Rally Time: Matt Hirschman Wins John Blewett III Memorial Tour Type Mod Feature At New Smyrna

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory with his family Wednesday at New Smryna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

NEW SMYRNA, FLA. – Matt Hirschman can be kept quiet only for so long at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

Wednesday the Northampton, Pa. driver showed that even nearly destroying a car isn’t enough to keep him out of the mix at New Smyrna. 

Hirschman, the 2018 Tour Type Modified champion at the New Smyrna World Series, used a late charge to the lead to get his first victory of the week at New Smyrna Wednesday 

Hirschman drove away from the field in the late stages to win the John Blewett III Memorial 76 at New Smyrna Speedway. 

Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. was second and Dave Sapienza of Riverhead, N.Y. third. 

It was the second consecutive year that Hirschman has won the John Blewett III Memorial. 

“I love this race,” Hirschman said. “I really like the longer race here. Guys have different strategies, pitting and different things. It worked out.” 

Hirschman rallied back from a bad wreck on Tuesday after a third place finish on opening night for the Tour Type division on Monday. 

“After last night we really had to work hard,” Hirschman said. “Initially I thought we were done for the week. Usually you don’t bring out a welder and a grinder and all that stuff at a race track. But we came here to race. Luckily it wasn’t too bad that we were able to fix it. These guys worked hard. I know we’re all tired. We’re going to go on adrenaline here to celebrate this for a little bit. But we’re definitely worn out. We worked hard the last few days. Hopefully we can finish this week strong.” 

Hirschman started on the pole, but it was Preece moving past him for the lead at the start, with Doug Coby quickly moving to second from the fourth starting spot. Coby then went by Preece to take over the top spot on lap two. 

Coby looked dominant early before the first caution flew on lap 25. On the restart it was Preece easily moving by Coby for the lead with Hirschman going to second and the field behind them quickly following to drop Coby to eighth. 

When the caution flew again on lap 37 it was Coby – the winner Monday on opening night of the World Series and the third place finisher Tuesday – heading to the pits for adjustments. 

Coby was back in the pits again when caution flew on lap 46.

After stalking Ryan Preece for most of the middle portion of the event, Hirschman got by Preece for the lead on a lap 61 restart and never trailed again. 

Sapienza came from the 14thstarting spot to finish third. 

“I don’t really time trial well, but I can race a car,” Sapienza said. “So we pretty much time trialed with a race setup and they told me it would be good.”

Coby, who won on opening night Monday and was third Tuesday, ended up rallying for a fourth place Wednesday. Jimmy Zacharias was fifth.

Preece, who won the 35-lap event on Tuesday at New Smyrna, ended up ninth. 

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  1. Congrats to ” Big Money” Matt Hirshman and his team. To come back from a hard wreck, and end up in victory lane says it all. For those keeping count: LFR 1, TROYER 1, CD 1. with Preece done for the week it will be TROYER VS. LFR, Unless Ed has another driver for the 6. Very competitive week so far, picking Coby for champion.

  2. Just before Speedweeks Tommy Baldwin Racing and Catalano Motorsports did some testing with the data collected shared with Troyer according to Troyer. It appears to be bearing fruit. Tommy Catalano has clearly jumped in performance. Although his continued attempts to pass Hirschman low while burning up his tires was perplexing. Mom Amy on the other hand just the model of consistency on her way to yet another sterling finish in 6th place.
    It was Groundhog Day, the movie last night. Same result in the same race as last year. Preece the rabbit while Hirschman the turtle is laddering low friction laps and in the end never garnering better then the 4th fastest lap time. The rabbit burns up his tires and the turtle jaunts to a convincing win. Good thing there was no really late caution with Hossfeld second. The turtle may have had some competition.
    The most impressive in my view was Coby. How he makes multiple adjustments and keeps his rubber in tact charging through the field to capture a forth was the slick move of the night. Sapienza in his LFR was impressive as well coming from 14th to 3rd..
    Timmy Solomito, The Natural? Since Thompson last year more like snake bit. Hope he can turn it around starting tonight.

  3. Though you could not put on a new tire, you could swap tires front to back. I know it helped Hossfeld. Coby might have done the same thing. I think Coby bringing out the caution (intentionally???) may have helped him too.

  4. Great week of racing thus far. I’d like to see them add a sixth night again in 2020 if car counts are going be this good.

    Anyone see where Preece signed on with Kevin Harvick Management Group. Kind of an business agent group. Probably not a bad idea. Kevin has a lot of drivers under that umbrella.

  5. It’s funny how some people say hirshman is a short track guy that track is not small and once again the night before preece said have to save my stuff and he did not.

  6. JD,
    Preece has been under the KHI Management umbrella going back to 2017.

  7. Was Hirshman driving a new TROYER TA3?

  8. where are the Myers?

  9. Was Preece’s fade caused by tire wear, or did he have another problem?

  10. Crazy in NY says

    Pee Dee has a new body. Same chassis as last year. Yes MH is JUST a short track specialist he doesn’t excel on the big tracks. ( right Dareal?)

  11. Crazy good to see you went right to the top racing guru for your answer, it should be a good one like always

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