Streaking: Matt Hirschman Stays Perfect At New Smyrna World Series With Blewett Memorial Victory

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory in the John Blewet III Memorial 76 Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Wednesday at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway annually means the Tour Type Modified division celebrating the first of two special events with the running of the John Blewett III Memorial 76. 

And also annually, Wednesday at New Smyrna has come to mean Matt Hirschman at or near the front when the checkered flag falls for the Tour Type Modified division. 

Hirschman showed once again Wednesday that he’s the driver that owns possession of the John Blewett III Memorial 76. 

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., drove away from the field over the final 15 laps to win the John Blewett III Memorial 76 Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway. 

Last year Hirschman became the first driver to win the John Blewett III Memorial 76 three times. Wednesday he became the first driver to do it four times. Hirschman also won the event in 2018 and 2019. He had second place finishes in the event in 2017, 2020 and 2021. 

It was the third victory in three Tour Type Modified features this week at New Smyrna Speedway for Hirschman, who won 50-lap features on Monday and Tuesday. It was Hirschman’s sixth consecutive Tour Type Modified division victory at the World Series dating back to the 2022 edition when he won the final three events of the week. It was his 16th Tour Type Modified division overall in World Series history. Hirschman is trying to become the first driver in the history of the World Series to sweep wins in all the Tour Type Modified events in a week. 

“We’ve had a real good share of success here recently, but we’ve also had our struggles many times. I’ve come here and left winless.” Hirschman said. “I know what it’s like to leave here and head north winless and I know what it’s like to have a great week. We’re off to a really good start here … we’ve got two more nights to go. We’ll just see if we can keep focused and finish strong.” 

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was second for the third consecutive night. 

“We’re disappointed with three second place finishes,” Emerling said. “We’re gaining on it. We made the car a little bit better today and we’re going to work on making some gains for the next few.”

Ronnie Williams of Ellington was third. 

“The car was close to perfect so it was kind of weird we come home third,” Williams said. “I don’t know how much we have to do to this car. … We’ll get it close to perfect tomorrow. We’ve got two more days to try to beat these guys.”

Unlike the first two events of the week, when Hirschman had relatively easy sails to victory lane, Wednesday’s event wasn’t devoid of drama. 

The third caution of the event flew on lap 56 for the spinning car of Tom Martino with Hirschman leading Emerling. 

On the ensuing restart, Emerling and Hirschman banged wheels into turn one with Emerling pushing Hirschman up through turn two. Hirschman fell back to fourth, but before the lap was completed the caution flew again for the slowed car of Jeremy Gerstner. The caution reset the field back to the running order before the restart, putting Hirschman back in the lead. 

On the next restart Emerling powered into turn one again, but Hirschman deftly let him. As Emerling drifted up high in turn two Hirschman pulled a masterful cross-over off the turn to go back out front. Emerling never challenged Hirschman again. 

Hirschman did not want to comment on the move from Emerling. 

“I’ll have to watch the replay tonight,” Hirschman said when asked about Emerling’s move. “The coverage on FloRacing has been excellent. I’ll take a look at it later and just enjoy the win with the team. Everybody has done a great job and we’ll just try to keep it up.” 

Said Emerling: “That restart there we kept it pretty close even on the restart. We were able to have great jumps and I’m sure he expected that I was going to try to nerf him a little bit. I actually owed him a little bit more than that from some stuff last year and earlier on last season. But we’re just going to keep on trying to improve our race car here and try to get that little bit better.” 

The race started with Williams going past Emerling for second place on lap two, while Hirschman fell from fourth to fifth early. 

On lap seven Williams moved past pole sitter Jimmy Blewett to take over the lead. A lap later the first caution flew for the spinning car of Brian Robie. 

On the ensuing caution it was Williams and Blewett racing side-by-side for the lead for a lap with Blewett edging Williams for the lead at the line. Blewett cleared Williams out front on lap nine to establish himself back out front. Behind them Hirschman made the move from fifth to fourth. 

On lap 19 Hirschman got under Williams to take over third place, with Eric Goodale following him by Williams into fourth. 

On lap 22 Hirschman found the lane under Emerling to take over second. From there Hirschman quickly closed in on the race leader Blewett. 

On lap 30 Hirschman’s methodical run to the front saw him dive under Blewett through turns three and four to take over the lead. 

The second caution flew on lap 48 for the slowing car of Gerstner. The caution flew with Hirschman leading Blewett, Emerling in third and Goodale in fourth. 

On the lap 48 restart Hirschman easily got the jump on the field. Behind him Emerling got by Blewett to take over second place. 

RaceDayCT Poll: Asking Again, Will Matt Hirschman Sweep Wins In All Five Events At New Smyrna World Series? – click to vote


  1. great coverage Thanks

  2. John meserve says

    Great coverage of the race. It was super to be there and watch it live!!

  3. Praise be something interesting happened. Emerling getting a little rough on a restart only to have it be nullified. On the second restart Emerling thinking the Sandy Koufax of racing would throw him a heater once again but no he throws a change up and Emerling whiffs. Then in victory lane Hirschman exercising an iron will staying mum and promoting FloRacing in the process. Emerling admitting to a pay back of sorts but not admitting he got bamboozled in the second restart. Checkers vs chess and I have to say it’s surprising seeing Emerling as the victim.
    Back in this forum you have to salute good raceology based on a wealth of experience and observation.
    “Emerling may become frustrated running 2nd and may get a little rough on a restart”
    That would be none other the our own Sundowner, Suitcase Jake calling the shot before it happened. Never thought Emerling would be the guy to do but there it was unfolding just as predicted.

  4. Emerling is a disrespectful hack. the track should of parked him after the second try to move Money. I was laughing after he missed

  5. 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹 🧹

  6. Look, just forget about Hirschman. That will make it exciting. Reminder, everyone else is racing for second place. When Hirschman gets a track figured out, the only thing that can beat him is himself.

    Drivers are going to get frustrated and try to take pot shots at the 60. The 60 has the reserves to evade it. The nimrods will make themselves look like the buffoons they are.

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