11th Drift Evergreen, $15.00
12th Drift Evergreen, $15.00
19th Tour Modifieds, Street Stocks, 4cyl, Factory Stocks. Cones Races for SS, 4cyl, $16.00 "Fairway Day"
Matt Hirschman completes weekend sweep with victory at Evergreen Raceway
(St. Johns, Pa., 6-28-20) Matt Hirschman had a long and hectic weekend but it paid dividends as he made bookends of the state of Pennsylvania, winning Saturday night at Lake Erie Speedway in Erie for the season opener on the Sunoco Race of Champions Tour and afterwards drove across the Keystone State to Evergreen Raceway in St. Johns where he pulled off another victory in less than 12 hours.
Hirschman thrusted by Austin Beers on the second try of a lap 61 restart and then held off fast charging Zane Zeiner for his 34th career Modified win at Evergreen.
“It’s just good to be back racing and this wasn’t easy to do with the distance between here and Erie and I really need to thank my guys. Some did both, some did yesterday and some today but it was a total team effort and I appreciate all the hours and miles on the road they put in,” said Hirschman after scoring his second 75-lap verdict of the weekend.
All total Hirschman and Company put in 12 hours and 772 miles of driving back and forth between his Northampton home, Erie and St. Johns. They left Erie Speedway a little past midnight, went back to the shop, adjusted the car and then headed off to Evergreen.
This was the first Modified race of the season at Evergreen and when the 20-car starting field came to the race commencing green it was pole sitter Chuck Hossfeld in Tom Wanick’s No. 1W shooting out front over Jack Ely, Austin Beers and Earl Paules.
As Hossfeld led and had Ely two car lengths back, Beers and New Jersey invader Jimmy Blewett where waging a torrid side-by-side dual, a fight that eventually went to Beers by lap 10. Beers then began the same fight with his teammate Ely within the next two laps, finally advancing to second with 15 circuits complete.
While Hossfeld still showed the way Beers was making headway and just as he did with Blewett and Ely, he quickly caught the leader and made it yet another exciting double wide battle. His efforts were compensated with 16 laps complete as he executed a clean outside pass on Hossfeld.
Once in front Beers began to slowly distance himself from the pack but the move would in due course be his demise. As the race went non-stop from laps 21 to 61 it took a toll on his tires.
“I told my dad (crew chief Eric Beers) before the race that I wanted to get out front early because I felt my car was better out there. So when I led those laps I was also trying to save as much as I could but by be then the right front (tire) was going away,” said Beers, who like Hirschman, also did the nearly 800 mile trek between Lake Erie and Evergreen Speedways.
“The right front was going away from racing hard on the top and that’s what eventually backed us up.”
When the action halted for a spin by Ron Silk, Beers now had Hirschman flanked alongside him for the restart. The first try at going back to green was negated as officials called out Hirschman for jumping the start. The second try, however, was textbook for the standout star as he used the outside lane to make his race winning move, completing the pass off Turn 2.
As the laps began to tick down Zeiner, driving in just his second race for car owner Billy Ray Pruitt, had powered his way up to second but from there could not mount a challenge on Hirschman, even with a last chance restart two laps from the finish.
“Matt (Hirschman) can fire off on the restarts a little bit better than us but I’m not sure if he was playing with us there when we went on the long green stretch. It seemed like towards the end I could keep digging but passing him was going to be a different story,” expressed Zeiner.
“We had our car set-up for a long run and it was good but we’re still missing a little bit to beat that 60 car.”
Beers held on for third. Blewett made his first Evergreen start a hard earned fourth while Ely was very solid all race long and took a respectable fifth.
During the 40-lap green flag stint Hirschman had been picking his way towards the front. He had already been in the top five by lap 19. With 42 laps complete has was zeroed in on runner-up Ely and the next time by would go low in Turn 2 in gaining the runner-up spot. Afterwards he was using each passing lap to reel in Beers.
“I was only inching in on him (Beers) on that long run. So the restart helped me for sure but there was still laps to go,” explained Hirschman.
“It was fun that way to have green flag racing like that and a good long run and to make passes without having to worry about the next restart. It was good clean racing with Austin and Zane and with Jimmy Blewett and Jack Ely before that.”
Bobby Jones parleyed his pole starting spot into a victory in the Evergreen (Sport) Mod 35-lap feature.
But, despite the prime starting position, Jones was in a defensive mode the entire distance as early on he had Nick Baer and Paul Hartwig, Jr., battling intensely for second while applying all kinds of pressure.
Baer’s great run unfortunately came to a grinding halt mid-race when he got banged from behind and slammed hard into the back stretch Armco.
When the action resumed Jones had to continuously fend of Hartwig who several times gave him his bumper. But Jones would not waver and held on for his first Evergreen win since 2012.
“We were really good and had a good solid car and we just had to keep it going, said Jones, who drove the Paul French, Sr., No. 12 to his ninth Evergreen win and 46th overall.
“I was being razzed on restarts and he (Hartwig) was trying to do what he had to get by me but as I said the car was good and it stuck real good.”
Two-time and defending Street Stock champion Broc Brown is off to a rousing start as he recorded his second straight win in as many weeks.
Brian Halecki was the early leader over Jason Harman but in the latter half of the 30-lapper Brown did what he been doing best over the past few seasons, take control.
He proved yet again that once in front he maked certain of staying there, although Harman continues to be his top opponent. This time, though, Brown was on his A-game as he claimed a two-plus second margin of victory, his 11th with a Street Stock and 17th overall in the past four years.
In the 4-Cylinder Stocks Dan Cascioli grabbed the lead over Harry O’Neill after 8 laps and then held back his persistent determination for the win, his first with the class but fifth different division of winning a feature.
Paulie Hartwig III led every lap of the Jr. 4-Cylinder Stocks, fending Micah Adams for most of the way. At 9-years old Hartwig, son of Evergreen Modified ace Paul Hartwig, earned his career first win with a stock car. In doing so made track history, becoming the youngest driver to win a main event in a stock car.
Modified Feature Finish (75-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Austin Beers, 4. Jimmy Blewett, 5. Jack Ely, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Roger Coss, 8. Ton Silk, 9. Chris Turbush, 10. Johnathan Mandato, 11. Ricky Ross, Jr., 12. Anthony Sesely, 13. Chuck Hossfeld, 14. Brandon Oltra, 15. Dom Fattaruso, 16. Bobby Jones, 17. Joey Merlino, 18. Brian DeFebo, 19. Austin Kochenash, 20. Lou Strohl DNQ: Brian Sones, Blake Barney, Jim Gavek, Ricky Collins
Evergreen Modified Feature Finish (33-laps) 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Paul Hartwig Jr. 3. Neil Rutt III, 4. Sean Verwys, 5. Carsten DiGiantomasso, 6. Brian Rygielski, 7. Stephen Coleman, 8. Travis Spalding, 9. Gunner Zeiner, 10. Earl Paules, 11. Matt Brode, 12. Peter Lattanzio, 13. Nick Baer, 14. Mike Rising
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Broc Brown, 2. Jason Harman, 3. Johnny Bennett, 4. Mikey Pollack, 5. Dan Pawlicki, 6. Scott Adams, 7. Jay Gould, 8. Brandon Christman, 9. Brian Halecki, 10. Steve Tito, 11. Nick Pollack, 12. Kadie Pursell, 13. Thomas Flanagan, 14. Cody Geist, 15. Ken Erney, 16. Bobby Kibler Jr., 17. Rich Pacioti, 18. Gordon Buchman
4-Cylinder Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. 4-Cylinder Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Dan Cascioli, 2. Harry O’Neill, 3. Jay Kanor, 4. Ray Kochin, 5. Zeb Farber, 6. Rebecca Barbush, 7. Frank Hughes, 8. Nate Marsico, 9. Steve Kreitzer, 10. Kyle Troch, 11. Doug DeHaven, 12. John Petro, 13. Paulie Hartwig III, 14. Micah Adams, 15. Bob Davadovitch, 16. Shane Troutman, 17. Mackenzie Adams, 18. Nicholas Kerstetter, 19. Jasper Zeigafuse, 20.Tyler Schmeltzle DNS: Destinee Arnold, Tom Cavagnino
Jr. 4-Cylinder Stock Feature Finish (13-laps) 1. Paulie Hartwig III, 2. Micah Adams, 3. Elia Tito, 4. Jaden Brown, 5. Mia Guy DNS: Caitlyn Makarewicz
Please read your division rules carefully as there are changes for 2020!