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World Series of Asphalt

Matt Hirschman Wins Again, Frustrates Patrick Emerling

Tension is starting to boil over between the top contenders

The pursuit of World Series of Asphalt perfection continued on Thursday at New Snyrna Speedway for Matt Hirschman, but not without a degree of drama.

That’s because the pursuit of Hirschman is leaving Patrick Emerling feeling a little chapped as they have finished first and second in literally every race this week. Hirschman led every lap from the pole, but it wasn’t until a caution and restart on Lap 40 that the budding rivalry reached a stir.

Recall that on Wednesday, Emerling and Hirschman connected for a near incident that could have put the streak in jeopardy, until an unrelated caution reset the running order. On Thursday, the first restart was called off by the tower and the second saw Emerling get pinched in the wall.

Hirschman led the final 10 laps and said that Emerling left him little choice after Wednesday.

“I obviously couldn’t trust him after last night to take the top like you normally would, ” said Hirschman on the FloRacing broadcast. “I took the bottom and he was into my side the whole way down the straightaway, so I couldn’t even turn my car to the left until I got to the corner.

“I don’t want to race that way, but we as a team don’t even know what he’s talking about last night, that he owed me that and more. He wasn’t even turning his wheel left in the middle of the corner. I ended up in Pat’s Clam Stand last night, so it wasn’t happening tonight.”

Hirschman said he didn’t know what Emerling was talking about when it was suggested that he owed him. Emerling had no problem reminding him in his own FloRacing interview.

“It would be Spencer Speedway,” Emerling said, of an incident last year between the two at the New York short track. “He knows that. I don’t know if his memory is that short. I don’t know if he has memory problems. There’s a few little things there. And also like little things, like he’ll have a car that’s two-tenths faster than mine and just drive into me in the middle of a straight-away. Stuff like that. Running into you on restarts.”

Emerling also cited a Lap 21 restart on Thursday where he accused the multi-time champion and points leader of a slower restart that caused several cars to spin before reaching the start-finish line.

“His restart tactics, wrecking probably three or four cars there on one of the last restarts,” Emerling said. “Just stuff like that. A lot of the competitors just get a little bit annoyed. His car is fast enough where he doesn’t have to do that. Stuff like that just irritates people.”

Hirschman has now won seven consecutive World Series of Asphalt dating back to last season. That breaks a record previously held by Richie Evans and Reggie Ruggiero. His fourth straight win to open the World Series of Asphalt this year ties him for the feat with Evans.

The Tour Type Modified World Series of Asphalt concludes on Friday night with Richie Evans Memorial 100.

World Series of Asphalt Race 4
New Smyrna Speedway
February 16 2022

  1. Matt Hirschman
  2. Patrick Emerling
  3. Teddy Hodgdon
  4. Jimmy Blewett
  5. Eric Goodale
  6. Anthony Nocella
  7. Joey Coulter
  8. Tyler Rypkema
  9. Spencer Davis
  10. Dillon Steuer
  11. Justin Brown
  12. Eddie McCarthy
  13. Andrew Krause
  14. Brett Meservey
  15. J.R. Bertuccio
  16. Brian Robie
  17. Amy Catalano
  18. Tom Martino, Jr.
  19. Michael Rutkoski
  20. Norman Newman
  21. Craig Lutz
  22. Chris Hatton
  23. Ronnie Williams
  24. Anthony Bello
  25. Burt Myers
  26. Caleb Heady
  27. Tommy Catalano
  28. Nicholas Halkowicz
  29. Rich Parker

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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