WATERFORD – Scoring big purses across the landscape of Modified racing has become the calling card over the last few years for Matt Hirschman.
But for all his victories and inflated paydays, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl had proved a place of frustrations for the Northampton, Pa. driver.
Sunday at the shoreline oval Hirschman put those frustrations in the rear view, like his competition on the day.
Hirschman won the 65-lap NorthEast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series feature at the Bemers Big Show Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
It was the first career victory at the Speebdowl for Hirschman, who has competed at the track previously in multiple Tour Type Modified divisions and SK Modifieds.
“I’m really happy about this because I’ve been coming here a long time,” Hirschman said. “Not a lot of times, but I’ve been coming here for over 10 years probably and finished second in SK [Modifieds] and Tour [Type Modifieds], but never won here. It’s a track that I immediately adapted to and then ran well at, I just never found victory lane here. The last two years with the Tri-Track [Open Modified Series] coming back here has given me a few opportunities. And we’ve been close, but not quite. It all came together here today.”
Hirschman collected $5,000 for the victory. Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third. Hirschman also won the series championship.
Hirschman started fifth in the field. He took the lead from Jeffrey Gallup on lap 21 and never trailed again.
“I had a car that really fired at the beginning of the race,” Hirscman said. “I’ve got to thank my guys. My dad did an awesome job rebuilding this car and putting this car together.”
Hinckley moved past Mike Holdridge for second on a restart with 19 laps remaining, but never got a chance to mount a challenge to Hirschman out front.
“We caught him there and then we just got a tick free on the long run coming from the back,” said Hinckley, who started 10th in the 26-car field. “… I kind of used it up. Maybe a late race restart, you never know.”