Pit Box: Matt Hirschman Looks To Spoil Title Talk In Whelen Modified Tour Event At Oswego

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Matt Hirschman (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Eleven down, five to go.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Oswego Speedway on Saturday night, beginning a stretch of two races in two weeks, and four races in five weeks. The busiest point in the championship points schedule comes in crunch time — meaning one slip by a top contender could change the complexion of the season in the blink of an eye.

What better way to spend a Saturday night? Fans can watch Whelen Modified Tour action at the ‘Steel Palace,’ one of the most recognized tracks in the northeast, as part of their annual Classic weekend.

There are just five races remaining in the season, but some of the the talk heading into Saturday’s Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s might not be about the title chase.

Look out for Matt Hirschman.

The Northampton, Pennsylvania, driver might only have two tour starts this season, but that isn’t any indication to the speed he will likely unload with on Saturday. The last two times the series has been to the New York oval, Hirschman has qualified on the pole, finished second, and first. Out of a total 300 laps, he’s been at the front of the field for 256.

If anyone is going to end Doug Coby’s streak of success this season, it could be Hirschman. While Coby does lead the championship standings by 47 points over Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk, Oswego has also been a track where Coby’s shown enough speed to win. In three starts over the last three years, Coby’s worst finish at the .625-mile oval is fourth. He was victorious in the Whelen Modified Tour return to Oswego for the first time in over 25 years back in 2016 en route to one of his five series titles.

Bonsignore has seen similar luck. He’s finished no worse than sixth in his three at Oswego starts, including a second-place finish last year after leading 10 laps in the final stages. Silk, who joins Bonsignore as a driver that needs to gain ground quickly, only has one previous start at Oswego — a ninth-place effort back in 2016.

If you’re looking for a driver who will give you some consistency, Eric Goodale has two consecutive fifth-place finishes at the ‘Steel Palace’, and sits fifth in the championship standings with two months remaining.

Saturday’s racing card includes a 60-lap feature for the ISMA Supermodifieds, and the track will also hold racing events on Friday and Sunday.


PLACEOswego Speedway, Oswego, New York
DATESaturday, August 31
TIME7 p.m. ET
TELEVISIONNBCSN, Thursday, September 5, 6 p.m. — FansChoice.TV (Live Broadcast)
TRACK LAYOUT5/8 mile paved oval
2018 WINNERMatt Hirschman
2018 POLEMatt Hirschman
EVENT SCHEDULESaturday: Garage Opens: 10:45 a.m., First Practice: 1:35-2:10 p.m., Final Practice: 2:50-3:25 p.m., Group Qualifying: 5 p.m., Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s: 7 p.m.
TWITTER@OswegoSpeedway @NASCARHomeTrack
HASHTAG#ModClassic150, #NWMT



The starting field for the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s is 28 starters, including provisional positions. The first 22 drivers will secure starting positions through the qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.

NASCAR group qualifying is in place for this event. Qualifying order will be determined by each vehicle’s fastest single lap speed from the official practice session. The number of groups for qualifying will be determined by NASCAR. Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 22nd. Adjustment or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete. Once a vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete, the vehicle must proceed directly to the designated impound area once it enters pit road. Vehicles will proceed immediately to impound after making a qualifying attempt. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying/inspection. Vehicles must qualify on race set up.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.

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  1. Some purists get upset at Hirschman crashing the party when he runs up front. Most I suspect are more like myself enjoying seeing an invader muss up the cool guys hair.
    Coby is stout this year and Bonsignor only a tick off the 2 so a win would be kind of a huge deal.
    Added intrigue. Never a bad thing in racing.

  2. Make that a double header of intrigue as Amy Catalano joins the field. She still may not have the spec engine and it is possible she could get squeezed out again in theory with a poor qualifying effort. It is ROC country however and there would be hell to pay if she didn’t race.
    Hirschman and the entire Catalano clan. Come on man, this is going to be special.

  3. Crazy in NY says

    It is ROC country however and there would be hell to pay if she didn’t race.

    What exactly does this mean? Fake drama?…really?
    6 Prov spots?? is that a joke…. Oswego is THEE one place on the Tour where slow cars are truly dangerous.

  4. Rooting for money man Matt to spoil the show. He’s got the speed, and the talent, and it would be great to see him win.

  5. Ken Latham says

    Crazy If anyone is sloooow its the 01. Amy qualified at Stafford far faster, yet because of the provisional, the 01 gets in and Amy doesn’t. I get the provisional process, but I think they can and SHOULD put in a proviso, that states that a car to be placed in the field MUST be at least close to speed. The 01 got lapped by lap 10. thats ridiculous. She is NOT a racer. Just a rolling obstacle

  6. OMG Crazy, does that mean that the 01 has a shot to win? 😂😂😂😂

    Go Amy, get-er-done!

    MH, spoil the LFR parade with the Troyer in victory lane!

  7. Fast Eddie says

    I am hoping Amy gets to compete against her boys. I just think that would be pretty cool. I also think the Santos and Sapienza team is a win waiting to happen. May the mechanical gremlins stay away!

  8. How can Hirschman spoil a title?

    If Matt wins, the 2 and 51 will most likely be top right behind, and that ain’t gonna lose a title. The 2 does not get the bonus point for winning. BFD.

    The 2 needs a DNF at this point to spoil a title. The title is the 2’s to lose.

  9. How come only 29 cars????The 01 is dangerous everywhere.heard on another board that jimmy B broke his ankles after a door fell on him…can anyone confirm?

  10. Muddbus,
    Yes, Jimmy Blewett suffered some injuries after an accident unloading his car over the weekend. He will not be at Oswego.

  11. Oh dear. Get well soon.

  12. Oswego is unique isn’t it? A couple observations.
    In last years NWMT Oswego race IF I did my ciphers correctly I count 579 occasions that cars were lapped in the race excluding Chris Pasteryak. Of those Fifield accounted for 249 and Summers 204.
    The number no doubt includes cars lapped while getting serviced. Nonetheless it would be hard to argue that there is substantial lappaging going on under green conditions in this race or any NWMT race for that matter.
    Ironically Fifield had a pretty good race for her actually finishing it. More exception then the rule these days it seems. She actually had a good race in 01 terms completing 145 or 165 laps and finishing 20th.
    As for being lapped on a tricky track you could make the argument she’s become quite good at it. Were you a leader who would you rather come up on. Some guy usually competitive that may want to try to prevent going another lap down. Or Fifield, an expert at staying out of the way who’s singular goal is to finish the race and avoid being in one of Mr. Courchesne’s stories.
    If looks are intimidating Oswego sure has the look of an intimidator.. Bumpy with those metal plates everywhere. A big old oval where they average like 120 or so I think and never really get off the throttle fully like on tracks with straight aways. Does that make it more consistent and safer?

  13. Liz Cherokee says

    I’ll be there! Since we’ll be near New York’s wine region (they closed the Miller plant in Fulton 25 years ago, so the champagne of beers is out!), I’ll be enjoying some sangria as well as the races… I sure hope Mellisa does well in this race!

  14. How can a car get lapped 249 times in a 150 lap race?

  15. New math.

  16. Liz Cherokee says

    I find it so sad that you boys cannot see the forest for the trees sometimes… Bottoms up!

  17. Liz, Rob p. never saw “Back to the Future”, where the flux capacitor came from.

  18. Sorry Rob. Maybe using the term lapped is confusing. It’s those occasions where one car has to pass another under competition that is not for position and represents a non position risk. The first ten cars in last years Oswego race finished 2 laps ahead of the next three finishers in the race. That’s 30 times cars had to navigate an obstacle, not to gain track position but to merely proceed on in the race. The obstacles are not just one to the leader. It’s happening all over the track where cars are racing other cars on the same lap but each has to get by cars having complete few laps.
    It’s not new math at all. My only point is Fifield is mentioned endlessly for the risk she posses. All I’m saying is the passing aspect of racing where one car has to get by another that is not on the same lap happens 100’s of times a race. Putting the overall risk, that turns out to be minimal as it turns out, on any one car has no real validity as far as I can see.

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