Matt Hirschman Wins John Blewett III Memorial Tour Type Modified Feature At New Smyrna

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory following the John Blewett III Memorial event Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Tuesday night during Tour Type Modified feature racing at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway it was Matt Hirschman left watching Ryan Preece pull away late to victory.

Wednesday the tables got turned.

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., used a bold restart pass late to overtake Preece for the lead and went on to victory in the 76-lap John Blewett III Memorial Tour Type Modified feature at New Smyrna Speedway Wednesday.

“I’ve never won this race,” Hirschman said. “Always wanted to win this one. Sometimes you don’t realize how young John died and what he would have accomplished still in his career as good as he was. I was just getting to the point where we were probably going to battle for a lot of wins. … We’ve won the [Richie Evans Memorial at New Smyrna] before. It’s great to win this one now.”

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was second and Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. third.

Preece, of Berlin, ended up fourth.

It was the second career victory at New Smyrna Speedway for Hirschman, who held on to finish second to Preece on Tuesday. He was the third different winner in three nights of Tour Type Modified action at the New Smyrna World Series. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. won Monday night’s Tour Type Modified feature at New Smyrna.

Preece went by Timmy Solomito for the lead on a lap 32 restart.

Emerling used a lap 55 restart to overtake Preece for the top spot, but Preece grabbed the lead back on a lap 60 restart, with Hirschman following him to second.

On lap 64 Hirschman used a diving move in turn two to get under Preece and grab a lead he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

“A lot of the restarts didn’t work out in our favor,” Emerling said. “… Strategy didn’t really play out for us. Matt had a little bit more tire at the end.”

Lutz used a late pass to overtake Preece for third.

“It feels awesome,” Lutz said. “Definitely a confidence booster.”


  1. Living in FL, my only race of the year and aside from the Waterford like weather it was a Good night of racing. Ryan was strong for the race, but restarts did not help him.Great car counts for the Mods, better than the Super Late Models; but where are all the New England modifieds? 90% of the field from outside of New England..

    Also, shout to Derek Griffin from PASS/Granite State Pro Stocks for his 3rd place finish in the SLM race

  2. darealgoodfella says

    Sure hope cars get repaired and a few more show up.

    Looks like the 6 got some less than best tires, that car should have been able to last much longer than that. It was fast, tires didn’t hold out.

    Good racing, thanks to FANSCHOICE.TV for the coverage, and RACEDAYCT.COM for the live coverage.

  3. Hirschman, ya I get it now. He paces himself knocking off cars when he can. Almost appears like he’s having a mediocre night. But surgically he is making his way to the front while conserving his tires. Meanwhile Preece and Emerling are burning off their rubber racing hard as the cat sits back and stalks his prey. In the end it wasn’t even a fair fight and Emerling said as much in the post race interview.
    Accolades to Lutz and the ROC teams that had a very good night.

  4. why no mckennedy and/or the 7ny last night?

  5. Great racing going on in Fl this season. The LM racing has improved a ton. Might see more northerners down there next year after this. Same teams running up front it seems. With exception of the 58, the teams that were up front last year are still there. The 46 has a great run which is good to see. All in all a great series so far.

  6. McKennedy got caught up in a wreck on Tuesday night. Baldwin thought the damage was not worth fixing so they elected to drop out of the rest of the World Series. Except the engine. Baldwin is letting and helping install the 7NY engine in Blewett’s car that had engine issues. We shall see the 179 tonight in the 35 lapper hopefully that is the second race scheduled. Tomorrow is the big Richie Evans 100 lap memorial and that goes off as the first event. I hope I got all that right.

  7. 58 is P1 now. Loaded up their Spafco car after it wouldn’t run. That’s not gonna help Spafco sales. This is their Troyer car. LFR car is P2. They need to go back to work it looks like.

  8. I would love to see McKennedy race that LFR car. He told my buddy that he would win every night in that car. Said it was better forward drive than the car he won with.

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