Dominator: Matt Hirschman Wins New Smyrna Richie Evans Memorial; Jimmy Blewett Takes World Series Title

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory in the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Tour Type Modified feature Friday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

When the Tour Type Modified division hit the track Monday at New Smyrna Speedway for the first of five consecutive nights of racing at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Matt Hirschman had a very un-Matt Hirschman type night at the historic Florida venue.

Hirschman finished 12th in the opening night 50-lap feature thanks to a tire issue.

And then Hirschman took over ownership of the week.

Hirschman finished second in the division’s 35-lap feature Tuesday and then won the John Blewett III Memorial 76 on Wednesday. Thursday Hirschman dominated the division’s 35-lap feature.

Friday Hirschman completed the domination in, well, dominating fashion.

Hirschman went to the lead on lap three and went virtually unchallenged the rest of the way in winning the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Friday to close out the week for the Tour Type Modified division at the New Smyrna Speedway.

It was Hirschman’s fourth consecutive victory in the Richie Evans Memorial 100 and his record sixth victory overall in nine starts in the event. Hirschman had been tied with the late Ted Christopher for most Richie Evans Memorial victories before Friday.

The dominating week of action at New Smyrna for Hirschman also included a victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opening event on Saturday.

“[My team] did a great job all week,” Hirschman said. “This PeeDee Motorsports car and team, I couldn’t ask for any more really. It’s exactly what I wanted to have in the car. Everybody did a great job all week. The only flaw we had was a tire going flat on Monday night. There’s nobody here that could control that. One of our best weeks, maybe the best week we’ve ever had. … Just amazing. What a week. I love coming here. I love speedweeks. I love this race track. I hope to do this for years to come.”

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., ended up as the only multi-time winner over five Tour Type Modified features for the World Series at New Smyrna. Craig Lutz won the division opener on Monday and Ron Silk won Tuesday’s feature.

Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. was second and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was third.

Blewett completed a week of five podium finishes that carried him to the division championship. Blewett had four second place finishes and a third place (Tuesday) to capture the division title with 288 points.

“I felt this morning like I was racing for everybody in the racing community to try to beat Matt,” Blewett said. “Matt is a great guy, great person on and off the track, but it’s not an easy feat to beat him. So for me, I felt like I was doing it for everyone.”

Jimmy Blewett celebrates the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Tour Type Modified division championship at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Hirschman finished second in the standings, 12 points behind Blewett.

Blewett drove the week for team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr.

“I just stayed focus,” Blewett said. “All I really had to do this week was just drive the car and give [Baldwin] as much information as possible,” Blewett said. “Back home, or anything I do myself, it’s just constant work and I can’t really focus 100 percent on driving the car because I’m focusing so much on working on it. So that took a huge weight off my shoulders and I could go to bed each night focusing on what I could tell Tommy and the guys back in the pits to get the car better for myself.

“Obviously we wanted to win. … but the championship was the big picture. We were looking at the big picture the whole week. Even though we didn’t win a race, we a won a championship. And it means something me to do it against a guy like Matt Hirschman.”

Teddy Hodgdon IV of Danbury, who was making his first visit to the World Series turned heads all week with his solid showings and ended up third in the standings after a fourth place finish Friday. Hodgdon finished the week with 248 points, 40 points behind Blewett.

Silk, who was eighth Friday, ended up with 242 points to edge Emerling (240 points) for fourth in the final standings.

Hirschman started fourth in Friday’s feature but wasted no time blasting to the front.

Bryan Narducci passed pole sitter Tyler Rypkema for the lead on the opening lap. On lap three Hirschman got by Narducci for the lead into turn three. Blewett quickly followed to second and Ron Silk to third.

Narducci, who was making his first start of the week in a Baldwin owned backup car, ended up 10th.


  1. Reminds Me Of Bobby Stefanik In 1973. Never Won A Race At ‘The Park”. Consistency Got Him The Championship.

  2. How does Hirschman stay away from the Sizzler with a chance to make the SRX race and finally get the attention he deserves from a national audience?
    That aside the final standing for the week just show how competitive tour mods can be.
    Both Blewett and the 7ny known to be inconsistent at times showed ideal consistency to take the championship.
    Who would have picked Teddy Hodgdon third in his tour mod debut in his own car.
    The Jensen 179 has been fast at times but struggled to be consistent in races. Kopcik and the team definitely making inroads on that score finishing 7th.
    Joey Coulter who? 8th place for the week that’s who.
    We’ve learned that the 82 has definitely made a jump in performance with the new team configuration and driver. The 16 got a win but might be a little disappointed they couldn’t find that little bit needed to compete with the 60 as the week wore on.
    Krause, Spencer Davis exceeded expectations as did Mike Christopher in the PSR entry.
    Stafford SK drivers made up 25% of the top 15, a pretty good showing for the younger drivers.
    Super Late Models tonight and our man Preece so it ain’t over.

  3. Really, my only disappointment of the week was the tour race. Not because the race was bad, but because I was hopeful that both the 51 and 60 would do their usual great setups as the race progressed. Sadly, that never materialized and I’m still left to wonder, how that would have turned out if it came to be.

  4. Well, as a preseason season goes, it was pretty much as could be expected. Most names ended up on top, a couple didn’t, and there are some high potentials. Although, I am rather underwhelmed with the Moran-Silk pairing at this time.

    Hirschman was a given.

    Definitely liked the way Lutz was running, very strong. Needs to be consistent. Car looked good, could be better.

    Krause had some very good runs, if he can get consistent, he can be a contender.

    Tommy Baldwin wins for controlling Blewett and keeping him focused. Also, TBR had a good showing in that the cars made it to the end and didn’t suffer from prep deficiencies. This could be a good sign for TBR.

    The NSS track is very abrasive, and tire managing/conserving experts prevail.

  5. Stuart A Fearn says

    How about Teddy Hodgdon? Kid showed a lot of talent, poise, skill, intelligence, and overall capability this last week. I don’t think enough has been said or noted about the Hodgdon family accomplishment to be honest.
    First off, raced all week with no wrecks, that’s the first thing to be noted. Secondly, the long run consistency was pretty damn good for the newbie with 600 HP under the foot. Of course it starts with initial balance and speed in the car to start with. When you have that initial crucial piece all the others become possible. Building on that initial speed is not easy though. How many times have you seen someone win the pole then dial the car right out into the parking lot and be terrible when the feature comes rolling around? That did not happen. In the 76 lapper he faded at the end but that’s about the worst of it. Overall I’m very impressed with the driver feedback to crew to adjustment loop that was most certainly very effective.
    Congratulations to that team on the most successful speed weeks that I saw all week. Hirshman everyone expected to win, Tom Baldwin is a cup guy who’s won the Daytona 500, if anything his stuff underperformed. I say Hodgdon biggest overperform, or surprise to the upside, Hirshman most successful (obviously) might be a better way to state it.

  6. Stuart brings up a good point👍🏻. The fact that Hodgdon did so in a family car with no tour modified history makes what they did even more impressive. In the super late models there were several teenagers running well with VERY established and well funded teams, that was not the case here. Congratulations to the entire Hodgdon team for a great week. Hope you continue to do well the rest of the year.

  7. Anyone interested in joining in a trip into the weeds on Teddy Hodgdon.
    With so many young drivers motivated to race because of family history in the sport there may be history there but I can’t find it. What is clear is the Hodgdon from the time he was a nipper has been racing something. Karts, legends, SK Mod, SK’s and now a tour mod. What’s also clear is that he seems to be perpetually on an upward trajectory in whatever series he’s racing in with the possible exception of his second year in the SK’s.
    If you’re thinking this is a grass roots deal with Ted and various relatives stitching together a competitive car with merely a plucky attitude and the sweat of their brows that does not appear to be the case at all.
    Hard to say about the ownership listings since sometimes they’re recognition of support more then strict ownership. Suffice to say the listed owners Peter Matton and Christopher Garcia are people of substance more noted for their finance related resumes then ability to turn a wrench. Dedicated sponsor Montanari Fuel about as good as sponsors get. Not a KRR car but using KRR’s services and packing Pettit power. Perhaps one of those Dart steel head engines Rocco has found open success using. Add it all up and this so called family operation is more an extended circle of partners located in a well healed part of the state dedicated to giving Hodgdon everything he needs to be successful. Question is does he deserve all that loyalty.
    Short answer is a resounding yes. If memory serves he got an advanced degree early. Just look and listen to him. Good looking young man. Steady, strategic thinker, well spoken and charismatic. Why wouldn’t people gravitate to such a motivated and talented person with a bright future.
    I suppose his performance at New Smyrna was a surprise but if we were paying attention we might have seen it coming or at least entertained the notion. I know the backgrounds are completely different but Hodgdon reminds me of Hirschman. That singular focus in winning while shutting out all the emotional distractions that can get in the way.
    Is driving the Avery SK this year a real opportunity? I’m thinking no it may very well end up being more of a learning experience. The thing to watch will be the open car. If it can duplicate the New Smyrna results Ted’s racing career may lean more toward that of Chase Dowling with the primary focus on tour mod opens.
    Did TBR underperform at New Smyrna? I’m not seeing it. The record showed a second with Christopher in the NWMT race. Followed by second, third, second, second and second in the open races. The 7ny never off the podium all week and in the World Series record books as the champion. Both Christopher and Blewett basking in a great deal of fan accolades.

  8. Doug, MCJ finished 3rd in the WMT race not second.

    TBR off to a strong start in 2022. Looking forward to seeing what’s next.

  9. Absolutely correct and thank you for the correction. The sad part is I checked it a couple times not want to mess up, saw it was third and still got it wrong.

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