Powered Up: Matt Hirschman Wins Monaco Modified Tri-Track Open Wheel Wednesday At Seekonk

Matt Hirschman(Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Last year Matt Hirschman set a new bar of success when it comes to the annual Open Wheel Wednesday event at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway.

In 2021, Hirschman became the first four-time winner of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Open Wheel Wednesday race.

Wednesday night, in the 17th annual running of the event, Hirschman went streaking to extend further the bar he had already set.

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., dominated the final two-thirds of the event to win the 100-lap Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series feature Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway for the second consecutive year and fifth time overall. Hirschman scored a $10,000 first place payoff for the event.

“It’s one of the races you look forward to all year,” Hirschman said. “I know we’ve won the most of them, but I feel even as a fan of it you come into this, you really never know who’s going to win this race. It always seemed like starting position means something, the heat races mean something and strategy during the race. … This might be the first time we’ve won them back-to-back. They’ve all been really spread out for the most part. Great job the team.”

Last year the event began on June 30 but ultimately was postponed to Aug. 25 after a power outage at the track forced a schedule change. This year the event played to flawless weather and for Hirschman it was a perfect buildup to the weekend. Hirschman will be in the starting field against some of the greats of motorsports Saturday in the SRX Series event at Stafford Speedway. Hirschman earned the spot to compete in the nationally televised race by winning the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford in April.

“We had the great weather this year,” Hirschman said. “Power stayed on all night. We were able to get it in. And now we’ve got a big race Saturday night at Stafford. If you’re not going hopefully you can catch us on CBS.”

It was Hirschman’s second victory in three Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series events this season. He won the season opener on April 30 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. He was third in the second event of the season on May 29 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt.

Kyle Bonsignore of Bay Shore, N.Y. was second and Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Mass. third.

“We were waiting for a motor all year,” said Bonsignore, who started 14th in the 27-car field. “We finally got it last week. We had zero laps on this car. They went through the whole thing over the offseason. So practice today was more of like a giant test session. Through a lot of things at it, made it a lot better from practice to the scuss [session]. Made it even better from then to the race. We just had a really good pit stop. They nailed it on the tire change, we picked up a bunch of spots. And on top of that they got the setup really good so we were able to drive up through the field.”

Said Nocella: “I love come to this place. We’ve won a bunch here in different cars and always have pretty good success. Just came up a little short again in this race. We were running second, third. Haven’t won it yet. We were close. For ten grand you kind of have to keep going to the outside and give it all you’ve got to try to get by [Hirschman]. You’ve got to try something because he’s so good.”

Hirschman started fifth. By lap 28 he was third and stalking second place Chase Dowling. After getting by Dowling for second following a lap 29 restart Hirschman hunted down leader Woody Pitkat and took over the top spot on lap 32.

From there Hirschman went unchallenged at the front the rest of the way, easily pulling away from the field over five restarts over the final 47 laps.

Matt Swanson of Acton, Mass. was fourth and Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa. fifth.


  1. And that’s why they call him “Big money Matt”. Congrats to Matt and his team. Love him or hate him, you have to respect his talent. It will be interesting to see how he does Saturday in the SRX event at Stafford. Wondér if he’ll run the open Friday night.

  2. Seekonk Open Wheel Wednesday Forum Pick 6 Results says

    Seekonk Open Wheel Wednesday Forum Pick 6 Results

    AIJ…..60 25nh 50 25 6 07….0+13+(24)+8+11+2=34
    Eddy…(85), 60, 92, 88, 10, 21…24+1+3+6+14+(25)=48
    Ken L..50-60-9ct-50-25-88……(24)+1+12+24+8+6=51
    Liz C..50, 60, 10, 9ct, 15, 06…(24)+1+14+12+10+11=48
    Viva…60. 10 ,50 ,88 ,6 ,9 ct….0+14+(24)+6+11+12=43
    Gets..9, 60, 50Silk, 10, 15, 76..12+1+24+14+10+(26)=61
    wmass..10 9 60 88 50s 06……..14+12+1+6+(24)+16=49
    Earl…9CT, 60, 10, 85, 25, 88….12+1+14+(24)+8+6=41
    Big C..60, 9ct,15ma, 10, 88, 85..0+12+10+14+6+(24)=42

    Suitcase Jake…39

    Big City….42
    Viva race fan….43
    Liz Cherokee….48
    Fast Eddie…..48
    Ken L….51


    Fast Eddie……2
    Get serious……1
    Viva race fan…1
    Rafter fan……1
    Big city………..1

    Suitcase Jake…4
    Fast Eddie………3
    Bigcity ……..…..3
    Lapped traffic ….2
    Rafter fan……….1
    Viva race fan…….1
    Get serious……….1

    AIJ is the 8th different winner.

  3. I give Money a lot of credit – he is no doubt the best driver out there today. It’s too bad he stinks up the show most of the time.

  4. So I’m reading all the accolades on social media for Hirschman winning THIS RACE and all I can think of is why. He started toward the front, had to race briefly then it was all about tire conservation. When that big wide track is all yours to find the path of least resistance, the driver is Hirschman the only question is will he break down. Really when was the last time that happened?
    That’s not to question Hirschman’s status which is pretty clear it’s more about the format. Dowling did it last year in a snoozer same exact thing.
    One thing is pretty clear in these races at Seekonk. If you’re going to change a tire do it early. Woody didn’t, survived to get a 6th, Dowling pitted and didn’t have enough fresh rubber or time to make the pit stop worth it.

  5. not a huge fan of Hirschman,, but will say he is very good at what he does (maybe the best),, which is,, to pick races that allow him to maximize the teams effort…

  6. Earl Scheib says

    Most Impressive: Matt Swanson – picked the outside on many restarts and ran well on the outside. He took a tire and got back up to 4th with a charge through the field. Was opening up holes for Silk to follow by beating guys on turn 3 entry. Unfortunately it seems as if he used up the change tire getting there.

    Honorable mention to Austin Beers who undoubtable had few starts if any at Seekonk.

    Least Impressive: Max Zachem – started up front and sank like a rock. I expected that out the far less experienced Medeiros 50 when he started on the pole, but he actually ran the better race than the 20 and didn’t bring out a needless back of the pack caution. I don’t think Etheridge will be calling Zachem for a lunch date anytime soon.

    I didn’t see what caused the Alexander/Savary wreck, but good to see both drivers are ok after two hard licks into the backstretch wall

  7. Rafter fan says

    The size of the crowd at Seekonk was not impressive based on the Flo shots. Any explanation, given the great weather?

  8. Rafter Fan,
    Looked like most of the camera shots were only the seats not on the frontstretch, which typically are not very crowded even for big crowds there. From all accounts I got it was a good crowd.

  9. Earl Scheib says

    It was an ok crowd, probably one of the smallest for the 17 Open Wheel Wednesday events I’ve been to.
    It was definitely below expectations on all measures–lines, concessions, parking, she seating availability.
    There were easily 50% more people at the Haunted 100/ACT/PASS race on that lovely October afternoon last year.
    I think inflation and the cost of fuel are having an effect. A soda and a pretzel was $9. I thought about eating my shoe for a minute…

  10. wmass01013 says

    AND Streaming on FLO will keep people home during the week even on a sunny no rain chance day added to alll the other issues, gas, food prices and again many Mod races to choose from, even the Most Die hard Mod fans surely cant afford or have the time to go to every WMT, MRS, OPEN show even just in New England.

  11. Didn’t enjoy the Roku version of the race as streamed. Video issues made the cars appear to be in slow motion. If I’d had some weed might have consumed it. Watching was a little trippy and cannabis might have really made it something special. Far out man.
    Remember when racing returned to local tracks? Covid was active with no vaccine and yet people were just itching to go the tracks to race and watch. Stands were packed attendees said most flaunting safety protocols risking illness to see races. Now talk of inflation is all the rage it’s real but for competitors and fans how much is it affecting car counts and peoples interest in attending races? Illness risk vs inflation.
    It’s been a busy week for tour modifieds. In the space of 7 days, three big events at Riverhead, Seekonk and Stafford tonight. They sent cars home from Seekonk, Riverhead had a full field and Stafford should get around 30ish cars. Clearly current economic conditions are not biting into the tour modified car counts in a significant way at least over the last week. Is soda and pretzel cost the back breaker for fans?
    Seekonk is deceiving. Put all the people spread out around the track and put them in the Speedbowl stands the place truly would be packed not the Speedbowl fan version of packed. The MMTTS show iconic for sure but it is a Wednesday and in a week where there is a lot of racing.
    I’m seeing the lines getting gas at Costco and astounded at the traffic heading south on I95 from Enfield on Sunday. At this stage I’m thinking inflation for Americans is as much complaining fodder as actual curtailment of spending habits. That will accelerate dramatically over time as stagflation sets in something you younger folks have yet to experience. So far we’re in the early innings in the inflation game.
    One thing is for sure the 2022 tour modified schedule has been jam packed. With fuel prices as well as tire and parts shortages it’s remarkable how resilient the tour modified population has been to this point.
    Enjoy it because 2023 we really will see economic impacts you can bet on it.

  12. Not sure it was just Roku, I use Amazon Fire stick, and it was so jerky I just listened to the audio, Flo also kept interrupting the broadcast with we are away of streaming\video issues and working to resolve it.

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