Hirschman Climbs to Mountain Victory Lane Track PR Report
Wins PA Asphalt Modified Series Opener
Race fans from across the Northeast flocked to Mountain Speedway for the official opening day on Sunday. It was the first of six races for the PA Asphalt Modified Champ Series, plus all other divisions took the green flag for the features based on pole day time trials. It was a brutal fight to the finish for some, but not for Matt Hirschman, as he cruised to victory in the modified feature.
Twenty-one modifieds ran heat races to determine the starting grid for the 75-lap feature event. Matt Hirschman, Rusty Smith and Brian DeFebo were victorious in the heat races and began the main event in the top three starting positions.
Northampton's Matt Hirschman brought the field down to the green flag for the start of the feature and moved into the early lead, until the caution flew with six laps in the books, due to a Geary Rinehimer spin in turn two.
Again, Hirschman, with a great restart remain atop the field. Another caution flag waived when Justin Gumley went around in turn number three. Until that point, Gumley's car looked strong and it didn't take long for him to retake positions after the restart.
With a third of the race complete, Hirschman remained out front, ahead of DeFebo, Earl Paules, Rusty Smith and Chris Whitenight. Meanwhile, Kyle Ebersole began to pick off cars after starting eighth.
Pete Brittian got around Whitenight for fifth on lap twenty-six, but steam fluming from his machine forced him pit side thirteen laps later.
Paules overtook DeFebo for second with fifty-three laps complete. Deeper back in the field, Ebersole battled with Whitenight for fifth, but the two tangled off of turn two on lap fifty-five. The end result was Whitenight's car coming to a rest on the back stretch wall, and he retired from the event.
With Hirschman out front, Smith appeared to be the only driver who could give the leader a run to the checkers. With sixty-one laps recorded, Smith disposed of Paules for second. Brian DeFebo slipped to fourth and Andy Walko moved into the fifth spot after starting sixth on the grid.
Matt Hirschman in victory lane. (Jeff Martz Photos)
During the remaining restarts, Smith attempted to reel in the leader, but was unsuccessful during the closing circuits. Smith was the runner-up, followed by Paules and Walko. Gumley rallied to finish fifth after restarting from the rear of the field early in the event. Rising star, Billy Pauch, Jr, ended up sixth after taking the initial green from the fifteenth starting spot.
Hirschman, a driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour commented on his win at the 1/3-mile oval. “It's always good to be back here at Mountain. “This is where I started and I went on to race at a lot of cool places, but it's great to come back.
The modified standout admitted that his accomplishments at the speedway are stellar. “I've got a really impressive record here, but the last few times that I've been here it's been spread out over a couple of years”.
Hirschman had one start at the speedway in 2007 and won the feature event on that day also. The driver said that he plans to run a few more of the PA Asphalt Modified Champ Series events this season.
PA Asphalt Modified Champ Series (75-Laps) Results
Matt Hirschman 2. Rusty Smith 3. Earl Paules 4. Andy Walko 5. Justin Gumley 6. Billy Pauch Jr 7. Brian Defebo 8. Barry Callavini 9. Todd Baer 10. Johnny Bush 11. John Markovic 12. Kyle Ebersole 13. Steve Tooker 14. Matt Clemens 15. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 16. Lewis Hallock 17.Mike Andrews 18. Chris Whitenight 19. Pete Brittian 20. Geary Rinehimer 21. Tommy Wanick