Chris Pasteryak Takes the Crown, Matt Hirschman Takes the Checkers By Denise Dupont
First Time Champion and First Time Winner
After 32 years of racing and working on cars, the dedicated efforts of the Pasteryak Racing Team were rewarded with family’s first ever Modified Championship this past weekend. Chris Pasteryak claimed the 2008 True Value Modified Racing Series championship on Sunday afternoon, October 26th after finishing seventh in the “Ricky Miller Memorial 100,” at Twin State Speedway, Claremont, NH.
The winner of the race though was 2008 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified tour champion, Matt Hirschman. Hirschman took over the lead on lap 61and then fought off hard charges to win his first ever run TVMRS race.
“If that ain’t racing I do not know what is,” said Hirschman as he emerged from his car. ’”We won in the NASCAR Whelen Tour, the RoC and then in the True Value Series. I do not know if anyone else has done that.”
Twin State Speedway offers tough racing and tight competition and the TVMRS discovered that as the series wrapped up their race season there.
“That is about as good as you are going to get in short track modified racing,” said Hirschman. “It does not get much better than that anywhere in the country. Man what a workout. I am out of breath to be honest.”
This was Matt Hirschman’s first drive in a True Value race and the driver met with immediate success. Fans wanted to know if he planned to return next year to run the series.
“The reason that you do not see me more often is that I have commitments as well it is tough because I am located in Pennsylvania. It was certainly worth the drive up here - but not on a normal basis.”
Second place finisher was veteran racer Dwight Jarvis.
“I want to thank everyone for coming, sitting and watching us in this cold weather,” said Jarvis. “I really wanted to win this show bad tonight because I knew Ricky (Miller) really well. I want to thank the Miller Family and everybody else that put in all their time and effort in it. I had a real good time putting on the show for the hometown crowd. Thank you all for coming.”
Jarvis made a power move to pass Matt Hirschman on lap 65, but unfortunately for him a caution came out.
Pasteryak celebrates his 2008 Series championship.
(Jim DuPont Photo)
“That is one move that I always had down pat. I thought that I could make it work on him but the yellow bit us and it is too bad that I just could not get it down there again. The guys so a good job on this car. They gave me a winning car tonight. I just did not make it win.”
At the end, Kirk Alexander took the checkered flag third. Alexander ran with the front pack the whole race but just could not make the move for the lead.
“Those guys were running strong tonight,” said Alexander. “The car tightened up at the end. I just wish that I could have stayed with them and maybe make something happen with the third guy involved.”
There was a lot of swapping of paint at Twin State and frontrunner Alexander was not spared from the activity.
“I got crossed up once. I tried to make a move down under Dwight and I got hit by the #23 car but I saved it. He (Mike Douglas) backed out of it and that was a great move to save it all. “
Alexander may not have won but he drove a good race and had a fun night racing.
“What a great race,” said Alexander. “We had some good battles up front there. It was an awesome race watching those guys going at it up front.”
This year the #43 team had a year full of ups and downs and some disappointing finishes.
Matt Hirschman in victory lane. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“This was a good night for us,” said Alexander. “We have had some bad runs (this season). Tonight the car tightened up a little bit but we were right there at the end. They (the leaders) pulled away and I wish that it (the car) did not tighten up.” The team completed this year’s battle for the championship second in points.
It has been a great end of the season for the fourth place finisher, Jon McKennedy. The team has had a great year and went into the last race of the season sixth in points.
Kirk Alexander works his way around Jon McKennedy. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“All year we have been running in the top five and top three spots. The last weeks have just been awesome. We almost won the Star Classic and winning two True Value races has been great. I have to thank the guys and RaceWorks. They build an awesome car.”
The Twin State race was the deciding race for both the 2008 championship and rookie. Both titles were captured by young drivers.
With the race for the championship as tight as it was and down to the line at the end, the Pasteryak team tried to stay out of trouble at the last race. But opportunity for trouble just seemed to be there as they turned each corner.
“The right rear tires started to go down right after one restart..” said Pasteryak. “It finally came of the bead on lap 40. Man when that was happening I thought we were done. I thought that was it. It was over. Kirk is going to win the race and the title and take it back to NH. But we caught some definite lucky breaks. We are bringing one (Championship) back to Connecticut.”
This was Chris Pasteryak’s second year of competition with TVMRS and he took down two wins. At the end of the night though, Pasteryak was crowned the 2008 Series Champion with only five points between him and the second place driver, Kirk Alexander.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” said Pasteryak about winning the championship. “This means so much to everybody that works on the car. I cannot put it into words. Thanks to everyone for being here. This is 32 years of work.”
Kenny White captured the “Rookie of the Year” Award at Twin State.
“We made it to the end of the year which was one of our goals” said smiling White at race end. “We made all the races and did the whole tour, a beautiful tour that it is. We got the rookie of the year and we are really happy. We struggled here. I said the crew is not giving up and I am not giving up either. We just kept digging and we got it.”
Just like the champion’s team, the #77 team of White had trouble waiting for them where ever they were on the track. “Tonight I thought that one of those big wrecks was going to take the whole front end off the car or just break something and take us out of it.”
The race for the rookie was as close in the end as the championship Competition. “It was close and I would not have wanted to take Joe Doucette out of it. He is a great guy and I love doing the battling with him. It was close and he is competitive. He kept me working.”
The TVMRS heads next to their awards banquet Saturday night November 15, at Francis Farms, Rehoboth, MA .
Twin State Speedway Quotes:
Chris Pasteryak’s thoughts while he reflected on the 2008 race year:
“Thank God it is over. I mean the right rear tire developed a slow leak around lap 25, right after one of those restarts. We are just lucky that it came off the bead I guess and I did not get wreck when it happened. We had to put the right rear on that I won at Seekonk. That already had 140 laps on it. Man I just kept dodging bullets and I think that we ended up seventh tonight.”
What will Chris Pasteryak do in 2009?
“I will be doing the same thing as this year and it sounds good to me.”
Dwight Jarvis’s thoughts now that the year is over?
“I am looking forward to next year. We have gone real good this year. I think that next year we will do a little better as long as there is not a huge schedule of racing. I am getting to be too old to travel to these places that are far away and do twenty or twenty-one shows a year. Maybe if they have less races.”
What were Dwight’s thoughts as he looked in his rear view Mirror?
“They told me Matt was coming and running behind Kirk. I looked in the mirror and saw that he was in third. Matt is tough. He runs with the Whelen guys and he likes to mix it up more than we do. He got into me under the yellow there a few times and I think that he knocked the toe out on the front end a little. I had him back once down there and then the yellow came out. I think that if I could have been in his position I could have pulled away form him. When I was out front I could run my own groove I think that if I was up in front, I could run my own groove the car on a rail. It was an awesome race car.”
Rumor has it that Kirk Alexander will not return to race in the 2009 season…is that the case?
“That is a rumor. We are going to see what the schedule will be, sponsors and it is all up in the air right now. I really enjoy coming and racing here. It is a great bunch of guys, great officials and we will see what 2009 brings.”
On turning over the reins and congratulating the new Champion…
“I would like to congratulate Chris Pasteryak on his first championship. He has run a great race all season. He is always consistent. He is a great guy to race with and I am glad to see that he had a good finish tonight and finished it off.”
Kenny White, Jr.
What will TVMRS Rookie Kenny White Jr. do next year?
“Next year we are going to run the True Value again. Hopefully we can run for a little bit better points for next year. Obviously we are going to try to win some races next year. We had a pretty good season with top tens. Now we have to go win a few”.
What was White’s most important memory of the year?
“The crew parents, my wife and sponsors. You can not do anything without the, There were times that I thought of giving up and they never did so I have to thank them.”
It was a great racing weekend for Matt Hirschman with another championship and a win in another series.
“Good weekend. What a race. I was just out of breath the last couple of laps. That was intense. It was just good hard short track racing. This kind of place is just perfect for these cars. It had to have been one of the best races to watch all year. It had to be it was just that good from where I was at. It is just a great short track and these cars are just perfect for it. I just enjoyed the heck out of this, it was fun.”
After Matt passed Dwight Jarvis what were his thoughts?
“I figured that we might swap the lead back and forth a few more times, I really did. I told my guys that. “Say listen we got it and I do not know if we are going to keep it but if we loose it we can get it back.”
Matt Hirschman goes for a spin in practice. (Alan Ward Photo)
“I thought that it was going to go back and forth. I was able to keep it there on the bottom and then hold him off. He had a good move there. He was working it and his car was probably setup to do that. I could not run that line and make that move so that was his opportunity and he almost made it a couple of times. That was some good stuff.”
What were Hirschman’s thoughts as he was leading the race and caught up to the lapped cars?
“You had to be careful where to pick the lapped cars. I was able to get through everything with no problem. It was a hard earned victory. It was one of the hardest drives that I ever made coming from sixteenth to get all the way up there. I just worked the car. This one will be a lasting memory because of how hard of a fight that was. That was good stuff. “