locked him into the field in the fourth spot. Rudolph, son of former Dirt and asphalt Mod driver Charlie Rudolph, continued to impress on-lookers by running up front during his first North-South Shootout Mod race.
“We were second to Hirschman and we said we would do whatever he did. When he pitted we came in and put two tires on but had trouble on the pitstop and it took a while. We were running tenth and caught some lucky breaks and moved our way up to a nice sixth place finish. This will put a big smile on our face for the winter.”
CIVALI AND LIA TANGLE AT CONCORD
Donny Lia and James Civali brought the fans to their feet during their on-track battle. Civail worked over Lia and got by him but the #18 charged hard to the outside to try to get the spot back. Civali drifted high putting Lia into the fence.
“I got by him,” said Civali. “He threw it in there on the outside coming off of two there and I hit that bump and slid up. I tried pinching it down but once you go over that bump you are going up there if you are full throttle. I was going over the bump when they said ‘car high’. I didn’t really stuff him hard but he ran out of a little bit of room.
“I feel bad because I didn’t really mean to do it and I showed it by letting him by when the 22 passed me. I pulled down and he went right by me.”
“I have no problems with James. He’s a pretty cool kid,” said Lia after the race. “But I have to go back to something Mike Stefanik said at Martinsville. Mike said that when James was underneath him he gave him plenty of room because he needs plenty of room. Maybe I should have drove it in the marbles to give him plenty of room? I guess he does need plenty of room and I found that out the hard way tonight.
“It probably wasn’t intentional but it did bend the whole right side up. It actually hit the
James Civali takes Lia to the wall coming out of turn-one resulting in some heavy contact for the white #18.
wall pretty hard. I figured that it ripped the right front off. I hit so hard I actually lost my bearings for a little bit. When I gathered it up and realized I was still going I look and the right-front was still there and the wheel was still working. It was all out of whack and the tow was bent out pretty bad. It didn’t rip the wheel off which was real surprising. It just pancaked it. I just kept going and got a little angry which made me get up on the wheel even more. We hung in there to finish fifth.”
When the caution flag flew, for Todd Szegedy spinning just behind the incident, Lia raced up to Civali to express his displeasure.
“Right at the last second they said on the radio ‘look out, look out,’ added Civali who ended up dropping out and finishing 27th. “I saw that white car coming. I got up alongside Jimmy so he couldn’t get to my tires.”
“I was mad,” said Lia. “I just wanted to send him over a hand gesture. They thought I was going to try and wreck him. I just wanted to give him a little wave.”
EMOTIONAL CARL PASTERYAK WINS NON-QUALIFIERS RACE & DONATES WINNINGS TO BLEWETTS
For the second year a row Carl Pasteryak in his pristine prepared #75 mod tour car won the 25 lap Non-Qualifier race at Concord Motorsports Park on Saturday. In Victory Lane, Carl and the Pasteryak family donated the winnings from the non-qualifier race to the John Blewett Memorial Fund. It was one of many tributes to John Blewett III during the weekend. Pasteryak, a driver who in the past had his run-ins with the Blewett family, was overcome with emotion.
“This whole weekend has been about the Blewett family,” said Pasteryak with a tear rolling down his right cheek. “Johnny won this race a lot and they are special people. We weren’t going to come to this race. Charlie and I decided in their memory that we would come to this race and see if we can do good. Charlie won the qualifier the other night. I got crashed. Everything happens for a reason and today we won this race."
Photographers snapped away as Car was greeted in victory lane by John Blewett, Jr. (John III's father). Pasteryak raced against John and also his two boys. The two their arms around eachother in a touching moment.
“It’s all about the people and friends," added Carl. "The racing is something we do to enjoy. Throughout the year we have met a lot of special people and we have lost a lot of very special people. It’s all part of our sport. I learned a very dramatic lesson from the race at Thompson where Johnny lost his life. I was riding home and I said if you can’t remotely have a little bit of fun doing this then it is not worth it. You take a big chance. You can sugar coat it or candy coat it anyway you want, but you take a big chance. We all know that, except it and thrive on it.”
QUARTERLEY NO SLOUCH IN BRADY BUNCH CAR
Pasteryak and John Blewett share a moment in victory lane.
Dale Quarterley has always been known as a great road racer. He has also seen success on the Busch East Series back when it was referred to as Busch North. This weekend Dale returned back to the seat of a Modified. It had been since the mid-nineties and a race on the roadcouse at Watkins Glen since he wheeled one of the open-wheeled rockets.
"This is my first experience in it on an oval and I haven’t really run anything in about a year," said Quarterley after his first North-South Shootout. "In the beginning I wanted to get in a rhythm like you would with a Busch car where you just cruise for the first portion. I didn’t make it two laps before I am getting beat on from every corner of the car. They are just balls to the wall the whole time and I had to up my pace. Halfway through the race I really figured it out and we started moving up."
WINNER ENDURES 100-LAPS BUT WRECKS ON VICTORY LAP!
The winner and runner-up collide during the victory lap. Beers' #46 spun with a right-rear flat. (Jamie Williams Photo)
"SHOWTIME" JIMMY BLEWETT REFLECTS ON THE NORTH-SOUTH SHOW
It was an emotional weekend for Jimmy Blewett. At times he celebrated, at times he laughed and at times he cried. All in all, it was a great experience for the young Jersey driver and the entire Blewett family.
"All the fans and all that everyone did this weekend for me and the family. Words can not express what it all means to us. Its’s awesome that we will have a legacy here with this race (being named after John III). It’s awesome because this was his deal and he loved it. You just come down here (to the North-South Shootout) and show your stuff. Show what type of bad-ass you are and show it all. Show them who John Blewett is, show them who Jimmy Blewett is, Bobby Santos is. Show them who Matt Hirschman is and how he will come down here and wax your ass."
Matt Hirschman raced Eric Beers to the finish at the Shootout. The two Pennsylvania drivers drove each other very clean in those closing stages, that was until Hirschman’s victory lap.
“It stated out a little unexpected," said Hirschman. "After the race I was on the backstretch and I swore I saw Eric pull into the pits. When I looked in the mirror there were no cars at all. I stopped at the start-finish to spin it around and get the flag so I could do a Polish victory lap for John because it was his memorial race. I went to spin it and Beers was right there and I clipped his right rear and blew it out and wrecked my left front wheel. We finished one two and didn’t wreck during the race but wrecked after it. I guess it’s better that way because we made enough money to fix what we damaged.”
Beers added, “When he pulls out of his driveway at home with his Cavalier, I will run into him with my pickup truck.”