Rusty Smith Outguns Matt Hirschman at Mountain Track PR Report
Wins Round Two of PA Asphalt Modified Series
Because of thunderstorms throughout the area, Mountain Speedway’s originally scheduled Saturday evening show was made up on Sunday afternoon. Rusty Smith notched his first modified victory of the season in the 75-lap contest.
The 75-lap PA Asphalt Modified Championship Series feature began with Todd Baer on the pole after the top nine starters redrew for the feature line-up. Baer jumped out to the early lead over Rusty Smith in the event, which was the second event of the seven race series this season.
Smith grabbed the top spot from Baer on lap six and Matt Hirschman followed in pursuit. John Markovic held fourth with Kyle Ebersole fifth.
The first of eleven yellows flew when Geary Rinehimer spun off of turn one. The incident collected Tommy Wanick III and Steve Tooker. All drivers were able to continue.
Fifteen laps in, Ebersole, who was running fifth, looped his car in turn two. Several drivers had nowhere to go and were collected in the mix, including Brian DeFebo, Johnny Bush, Chris Whitenight, Barry Callavini, Rinehimer and Tooker. DeFebo received the most damage and required the dreaded “double hook” from the track towing crew.
Slowly, Earl Paules began to work his way into the mix after starting from the ninth spot. While battling for fourth, Paules and Baer touched wheels, which sent Paules for a ride toward the turn one fence. That brought out the lap sixteen yellow.
Just past halfway, Smith continued out front, holding off Hirschman. Markovic remained third with Andy Walko, who started seventeenth in fourth with Tommy Flanagan completing the top five.
Things began to heat up for the seventh spot. Paules, who pitted during an earlier caution, began to work back towards the front. While battling for the seventh spot with Bush, Paules spun in turn three. He restarted from the tail end of the field and with only a handful of laps remaining; Paules began to put cars in his rearview mirror.
Hirschman closed in on Smith on numerous occasions, but didn’t have enough to overtake the Oxford, NY resident. When it was all said and done, Smith held off Hirschman to pick up his first Mountain win of the season. Hirschman crossed the stripe with a solid second place effort. Markovic finished a strong third, as did Walko in fourth. Paules completed the top five.
“The car was hooked up today”, said Smith in victory lane. “I really want to thank the fans who come out and support the speedway”. “Speaking for many of the drivers, we don’t want to come out here and race in front of empty grandstands”, he said.
“Hirschman was just as pleased as the runner-up. “The car was good today and it’s the first time we’ve had it out this season for the entire feature”, he said. Hirschman received a flat tire last time out with that car and could not get it replaced in time for the next restart.
“I drove really hard, but we just didn’t have enough for Rusty today”, he said.
Chris Whitenight, Rusty Smith and Brian DeFebo were heat race winners.
Rusty Smith in victory lane. (Mountain Speedway / Kevin Green Photo)