Concord, N.C. – Matt Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., continued his onslaught on modified racing Saturday winning the $10,000-to-win 15th Annual John Blewett III North South Shootout, in Memory of Charles Kepley. It was his sixth victory in the fall classic.
Matt Craig , of Kannapolis, has an onslaught of his own in the Pro All Star Series (PASS) ranks getting his sixth win of the season in their 125-lap affair.
Hirschman used the precise amount of patience and tire management in getting the win. For the bulk of the event he rode inside the top 10, with a late race charge into the top four spots. With 12 laps remaining he made the move inside of Ryan Preece for the lead and ultimately the victory.
For Preece, a two-time North Shootout Champion, it was also a game of tire management and he quickly sliced through the field in the final 30 laps from 14th to the lead on fresher tires. But in the end, he had to settle for runner-up honors.
The story of the weekend was hometown driver Bobby Measmer Jr. who crashed his primary car on Friday night and found himself starting last on the field driving a different car – one owned by Phil Stefanelli Racing. With only 20 minutes of practice in the car, Measmer drove from last on the field to the lead and was in the hunt for the win over the waning laps. In the end he finished third.
Burt Myers, a two-time North Shootout Champion, finished fourth with Jeff Fultz fifth.
It was a clean sweep for Hirschman as he won Friday nights Ted Christopher Dash For Cash Race bring his weekend tally to $13,000. Brandon Ward was the winner of the Precision Spindle Pole Award for his fast qualifying run Friday night.
Matt Craig all but locked up his second straight Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model championship by claiming his sixth win of the season Saturday afternoon in the North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway. Craig’s seventh career PASS South win was his first at Concord Speedway, but not the first for his family-owned team at the track, where they have also gone to victory lane in the past with drivers like Rodney Childers, Jeff Fultz, and Clay Rogers.
Other winners on the weekend were: Todd Own in the SK Modified Feature, Preece in the Ted Christopher SK Modified Dash For Cash, A.J. Sanders in the Mini Stock Feature, Justin Carroll in Limited Late Models and Jeremy Haudricort in the Chargers.
The management of the North South Shootout wish the thank fans, drivers, teams, industry representative, sponsors and the staff for another successful running of the race.
125-Lap North South Shootout Modified Features:
3.Bobby Measmer Jr.
125-Lap Pro All Star Series Feature:
17.Dave Farrington Jr.
DNS – Matt Wallace
13-Lap Ted Christopher Modified Dash For Cash:
11.George Brunnhoelel III
13.Bobby Measmer Jr.
50-Lap SK Modified Feature:
13-Lap Ted Christopher SK Modified Dash for Cash:
50-Lap Mini Stock Feature:
40-Lap Limited Late Model Feature:
25-Lap Charger Feature:
Matt Hirshman Scored His Sixth North South Shootout Victory Saturday – Scott Ely Photo
Andy Seuss (11) Bobby Measmer Jr. (17), Matt Hirschman (60) and Ryan Preece race for the lead in the late stages of Saturday’s North South Shootout – Brenda Jane Photo
New Jersey Driver Earns Whelen Modified Tour Honor
By Kyle Souza, NASCARHomeTracks.com
October 25, 2017 – 4:42pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Calvin Carroll clinched his first NASCAR Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in 2017.
Driving a full-time schedule on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Carroll defeated Walter Sutcliffe Jr. and Ronnie Williams in the standings en route to the crown. He won the title by 34 points and was the top rookie contender in five races.
“This was our goal from the beginning of the year, this is what we set out to do,” the Andover, New Jersey native said of winning the crown. “We were able to accomplish it and we are very proud of ourselves for doing it. I think we will set a higher goal now for next year and try to accomplish that.”
Carroll started all 16 events on the unified series schedule and came home with a best finish of 13th. In just his first full-time season, Carroll got off to a rough start by not finishing two of the first three races. However, a strong summer stretch helped him to pull away in the Rookie of the Year standings.
“I think it was an amazing year,” Carroll said. “I think everyone had their own troubles at different tracks and we had our fair share. All and all I just think it was a great year.”
When Carroll visited a track for the second or third time this year, he often improved on his finish. He finished 25th in the Sizzler at Stafford, but in the other two events at the half-mile, Carroll rolled to finishes of 20th and 15th. At Thompson, Carroll found himself finishing 18th at the Icebreaker and he wrapped up the season by finishing 15th in the Sunoco World Series 150, his second-best run of the year.
“We definitely ran better at the end of the year, each time we went to a track we tried to get better and we did that,” Carroll said. “It gave me a lot of confidence.”
The highest point of the season actually came in a non-points event at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s bullring. Carroll finished third, posting his best career modified run.
“It showed a lot about our team, I was extremely happy with that,” Carroll said. “It gave us a lot of confidence to go to Thompson and we ended up doing well there.”
Looking ahead, Carroll will be planning on returning to full-time competition for the 2018 season. He hopes to continue to learn and improve his finish each time he visits a track.
“The competition on the Tour is way higher than any other modified series. There are probably 10 cars that could win each week at any given track, so I’m happy with what we were able to do this year,” Carroll said.
Without the support from his sponsors and team, he wouldn’t be able to roll on the track.
“I have to thank Power With Prestige, Cruising With Bettty, and definitely my whole team. All five of my brothers were at just about every one of the races and they helped me get to the track along with my parents. I’m ready to take the Rookie stripe off and go for next year.”
Carroll will receive his Sunoco Rookie of the Year honor as part of the NASCAR Home tracks Awards ceremony on Dec. 8 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
RACE OF CHAMPIONS, LAKE ERIE SPEEDWAY AND ERIE SPORTS COMMISSION AGREE TO 3-YEAR PROGRAM
North East, Pennsylvania (October 27, 2017) – Race of Champions, Lake Erie Speedway and the Erie Sports Commission management are proud to announce that the 2018 Race of Champions Weekend will take place in North East, Pennsylvania as the organizations reached a three-year agreement to keep the event in the Erie Region. The announcement comes following a successful 2017 Race of Champions Weekend, which was held at Lake Erie Speedway for the first time in September.
The 2018 event will take place Thursday, September 27 through Saturday, September 29. The culmination of the traditional weekend will see the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series compete for 250 laps in the 68th Annual Race of Champions.
Management are working toward an agreement that keeps the event at Lake Erie Speedway in the long term, beginning with a three-year initial agreement.
“This is a very positive step for this event and ensures where it will remain, including the landmark 70th edition of the event,” stated Joe Skotnicki, Race of Champions steward. “This has been a process and it has proven very affective through the event. It was an extremely competitive weekend at a tremendous facility with great partners and we look forward to moving that forward with the help of the Track Management and the Erie Sports Commission. The involvement from the surrounding community and the opportunity has been outstanding and we are very happy to carry on the great tradition that is the Race of Champions.”
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., became a five-time event champion this season by winning the 2017 edition of the Race of Champions at Lake Erie.
The schedule will remain similar for the event in 2018
Thursday, September 27, will allot teams an open practice day, while Friday, September 28, will see championship events for the Race of Champions Sportsman Modified Series along with the Race of Champions Super Stocks. Saturday, September 29 will see the running of the 68th Annual Race of Champions 250. More information will be forthcoming and details will be made available in the coming months on the Race of Champions website.
The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 68th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2018 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.