Cashing In: Matt Hirschman Scores $18K Payday With Monaco Modified Tri-Track Win At Waterford 

Matt Hirschman celebrates in victory lane with the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

When it comes to competition on the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series over its 10-year history, the name that stands out far above all others is Matt Hirschman. 

Coming into Saturday’s Belltown Motors/Fowler’s Auto Wrecking 100 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Hirschman sat atop the series’ all-time win list with 16 victories over the 45 races run for the division since 2014. The next best on that win list in second place is Chase Dowling with six victories. 

Over the first nine seasons the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series has run Hirschman had at least one victory every season. But after three of six scheduled events Hirschman was winless in 2023. 

No fear, the winning streak hit 10 years Saturday for Hirschman in another huge paying event for the Northampton, Pa. driver. 

Hirschman won the rain shortened Belltown Motors/Fowler’s Auto Wrecking 100 Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, keeping his streak alive of getting at least one win every year since the inception of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series in 2014. 

Hirschman got a $10,000 winner’s purse for the event and also won the Dunleavy’s Gambler’s Challenge to add another $8,000 to his payout at the shoreline oval Saturday. 

Bryan Narducci of Colchester was second and Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott third. 

Rain early in the day and then track leaking issues made for major delays leading up to the main event and forced the cancellation of heat events for the feature. The race was stopped on lap 82 for rain and with lightning in the area officials made the quick decision to call the race with 81 laps completed. 

“Happy to get a win,” Hirschman said. “The way today went for the Waterford Speedbowl is kind of how my last two months have gone for my racing. But we never gave up and neither did the Speedbowl. They got that leak fixed and dried up and everybody got all their racing in. We didn’t quit. We’ve had some down weeks and we just kept coming back. It’s good to get a win. Hopefully this changes things for us and we get on a little bit of a roll like we were earlier this season.” 

Pole-sitter Joey Cipriano led the way early with Kyle Bonsignore quickly moving from third to second. On lap seven Bonsignore got by Cipriano to take over the top spot. 

Caution flew for the first time for an Anthony Bello spin on lap 29 with Bonsignore leading, Dana DiMatteo in second and Hirschman running third. 

On the restart Bonsignore took the inside row and Hirschman was able to get the outside of the front row thanks to the choose rule. On the restart Bonsignore and Hirschman went side-by-side for a lap with Hirschman leading at the line to complete the circuit. Hirschman was able to clear Bonsignore for the lead on the lap 30. 

Caution flew once again on lap 49 for the spinning car of Joey Mucciacciaro with Hirschman out front, Jake Johnson in second and Teddy Hodgdon IV in third. Under caution a bulk of the field went to pit road, with the top three staying on track. 

Christopher was able to go from fifth to second place for the restart thanks to the choose rule. 

On the restart it was Hirschman easily getting away from Christopher. A lap later Narducci was able to overtake Christopher for second place. 

Caution flew for the third time on lap 64 with Hirschman leading Narducci and Christopher in third. On the restart it was Hirschman once again able to check out, leaving Narducci to fight off Christopher for second place. 

The fourth caution flew on lap 82 with rain beginning to fall at the track.


  1. Marvin Glass says

    Rock’em sock’em Rocco!
    Wait they were 15th and 23rd.
    I never expected that.

  2. I think keith just was trying to do too much with a car he only knew 2 days in advance that he got the call to hop in a car hes never driven.

  3. Unfortunately the series let everyone down this time. After a two hr delay and rain coming they still had the mods run last. Otherwise the racing was good, the facility was top notch, food decently priced.

  4. Is it possible to sandbag on live timing in anticipation of the inversion? The clock say it may be possible. Hirschman the fastest car all night but 4th fastest qualifier.
    The classic Hirschman run belied the turmoil taking place behind him. The 60 with a respectable staring spot, falls back just a bit then surgically makes his way to the front at which time it’s survive the restarts an save tires. In back of him cars moving all over the place, a lot of pitting then moving up it was really hard to follow there was so much movement going on. Narducci the strategic winner, Christopher maybe most consistent run to the front. Arguably the entire podium fortunate rain came as cars with newer rubber were making their way to the front. Left holding the bag with rejuvenated handling as the rain came. Fast cars with no more laps to be had. Such a shame it couldn’t have played out to the rightful end. Red/checkers the only logical call with as sigh of relief they got the race in.

  5. When there is pending weather, and I was watching it on radar as everyone else was, then the undercard needs to be shortened, especially when the undercard classes were caution flag and red flag 🚩 disasters.

    The Monaco Mods were the premier race, and they were impacted by the weather and undercard. That should never happen.

  6. Steve,
    The series doesn’t decide when they run on the schedule. That’s a decision made by track management.

  7. I thought when there is TV/streaming coverage, there is a hard time commitment when the headline series must start?

    It appears to be that way with other coverage. They even talk about TV/streaming coverage contract commitments.

    🫨 🫨 🫨 🫨 🫨 🫨

  8. Shawn, Didn’t realize that the track made that decision. In hindsight it was a poor decision but I really enjoyed the show.

  9. I love to watch racing at the Speedbowl, definitely was a huge crowd, and they made upgrades and improvements over last year’s Tri Track event. However, it was frustrating at times because they wasted so much time, and had zero sense of urgency until the late model race. Anyone with a cell phone knew it was just a matter of time. Why run a consi to eliminate 3 cars? Couldn’t they just start 33 and save the time?

    A huge shout out to Doug Dunleavy for all he does for local racing. With the way it ended, he missed out on doing his drawing with the podium finishers. His “gamblers challenge”, gives additional money to the racers and adds to the excitement of the race. Thank you Doug!

  10. Capt. Mike Qbvious says


    I believe it depends on the series. Some series — most notably the NWMT — do have a start time commitment in their sanctioning deals. Others don’t, and the feature simply starts at whatever time they get to it on the schedule.

  11. Fast Eddie says

    It’s too bad the Speedbowl insists on running the main event last. I like the weekly classes, but they can have a make-up next week or later in the year if needed. I paid for the Belltown/Fowler 100, not the Belltown/Fowler 81. No reason to miss 20% of the race you’re spending extra $$ to see. Also, no reason to not run a weekly class after the main event. Other tracks adjust their schedules to weather concerns. The Speedbowl did it last May with the SMAC race. To borrow from a sports show, “C’MON MAN!!!”

  12. Any racing series that wants to be respected needs to understand it is beholden to those that pay to watch, and when the event is streamed, the headlining series calls the shots. This precedent has been set. The priority should have been to get the MMTTS race in at a decent time and in full. Everyone knew rain was threatening hours before the race was called.

    Hope the MMTTS learns and does a better job with the future streaming contracts and terms and conditions.

  13. The Consi made no sense with weather coming to only send home 3 cars, had 8k in Bonus money they could have paid 3 more teams and got the race in. I thought it was weird teams were pitting with rain minutes away, pretty sure 60 car was racing weather more than other cars.

  14. Big orange6 says

    What did hirschman do to win the Dunleavy “challenge”?
    Didn’t hear that explained, usually you have to come from the back and win

  15. Sharpie Fan says

    So much to comment on…

    First of all undercard was lucky to get 1 round of practice and no heats. They were already shortened. Also Tri Track was able to run a practice on Friday.

    And sorry dareal but precedent still goes to the fans who put butts in seats. I paid $100 for 2 adults and 2 grandkids who we are trying to bring up to love the sport. How much did you pay?

    10:30 we were already watching the radar on our phones and made the decision that at 11:00 we were headed out. If teams made a different decision based on the information available that is their gamble. In the end do you really thing it would have made a difference in who won?

    Finally thank you to Doug Dunleavy for your continued contributions to the sport that we love!

  16. Hillary 2024 says

    Did the rain wash away the compound? I saw plenty of passing on the bottom. That last restart for the choose cone everyone up front chose the bottom except for Christopher which is why he started on the front row outside. Gained a bunch of spots. All the drinkers around me couldn’t figure out why he was up there lol. Wish that they had got the whole race in. My app had rain moving in at midnight. Well it arrived an hour ahead of schedule. Hats off to Foster and crew for getting most of it in. Wasn’t looking good with the sun blazing and that stream of water flowing down the front stretch. I think they tried everything to make it stop and it did. Hats off to the huge amount of fans making the best of the very long delay. It was a party atmosphere and everyone seemed to be having a ball. And yes the food selection and variety was huge. Almost too many to choose from but the Hamilton Market grinder I had was just like getting one from the actual market. I hear that they’ll be at the track for the rest of the season. Looking forward to the Haunted 100. Going to be another excellent event. Hope for better weather.

  17. Central PA runs their feature class the 410 sprint cars first all the time no matter what.Some of these New England promoters should take a ride there to see how to run a show.

  18. Big orange6,
    Dunleavy’s Gambler’s Challenge was an $8,000 bonus. Each driver in the 30-car starting field put $100 in the pot ($3,000) with Dunleavy matching that amount. Various others added to the pot to bring it to $8,000.
    After the race the first place chip was put in a draw. Then two other random finishing positions were chosen from 2-30. Ninth place and 24th place were chosen. Then three chips (1st, 9th and 24th) were put in the can for a winner take all draw and Hirschman chose first place to win the draw.
    Story from before the race: Doug Dunleavy Throwing Support To Gamblers Challenge For Monaco Modified Tri-Track At Speedbowl

  19. Hillary 2024 says

    Good question Sharpie. Even with everyone with fresher tires behind him I don’t think they would have caught him. After watching that lightning for awhile I decided to hoof it to the car. Perfect timing too. The first rain drops fell as I opened my door.

  20. Getserious says

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at a track Monadnock, Claremont, Stafford(not that long ago with the Sizzler, even, as I remember), the Glen, with rain coming, waiting for the main event as they fiddled and diddled with yellows in the lower classes, took “intermission”, waited for cars to get on the track, etc, etc. They’ll NEVER learn how to run a timely, smart show. Add last night to the list.

  21. Open wheel Fan says

    Totally agree with Fast Eddie. Track management should have adjusted schedule to get modified feature completed. Fans were there for modified show on this particular Saturday. Everyone was checking the radar on their cell phones. They should have run the late model feature last being 30 lap feature. Waterford is an excellent show and put on great side by side racing. Aside from Thompson speedway the speedbowl is one of my favorites. Looking forward to October Monaco modified show. The track improvements are great and very nice racing facility. I have been attending Waterford speedbowl since the 70’s and now first class facility and thank the owner for upgrades.

  22. ” but precedent still goes to the fans who put butts in seats. I paid $100 for 2 adults and 2 grandkids who we are trying to bring up to love the sport.”

    Agree completely. Fans in the stands always the priority over we at home. Especially when you’re spending so much time simply waiting for the little Dutch boy to come and put his finger in the dike and stop the leak. Probably killing time eating and drinking enriching the value of on site fans.

    ” No reason to miss 20% of the race you’re spending extra $$ to see. Also, no reason to not run a weekly class after the main event.”

    Agree with that as well. Like a lot of you I was following that cell of moisture advancing on the Speedbowl and thinking timing will be everything. Thought that eliminating heat races great move although it was strange they could only put 4 tour mods on the track at one time for qualification purposes in 7 groups. I would not agree the result was assured to be the same if the race went the distance.
    My main contribution here is precedent. In the early 80’s at Stafford the running order most often for the features was Limited Sportsman that were replaced by the SK’s(at that point the second division), Modifieds (known as tour modifieds now) and Street Stocks. Vivid memories of our group lined up on the back stretch patiently waiting for the Modified victory lane ceremony to conclude. Then as half the fans left we were off for our feature. I don’t recall any grousing about that we knew who the fans were there to see and happy that a good portion stayed to see our race.
    So when did it become a matter of hurt feeling for the support divisions not wanting to be the caboose?

  23. Funny. I guess its one’s perspective.
    So while this has nothing to do with how Saturday night played out due to weather, it kind of does have to do with a support division running last.
    In my old days at my beloved Norwood arena, they ran on Saturday nights. After all consi’s (you read that right, I said “all”), the features started.
    Hobby first, intermission and then the main event, Nascar Sportsman as they were called at that track, or modifieds. When the modifieds were completed, the daredevils (or Tiger division as they were known elsewhere) were run. Now I wasn’t old enough to drive back then, but the people that took me loved that schedule.
    Why? Because after the modifieds, half the crowd would leave, and the parking lot was way easier to get out of, when the daredevils concluded. So true, not respectful to a support division, but I digress.
    I, for the life of me, cant figure out why some people, with 10 to go in a barn burner modified race, get up and out of the stands, to beat the traffic. Just me I guess.
    As a bonus, in those days, after the last event concluded, the pits would open to everyone. As a kid I loved seeing what my heroes looked like in the flesh. Some larger than life usually with an audience (see Bugsy, Leo, ect) and others that were quiet, unassuming and just went about their business professionally. Fred DeSarro comes to mind.
    So while this piece really has nothing to do with Saturday at Waterford, it got me thinking, and reminiscing, which was great. So thanks guys, for reminding of how things were, with the discussion and comments.

  24. I’ve heard allot of people refer to the “undercard” or “support” divisions. I gather they are referring to the weekly racers. You have to realize that these “undercard” divisions are the ones who supports the track week after week. I’m sure when this date was picked nobody expected rain. I like that they ran their regular divisions first. I used to hate it at Stafford when the Tour took precedent over us weekly guys, made you feel unimportant, not needed. So kudos to the track management for putting the regular divisions first. Tri-Track could have easily rescheduled the race, or shortened it.

  25. Fast Eddie says

    I don’t know Rob P., a lot easier to give a weekly division a double header next week that to reschedule a Tour-type race, particularly with all the Open Mod shows scheduled. Think the fans that came from Maine, New Hampshire, and New York could easily schedule a second trip for the same event? The weekly racers will be there next week anyways, that’s what makes them weekly racers! (Apologies to Captain Obvious!)
    Bobf, although they don’t advertise it, you can still always go into the pits at the end of the event.I still do that from time to time now.

  26. Dont forget this also. If you were an undercard devision driver wouldnt you try to run all out to win in front of a crowd like that which you dont get to see often? Thats why the yellows and rds cause people pushed their stuff to the limit for that moment.

  27. Rob P., have you been paying attention as to how difficult it has been to schedule Tour Type events this season, given all the Tour Type options happening this season? There aren’t many viable reschedule dates available this late in the season.

  28. BLA BLA BLA , So the race ended 18 laps from its scheduled. distance ? Track overreacted with some heat lightning in the distance and some light drizzle that started 10 min after red flag. Despite weather concern’s all afternoon and evening . Waterford did a terrific job getting the show in. Save the best for last – that’s why it’s called the Main Event ! ( Nobody had anything for super Matt , Even if there were 30 lap’s left.)

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