Power Play: Matt Hirschman Feeling Squeezed By Motor Rules At New Smyrna World Series

Matt Hirschman at New Smryna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Late last month, Modified racing veteran Matt Hirschman was asked to analyze why he thought the roster was overflowing with names for the Tour Type Modified division at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in 2021. 

Hirschman credited a years in the making development of a leveled playing field in tech at the World Series as being part of why numbers in the division have been sharply on the rise in recent years. 

“Going back a few years when the car count was, you could say on life support down there, Ricky Brooks got control of the Modifieds down there and really cleaned some things up,” Hirschman, the 2020 Tour Type Modified division New Smyrna World Series champion told RaceDayCT. “… I think in recent years – and I’ve been a part of some of the excellent racing that’s gone on down there and some close finishes – I really think that both racers and fans are really high on the product that the Modifieds put out down there. And I think everybody kind of wants in is the best way I can describe it.”

After two nights of a scheduled five consecutive nights of racing for the Tour Type Modified division, Hirschman was sending up warning flags of concern for the direction the rules are going for the division. 

After a second place finish in the 50-lap opener for the Tour Type Modified division Monday, Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., was third on Tuesday night. 

Following the race Tuesday he voiced his displeasure about feeling down on horsepower and at a disadvantage running a SPEC motor vs. teams with traditional built motors. 

“I’m feeling they need to split the class into two different motor categories,” Hirschman said Tuesday after finishing behind winner Patrick Emerling and second place Eric Goodale. “I’m leading a different class than what them other guys are in. I’m driving my A-S-S off through the corners and you just watch a guy walk over a whole car length on the straightaway. [Video] is going to show very obviously what’s happening.

“You’ve got to get it under control because we’re going down the wrong path. We’ve built up too much positive momentum with the Tour Type Modifieds and I think we’re going to take some steps back if we don’t get it right.” 

The Tour Type Modified division is back in action tonight at New Smyrna Speedway for the running of the John Blewett III Memorial 76.


  1. Boo hoo hoo Mat, cry me a river. What’s the matter, your not the top dog anymore? Did you pick the wrong engine package to go south with? Sounds to me like you did not do your homework and others did.

  2. Shawn, any chance your crew can do a survey and report what engine every car is using?

    This could be fun!!! 🤩

  3. The Atomic Punk says

    The only motor is a Built motor. Hutter Power Baby.

  4. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Didn’t he complain about the same thing last year? Just stick to the bullrings then.

  5. crazy larry says

    #60 good tech does that!! Buy a crying towel, Your game is over. you had a push no?

  6. Who will win the week long championship?
    Don’t know but it will probably come down to Lutz and Hirschman. Lutz has grown as a driver. A more strategic driver and strategically aggressive when he has to be.
    Is the “jog” a thing? Coming out of 4 on the start and giving the outside car a little jog to distract him. Or is it slight pull on the wheel while shifting. Gonna keep an eye on Lutz tonight for the jog.

  7. Not a fan of Matt’s at all and the way he said it made him look like a sore loser but he has a point. I watched the race again just watching Matt’s car and his car was so fast in the middle of the corners and off the corner but would consistently get pulled buy multiple car lengths down the straight. I’m assuming that Lutz,Goodale and Emerging are running built motors with that observation because if any of them are running a spec it blows Matt’s theory up. Maybe a little tweeking of the gears and weights would be a more reasonable answer than separate races.

  8. Stephen J Jesus says

    Lost all respect for him Thursday night when faced with second place he decided to push Mckennedy out of the way and take first. Dirty, cheating driving. Great example for the young kids watching. Shame on him.

  9. Wow, excellent observations.

    > SPEC motor cars have a lower center of gravity that enables them to corner better and faster. Cars that go around the turns like oil tankers, compared to SPEC motor cars, are probably built motor cars. The 6 and 51 were the first cars to run the SPEC, and at a race at Thompson, they shredded the field in the turns, making the rest of the field look like traffic cones. Keep in mind that some cars might have missed the setup, and a SPEC might run like a built in the turns.

    > SPEC motors are a little weak on low RPM torque, a slight disadvantage on exit. That is why the built motors usually win the drag races. It is also why the SPEC motors prefer a high line on restarts, to keep engine RPM up. Look on restarts, the P1 car chooses the outside line because it can carry higher RPM.

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