Matthew Wiernasz Photos
EPPING, NH- Matt Hirschman took a liking to NH’s Star Speedway the first time he raced there, and on Saturday night he won his third major event SBM 125 Modified Open in five races, this time worth $10,400 plus contingencies as the Northeast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series visited the quarter-mile oval in southern New Hampshire.
Hirschman, who hauled in from Northampton, PA., to race, pitted on lap 54 for a new right rear tire and worked his way to the front of the 27-car field, passing Jon McKennedy (Chelmsford, MA.) on lap 100 for the lead. He then held off a late charge from Les Hinckley (Windsor Locks, CT.), including a restart with two laps remaining to claim the top prize in front of an enthusiastic and near capacity crowd.
“This was an example of what kind of show that the Modifieds can put on when you have drivers that race that way and show each other respect,” Hirschman stated. “It comes at a time where I really needed a win. A BIG win.
“I hated that this race didn’t happen last year. I’m glad that it’s back and with a great crowd tonight, and another solid car count I would think we will be back again.”
McKennedy led the first 100 laps after drawing the pole in a top ten redraw, collecting a significant portion of the bonus money paid out in the process. But he elected to not pit for a tire, and in the end it cost him. Les Hinckley passed McKennedy on lap 115 for second place, earning the Woody’s Auto Hard Charger Award” and his third consecutive second place finish in the SBM.
Richard Savary, while attempting to pass McKennedy for a podium third place finish on lap 124, made contact and McKennedy spun, with Savary being sent to the rear. This opened the door for Maine driver Josh Cantara to take third from Ron Silk on the ensuing restart, where Hirschman outraced Hinckley to the line for the big win.
Silk and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five finishers of a race run off in rapid fashion, with no major incidents and few caution periods. The next Northeast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series event takes place at Ct’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Thursday, August 25 for another event paying the winner $10,000 as part of a purse again expected to exceed $60,000.
Official Tri-Track SBM 125 V Finish: (Final payoff totals including bonuses TBA) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN, 2. Les Hinckley, 3. Josh Cantara, 4. Ron Silk, 5. Justin Bonsignore, 6. Andy Jankowiak, 7. Rowan Pennink, 8. Max Zachem, 9. Tommy Barrett, 10. Jon Kievman, 11. Kirk Alexander, 12. Chris Pasteryak, 13. Anthony Nocella, 14. Rob Richardi Jr., 15. Jon McKennedy, 16. Mike Holdridge, 17. Russ Hersey, 18. Troy Talman, 19. Richard Savary, 20. Joe Doucette, 21. Andy Seuss, 22. Eric Berndt, 23. Carl Medieros Jr., 24. Jeff Gallup, 25. Mike Douglas Jr., 26. Dwight Jarvis, 27. Kurt Vigeant.
B-Main: 1. Jeff Gallup (moved on to A-Main), 2. Sal Accardi Jr., ($800) 3. Mike Benevides ($750), 4. George Sherman (($700), 5. Brandee Tree ($650), 6. Karl Fredrickson ($600). DNS: Woody Pitkat ($550), Calvin Carroll ($500).