Ho-Hum....Hirschman Wins Again by Mike Twist
Win Streak Extends To Four With All-Star Modified Victory
Matt Hirschman relaxes before driver introductions at All-Star Speedway. (51 Photo)
Stop us if you've read this story before. Matt Hirschman enters a Modified race against some of the best Mod drivers out there. He puts on a dominating performance and wins the event.
We've heard that story at South Boston Speedway for the 2006 Mason-Dixon Meltdown, a few times in the North South Shootout at Concord and too many times to count on the RoC Modified Tour. In the past few weeks, we've heard about it from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Spencer, the Modified Madness show at Seekonk and the RoC race at Oswego.
And on Saturday night, the same storyline unfolded at All-Star Speedway, where the second-generation driver won Round Three of the WaterSnoGo All-Star Modified Challenge Series at that New Hampshire bullring. It was Hirschman's third victory at the track in the past year.
“I'm almost at a loss for words.,” said Hirschman after his latest victory. “To think that it's been four in a row and for different teams. It's been different combinations each time, but with the same result. It's just incredible and it speaks for everybody. All of the teams have done great and it's an incredible roll to be on. It's so amazing for it to happen at different venues in different series in different cars against different competitors. I can't keep coming up with stuff to say about it.”
Josh Cantara (#71ME) and Chris Pasteryak (#15) both challenged Hirschman at various points of the race. (Jim Dupont Photo)
Hirschman's #59 (Rick Ibsen Photo)
But while Hirschman might tire of coming up with words to describe his victories, he is not tiring of winning those races.
“No, you never get tired of winning.,” said Hirschman. “If I ever get tired of winning, I think I'd better call it quits and I'm a long way from that.”
Hirschman started from the pole on Saturday night, but his race wasn't a cakewalk. At various points in the race, he was challenged by Modified rookie Josh Cantara, Chris Pasteryak and Jon McKennedy.
Cantara was the earliest and strongest challenge to Hirschman, running his #71ME Modified to Hirschman's outside on several occasions early on. Cantara never got to show his strength late in the race. He pitted early and got caught as the innocent victim in a multi-car wreck while coming back through the pack. However, he did make Hirschman nervous when he was near the front.
That was a little surprising to Hirschman, who races against all kinds of drivers on all kinds of Modified tours, but wasn't too familiar with the teenager who races weekly at All-Star.
“You never know what to expect,” said Hirschman. “At the beginning of the race, the #71 surprised the heck out of me. He was running me incredibly hard on the outside. I was doing all that I could to hold him off at that point. I can't imagine that he could have kept going like that, but he was doing a heck of a job there. He surprised me with his [having limited] experience. I was surprised by his pace, but more power to him. That's good for him.”
After Cantara's demise, Pasteryak challenged Hirschman in the middle stages of the race and as the laps clicked down, McKennedy appeared to be closing in on Hirschman's bumper. Darting around lapped cars and running out of laps kept McKennedy from seriously contending for the lead though.
“Chris ran real good,” said Hirschman. “He ran a smart race and then McKennedy got up to second and he was good. He was planning on saving his stuff early and that worked out for him to get to second. All of the competitors did a good job.
“The lapped cars were giving me a hard time,” said McKennedy. “But it was one thing to catch him and another thing to go by him. Matt was stout and he started up front. He led the whole race and had a good car. He drove a good race and we needed a yellow to see what we really had for him. We were catching him slowly, but we needed at least 10 laps to see what we had for him.”
McKennedy had to settle for second, with Pasteryak winding up in third. Finishing behind those drivers were Jimmy Kuhn and Ryan Preece.
Meanwhile, back in victory lane, Hirschman was enjoying that winning feeling once again. It was something he planned to experience in 2008, but maybe not quite as often as he has been experiencing it.
“It has become such a complete season for me to do what we've been doing. To have eight wins…wow!” said Hirschman. “I had six last year and I wanted to top that to have a better season this year. But after the first couple of races this year, I began to think that if we got to six, I'd be happy.”
So now that he's happy, does that mean that Hirschman is going to take it easy from here
“No, definitely not. They asked me once I got to six [wins] what I'd like to do. Well, now
I'd like to get to double digits. Ten would be quite a feat and we're at eight right now, just
halfway through the season. A lot of favorable races to me are coming up, so who knows?
The sky is the limit right now. Whatever is happening, I'm not going to try and figure it out.
I'm just going to go with it and try to keep on winning.”
Hirschman's next chances for that will be on Friday night in the RoC Modified race at
Spencer Speedway (NY) and on Saturday night in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
race at Riverhead Raceway (NY). In the meantime, we'll be hard at work here at
Speed51.com trying to think up more different ways to write more “Matt Hirschman Wins
a Modified Race" stories. We have a feeling that there could be a few more of them
appearing this season.
Hirschman in victory lane....again. (Jim Dupont Photo)