Legendary: Matt Hirschman Wins Richie Evans Memorial 100, Division Title At New Smyrna World Series 

Matt Hirschman celebrates his fifth consecutive Richie Evans Memorial 100 victory Friday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)
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It’s a race that memorializes a man considered by many to be the greatest Modified driver ever. 

But it’s an event at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway that has essentially become the owned property of Matt Hirschman. 

Hirschman had few challengers in rolling to victory in the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Friday in the fifth and final Tour Type Modified division event of the week at New Smyrna Speedway. 

It was the sixth consecutive Richie Evans Memorial 100 victory for Hirschman and his seventh victory in the event overall. The race was cancelled in 2023 due to rain. In addition to winning the event from 2019-2022, Hirschman also had Richie Evans Memorial 100 wins at New Smyrna in 2010 and 2017. 

“A little bit unhappy, even with winning a few nights, because of how we started this week,” Hirschman said. “But this is definitely the way to end it. Always means a lot to win the [Richie] Evans Memorial. To have your name mentioned in the same category at times, it’s quite an honor. Richie was the first guy to dominate down here when they brought the Modifieds here a long time ago. And in recent years we’ve been the guy doing the same thing that he did in the beginning here. It’s great to carry the torch and hopefully we can continue to keep doing this for years to come.” 

Hirschman closed out the week with three consecutive victories, winning the John Blewett III Memorial 76 on Wednesday and the 50-lap feature for the division on Thursday. Ron Silk won the 50-lap opener for the division on Monday and Ryan Preece was victorious in the 50-lap feature on Tuesday.

The victory Friday marked the 20th career Tour Type Modified division win at New Smyrna for Hirschman.

Hirschman clinched his second consecutive and fifth overall Tour Type Modified division championship at New Smyrna. He also won titles in 2018, 2020 and 2021. 

“It’s a challenge every year to come here,” Hirschman said. “It’s different every year. Sometimes the track’s different, the tire’s are different. … I’ve had a lot of experience doing this. … Everybody remembers the recent years with these waves and win streaks or whatever, but I’ve already come here and left and went home winless. That’s a bad feeling, especially when you put so much effort in and you’re used to winning. … We just have to appreciate the recent success and do our best to try and keep it up.” 

Eric Goodale was second, Jimmy Blewett third, Preece fourth and Anthony Nocella fifth. 

“I thought Preece would be good and we both were able to get to the front early and I was able to get ahead of him,” Hirschman said. “We just held off all comers. [Eric Goodale] had a lot more at the end – after the pit stop – than I expected. Real good run tonight. Obviously we got ourselves back on track. We learned a lot as a group. A little bit different group than I’ve had here in the past. We definitely learned from some mistakes as well. It’s a huge effort to come down here from at home. My dad is at home and the guys that help in the shop, and then we get together a group of people down here. It’s a long week, it’s a lot of work and I’m just thankful for the effort everybody put in.” 

At that start it was Ronnie Williams going by pole-sitter Tyler Rypkema with Preece following to second off of turn four. Behind them Hirschman made the jump from his sixth starting spot to fourth in the early laps. By lap 11 Williams had opened up about a one second lead over Preece in second. 

On lap 15 it was Hirschman getting under Craig Lutz to take over third place. By lap 33 Preece was all over the bumper of Williams out front, with Hirschman just behind in third. 

On lap 35 Preece got under Williams off of turn two to take over the lead, with Hirschman following Preece to move into second. Lutz followed past Williams to third not long after. By lap 43 Preece and Hirschman had checked out from third place Lutz, with Hirschman stalking all over Preece’s bumper. 

On lap 44 Hirschman got a low run on Preece into turn two and took over the lead. Hirschman quickly put Preece deep in the mirror, opening up more than half a second lead by lap 50. 

Caution flew on lap 56 for the stopped car of Tommy Catalano with Hirschman leading, Preece in second and Lutz in third. Under caution the entire field headed to pit road. The pitting for the event was controlled, meaning the race would restart with cars in the same position they were in when the caution came out no matter what order they came off of pit road. 

On the restart it was Hirschman getting the jump with Lutz getting by Preece for second. Behind them Preece was left battling for third with Goodale. On lap 65 it was Goodale getting by Lutz for second place with Preece following him into third.

Caution was back out on lap 71 for the stopped car of Catalano. On the lap 71 restart it was Hirschman once again getting away from his pursuers easily. Behind him Goodale was left to hold off Lutz and Preece. On lap 72 it was Preece getting by Lutz to take over third. 

By lap 80 Hirschman had opened up a half-second lead over Goodale in second. With Hirschman holding a half second lead over Goodale, caution flew on lap 88 for the stopped car of Andrew Krause. 

On lap 88 restart Hirschman nearly got sideways into turn one but was able to save the car and stay in the lead. Behind him Goodale was left fighting with Jimmy Blewett for second. 

With 12 laps left Blewett got by Goodale for second pace. With 11 laps left Goodale took the runner-up spot back.


  1. Money 💰 💰💰🏁 …

  2. I’m a bit tardy but Thank you Shawn and the Duponts for all the hard work you did for us at New Smyrna.

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