To The Front: Matt Hirschman Wins John Blewett III Memorial Tour Type Mod Feature At New Smyrna World Series

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory in the John Blewett III Memorial 76 Tour Type Modified division feature Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

It’s an event in memory of John Blewett III, but one Matt Hirschman has virtually taken ownership of.

Hirschman came into Wednesday’s John Blewett III Memorial event at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway with two career victories in the event and five consecutive top-two finishes.

And his domination only continued. Hirschman went by Jimmy Blewett for the lead on lap 33 and went virtually unchallenged out front the rest of the way to win the John Blewett III Memorial 76 at New Smyrna.

“This win is special because I raced with John,” Hirschman said. “The [Richie Evans Memorial on Friday] is a huge deal, but I raced with John and I was in the race the night John was killed at Thompson [Speedway]. It would be fitting for Jimmy [Blewett] to win this race at some point. But we were the class of the field, there’s no doubt about it. He kept me honest, but we had just a little bit more late. We were able to distance and pull away. The Blewett Family, obviously thinking of them.”

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., became the first driver in World Series history to win the event three times. He also won in 2018 and 2019. He had second place finishes in 2017, 2020 and 2021.

“It’s been really a great ride,” Hirschman said. “Actually tonight was my 200th career win, so there’s a lot of people that have helped make that possible over 20 years. I really appreciate everybody that’s been involved from the beginning until now.”

It was the third of five consecutive nights for the Tour Type Modified division at the New Smyrna World Series. Craig Lutz won the 50-lap opner on Monday and Ron Silk was victorious in Tuesday’s 35-lap feature. The division will run a 35-lap feature Thursday before closing the week with the Richie Evans Memorial 100 on Friday.

Hirschman also won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New Smyrna on Saturday. A faulty tire relegated him to a 12th place finish in the first Tour Type Modified event on Monday. He was second on Tuesday.

“We got the big one’s so far,” Hirschman said. “We’ve got one more ahead of us.”

Jimmy Blewett, of Howell, N.J., was second and Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. third.

It was the third podium finish in three Tour Type Modified events this week for Blewett. He was second on Monday and third on Tuesday.

“Once again we’re here with another podium finish,” Blewett said. “I’ll take a second place. Obviously want to win this one more than anything. Like I said every year, I finish second in all of my brother’s memorial races. We’ll keep coming back and trying.

“I’m very thankful – and I know I’m speaking on my family’s behalf for everybody back home – that they’re continuing to keep my brother’s legacy alive. My brother lived a short life, he was only 33 years old when he lost his life. To see the turnout, the people and the car count that comes year in and year out to show the support not only to my family but to our motorsports family as well. I just want to thank everybody back home that tuned in to watch the race. We’ll never forget John and we’ll keep coming back as many times as it takes.”

Lutz got back on the podium after a fifth place run on Tuesday.

“It’s a good run,” Lutz said. “Anytime you can finish on the podium, especially with the caliber of guys. Matt’s got this race down to a science and I know Jimmy was trying like hell to get one for us his brother. It’s an awesome day to finish on the podium and keep the momentum going for the rest of the week.”

Joey Coulter III New Braunfels, Texas was fourth and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. fifth.

NOTE: The 13th place finishing car (28C) was driven by Buddy Charette, not Timmy Solomito


  1. Nerfbarsmurf says

    Another huge crowd and excellent car count. Business as usual for Matt absolutely flawless. We don’t have a hard charger award to give out like in dirt racing but, Krause finished 8th after starting 38 and had the fastest lap time during the race I believe. I’m sure Floracing wasn’t paying to much attention to the 24 car but, I was. Can’t beat being there!

  2. Great racing so far this week. Awesome to see. Jimmy Blewett put it best when he called Hirschman, “ the best in the biz.” Being a Silk fan I appreciated him racing Ron hard but clean on Tuesday. I didn’t expect anything less. And yea, I was at Seekonk a few years ago.

  3. That RaceDayCt Pick-em is freakin brilliant. It makes you interested in the entire field as the race is going on. The least competitive teams few pay much attention to actually critical to winning the pool.
    It’s so good I’m retiring from it and sticking to Suitcase Jake’s. I’m actually getting mad at the one driver that cost a good finish.
    Well done to the folks that tied with a score that continues to go lower and good luck in the tie breaker.
    I promised Mr. Courchesne a $20 gift certificate to Jersey Mike’s if he could get the lowest score for the second time in a row and can’t find the picks. Lets tie up that loose end and perhaps you could pick Jakes Pick-em as well.

    New Smyrna Richie Evans/Ted Christopher Memorial race 2/18/22

    SJake……7ny, 60, 82, 16, 50…..179
    Doug…….60, 7ny, 82, 16, 07……24

  4. Good race.

    Really good to see the TBR cars running well for a change. Still two more events to go though.

    Interesting to see cars that are expected to run well spread throughout the field. Looks like some teams are experimenting, searching, or just missed the setup.

    Nice run by Krause.

  5. Suitcase Jake says

    TOP 5 PICK’EM POOL >>>> Richie Evans 100 >>>>>.
    1. Blewett
    2. Hirchman
    3. Lutz
    4. Silk
    5. Williams
    First Time Winner>>>>>
    Steven Kopcik

  6. So hard not to take the 60 for this one…

    60, 16, 82, 07, 50, wc, 55

  7. New Smyrna Richie Evans/Ted Christopher Memorial race 2/18/22

    SJake……7ny, 60, 82, 16, 50…..179
    Doug…….60, 7ny, 82, 16, 07……24
    Bobf………60, 16, 82, 07, 50……….55

  8. I’ll say Blewett, Hirschman, Silk, Kraus, Williams. Wlld Card: Christopher.

  9. csgs picks

    60 7ny 16 82 07 catalano if he qualifies for underdog

  10. New Smyrna Richie Evans/Ted Christopher Memorial race 2/18/22

    SJake……7ny, 60, 82, 16, 50…..179
    Doug…….60, 7ny, 82, 16, 07……24
    Bobf……….60, 16, 82, 07, 50, ……55
    FEddie……7ny, 60, 16, 24K, 50….17
    csg…………60, 7ny, 16, 82, 07…….54T

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