Spooky Streak: Matt Hirschman Tops Monaco Modified Tri-Track Constantine Paving & Sealing 100 At Speedbowl 

Matt Hirschman celebrates victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Constantine Paving & Sealing 100 at the Haunted Hundred at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl has long been a facility that Matt Hirschman has enjoyed competing at. 

In 2023 the facility took on a little extra special meaning for the Northampton, Pa. driver. 

The one-third mile oval proved to be his ultimate slump buster. 

When Hirschman arrived at the Speedbowl for the first Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series event of 2023 at the facility on Aug. 12 he was riding a seven race winless streak with the series dating back to the 2022 season. 

That streak came to an end when Hirschman won the rain-shortened Belltown Motors/Fowler’s Auto Wrecking 100 on Aug. 12 at the Speedbowl. 

Sunday Hirschman went from slump busting to streaking at the shoreline oval.

Hirschman drove away from all challengers to win the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Constantine Paving & Sealing 100 at the Haunted Hundred at the Speedbowl. 

“The track really came to me this year,” Hirschman said. “Both features, we just had a really good car. Didn’t need to pit. It seems like a lot of people would have preferred that. Obviously you’ve got to have a car that works with. Good starting position, I advanced early. The first couple laps were a little dicey and then we had a good clean race up front. Whoever I raced with everything was clean and fair on the restarts and we we were able to get it done.” 

Hirschman, who collected $10,000 for the victory, took the lead from Jake Johnson on a lap 33 restart and never trailed again. 

It was the second consecutive series win for Hirschman, his third series win at the Speedbowl overall and his all-time series leading 18th Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series victory. Hirschman got his first series win at the Speedbowl in 2016. 

Stephen Kopcik of Newtown was second and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third. 

Joey Cipriano held the top spot in the opening laps, but caution was flying quickly on lap five for issues on the backstretch with Chris Pasteryak and Bryan Narducci. 

On the restart it was Dana DiMatteo getting by Cipriano for the lead with Jake Johnson moving to second and Hirschman to third. 

On lap eight it was Johnson getting under DiMatteo off of turn four to take over the lead. 

Caution was out of for the second time on lap 26 for the slowed car of Les Hinckley III. The caution flew with Johnson still out front, DiMatteo in second, Hirschman in third and Matt Swanson in fourth. 

On the restart it was Johnson holding the top spot with Hirschman moving past DiMatteo for second place. 

Caution flew for the third time on lap 33 when Narducci and Eric Berndt got together on the fronstretch in a battle for 10th place. 

On the lap 33 restart it was Hirschman getting by Johnson to go to the lead for the first time in the event. It was a short green flag run with the caution coming back out on lap 35 for the stopped car of DiMatteo in turn four. 

On the ensuing restart it was Hirschman getting away out front with Johnson settling into second. Kopcik was able to get by Johnson for second place on lap 48. 

The fifth caution of the day flew on lap 56 for the stopped car of Narducci. The caution flew with Hirschman leading, Kopcik in second, Johnson in third and Williams in fourth. 

Swanson and Woody Pitkat, who were running sixth and seventh respectively when the caution flew, went to the pits under the yellow. 

On the lap 56 restart it was Hirschman easily getting away but things went bad quickly. On lap 57 eight cars piled into the turn one wall. The mess collected Berndt and also Swanson, who had run in or near the top-five for the first 50 laps and had just pitted before the restart. The pileup, which also collected Kyle Bonsignore, brought out a red flag. 

It was Hirschman getting away easily from Kopcik on the lap 57 restart. Todd Owen was up to fourth by lap 60. 

On 61 Narducci spun off of turn two setting of a chain reaction wreck that ended with Matt Kimball’s car dangling off the backstretch wall. The mess also collected Johnson. 

Hirschman once again got away easily from Kopcik on the lap 61 restart with Anthony Nocella making his way up to third. 

The eighth caution of the event flew on lap 84 for the spinning car of sixth place running Brian Robie in turn four. The caution flew with Hirschman leading, Kopcik in second and Nocella in third. 

Hirschman and Kopcik checked out from third place Nocella on the lap 84 restart, with Johnson moving up to fourth at the green. 

On lap 91 Johnson got by Nocella for third place with Williams following into fourth. On lap 99 Williams got under Johnson for third place. Hirschman took the checkered .754 of a second over Kopcik. Johnson ended up fourth and Nocella was fifth.


  1. Open wheel Fan says

    What time did the green flag drop for the Monaco modified feature ? Looking at victory photo it was pitch black.

  2. Open Wheel Fan,
    The feature started about 8:05 pm. Also, it gets dark in Connecticut a little before 6 pm this time of year.

  3. Hillary 2024 says

    At least it looked like Kopcik was going to make it interesting for a while there. But once Hirshman took the lead I figured it was all over. I don’t know what their secret is but they have mastered something. Yes I know he’s a great driver but a guy like Rocco has a ton more experience at Waterford. You’d think he’d be more of a factor. It was a long day and the track did a good job of moving things along. There were just a ton of cars. You don’t often see the pits overflowing into the parking lot with only 4 divisions.

  4. Where are all the WMTers not commenting about the car counts?Seems like this was a great move to Waterford from Seekonk.The ACT boys always travel well ,what a great day at the Bowl.

  5. Good driver but 30 + years of NOTES between Tony and Matt is what makes it Dominant. A setup that NO one has. Something that has been perfected and unique. Customers may think they got the Hirshman setup but only about 80% of it. Matt is great driver obviously but look what happens when he drives other cars. #52 Darling / Bennet car ran slightly better then average same with #3 car and The red white and yellow LFR show piece best of everything all 3 races it was mid pack to 1 lap down this year. All his success over last 10 years have been in family cars or guys like pee see where he has pretty much full control. Can’t get blood from stone. You’re only as good as your car.

  6. * Pee Dee Motorsports

  7. I think I know why Hirschman is so successful. Sure the 30 years of Hirschman notes is a factor. He’s a good driver for sure particularly with regard to strategery. They may have found some things in the area of setup that give them an advantage and they make sure they have all the components from the engine down to the right grade of fastener that do the job. But that’s not their secret weapon any number of successful teams are in the same position.
    Maybe you know such a person or maybe you’re one yourself. I’m talking about the super anal retentive, 100% focused person that can notice the smallest details as well as being relentless going through all the steps it takes to find and notice details that can make a difference in the cars performance. Including everything, watching, observing and noticing things literally all the time.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if that Hirschman clan breaks down their own 60 after every race, visually inspects or otherwise test components they have equipment for to see if it’s still within spec. For whatever reason they found the Pee Dee team that has the same ability, same level of commitment and willing to let Matt call the shots in setups and race strategy willingly knowing the results they’ll get.
    All you have to do is watch Hirschman, read his body language and listen to him. There’s no wasted motion, he’s burning red hot with intensity all the time. Just wins this event and already is thinking about the two races he has later in the week sizing up the competition and odds.
    How else can you explain his close to non existent component failure rate over all these long distance big events over the years. There’s that plus the fact that once he get’s himself in the catbird seat in a race like this one the car almost never fades. He gets in front, gets to race the preferred line and it’s light out almost always is it not?

  8. Doug, definitely agree. To use a board game analogy, there are checker players and then there are chess players. Matt is one of the few Grand Masters out there. It’s extremely rare to see him have an “off-race”, and the majority of those end up with a top-ten, and most of the time a top-five finish.

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