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Hirschman hangs on for Tri-Track sweep

Tri-Track Open Modified Series/Dale Wolbrink

It’s just been one of those special years for Matt Hirschman in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series. Not only did Hirschman clinch his third consecutive championship a race early back at Star Speedway in August, he is also unbeaten this year on the Tri-Track season.

Hirschman took his fourth victory in four races Saturday in the Tri-Track season finale, the Haunted Hundred at Seekonk Speedway. This is Hirschman’s fifth straight triumph, dating back to 2016.

The drive put on by Hirschman Saturday evening may very well have been his finest of the 2017 campaign. Starting 14th, thanks to an unlucky draw in qualifying, Hirschman was forced to work his way from the middle of the pack. Nothing was handed to the 34-year-old, but eventually, Hirschman found his way to second place behind Russ Hersey. Hirschman, despite dogging Hersey for much of the latter half of the race, was unable to assume the top spot.

Then, however, Hirschman got a second chance on a late race restart. With just ten laps to go, Hirschman made a three-wide pass for the lead as Anthony Nocella and Hersey got together to his inside while sparring for the same real estate. Hersey got the worst of the skermish, spinning out and losing his chance at victory.

In the final five laps, Nocella pressured Hirschman, even passing him for a brief moment after contact. No matter. Unfazed, the Pennsylvania native drove right back underneath Nocella as the two came to the white flag. There would be no second challenge from Nocella. Hirschman traversed the circuit one final time and took the win.

It was a victory for a team that, according to Hirschman, did not have the fastest car.

“Realistically, I think we were looking at a second or third-place finish,” said Hirschman. “To come away with the win is really a big bonus for us because I think second or third is what we deserved to get.”

“I know what we had and what we should’ve had and it just worked out. In years like this, you hope that momentum keeps rolling like that.”

As icing on the proverbial cake, since nobody was able to beat Hirschman, the $1500 bounty on the line went to “Big Money” Matt. Hirschman is a fan of the bounty–so long as it doesn’t adversely affect his performance.

“It was good for the show,” said Hirschman. “I would’ve been unhappy had the outcome not been good for us… if we’d gotten wrecked or taken out because of that added motivation. All things considered, it was what it should’ve been.”

A dominant year for “Big Money” Matt Hirschman in the Tri-Track Series concluded with a memorable victory and a clean sweep of all four races.

  1. Matt Hirschman
  2. Anthony Nocella
  3. Rowan Pennink
  4. Richard Savary
  5. Les Hinckley
  6. Steve Masse
  7. Andrew Krause
  8. Keith Rocco
  9. Ron Frees
  10. Chris Pasteryak
  11. Colbey Fournier
  12. Max Zachem
  13. Derek Ramstrom
  14. Woody Pitkat
  15. Jon Kievman
  16. Matt Galko
  17. Ron Silk
  18. Russ Hersey
  19. Tommy Barrett
  20. Kirk Alexander
  21. Ryan Preece
  22. Ryan Vanasse
  23. Blake Barney
  24. Vinnie Annarummo
  25. Bobby Santos
  26. Kurt Vigeant

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Paul Lambert is an aspiring collegiate journalist. A writer and broadcaster, Paul's excited to cover New England short track racing in 2019. Paul has also been published in Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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