On The Money: Matt Hirschman Tops John Blewett III Memorial 76 At New Smyrna World Series 

Matt Hirschman celebrates with a commerative helmet trophy after winning the Tour Type Modified John Blewett III Memorial 76 Wednesday at the World Series at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

For Matt Hirschman, the first three events of the 2024 season at the World Series of Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway have been fairly un-Matt Hirschman-like. 

Hirschman’s domination at New Smyrna in recent years has been legendary, but for his first three nights of racing this year at New Smyrna, “Money Matt” was bankrupt. 

Hirschman finished 10th in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opening event on Saturday. Hirschman came into this season riding a seven-event winning streak dating back to 2022 in the the Tour Type Modified division at the World Series. That streak came to an end with a fifth place finish in the first of five Tour Type Modified events on Monday. Tuesday’s 50-lap event for the division ended up in another fifth place finish for Hirschman. 

But Wednesday it was an event the Hirschman has essentially owned in recent years that set the stage for Hirschman’s turnaround. 

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 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. In 2022 Hirschman became the first driver to win the John Blewett III Memorial 76 three times. In 2023 he became the first driver to do it four times. 

Wednesday he became the first five-time winner of the event.

Hirschman went by Craig Lutz for the lead on lap 56 and never trailed again on the way to victory in the John Blewett III Memorial 76 Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway. 

“It feels good,” Hirschman said. “The toughest competition you’ll ever face is when you beat yourself and we did that for [the first] three nights here. … Results of tenth, fifth and fifth are just not up to our standard. We got back on track tonight. Hopefully from here forward goes a little smoother and we get on track like we should.” 

Hirschman also won the event in 2018 and 2019. He had second place finishes in the event in 2017, 2020 and 2021. 

“It’s always good to get a win for the Blewett Memorial,” Hirschman said. “They’ve got a neat little trophy there, a helmet like John used to wear. I used to go to Flemington (N.J.) to watch him in his earlier days … and that’s that the kind of helmet he always wore. You could always see his face in the car. A very determined racer. I always enjoyed racing with him. Nice to get a win here tonight on this night. We’ll see if we can get anymore this week. We got off to a slow start but hopefully we can finish strong.” 

Anthony Nocella was second and Lutz third. 

At the start it was Jimmy Blewett and Anthony Bello on the front row going side-by-side for half a lap before Blewett cleared Bello for the lead in turn three. 

The first caution flew on lap five when Blewett’s car came to stop between turns three and four with rear end issues. 

It put Bello to the lead with Eric Goodale moving to second and Lutz to third. 

On the lap five restart it was Bello holding the spot with Lutz getting by Goodale for second place. Hirschman, who started eighth, was up to fourth after the restart. 

By lap 20 Bello had opened a 2.2 second lead over second place Lutz with Goodale still in third and Hirschman in fourth. 

By lap 30 Bello’s lead over Lutz was down to one second with Hirschman up into third place.

By lap 41 Lutz had closed to within half a second from Bello out front, with Hirschman still hanging in third. On lap 42 Lutz took another big bite out of Bello’s lead with Hirschman in tow. 

On lap 44 Lutz got under Bello off of turn two and took the lead off of turn four, with Hirschman following through to second place. 

By lap 50 Hirschman was stalking all over the bump of Lutz. On lap 56 Hirschman deftly used navigation through lapped traffic to overtake Lutz for the lead. 

The second caution of the event flew on lap 58 for the stopped car of Joey Coulter. Hirschman held the lead on the lap 58 restart and went unchallenged the rest of the way. 


  1. Cream always rises to the top

  2. Just Saying says

    No Silk in lineup ?

  3. Just Saying,
    Silk and the Haydt-Yannone Racing team only planned to run through Tuesday at the World Series.

  4. Well that was interesting. Lutz tries for the pick committing to the outside while the 60 is pressuring that poor guy whoever he was down low. Scoots under him forcing him to move up the track and Lutz has to go high, wide and not so handsome and right into second place. That’s a screen I do believe race fans rare, involuntary but a screen nonetheless.
    Was Hirschman faster? Having Silk and Preece not there sure made him look faster. Interesting PeeDee on Facebook relating what’s happened in the races not particularly concerned while Hirschman has been saying it’s not acceptable and not up to their standards. I don’t know, cool hand Matt looked a little panicky at the start charging early not his usual formula for success.
    I’d bet there’s concerns in Big Moneyville in spite of the win. Don’t believe that last night proved there is a return to dominance. Lutz, Nocella and perhaps Williams are right in the ball park. The fact still remains the 40 and 16 were the class of the field it’s just good fortune for Hirschman they can’t be there to beat him.

  5. Suitcase Jake says

    Well said Doug, Cool hand Silk & Preece leaving the pits was great medicine, for the 60 needed to get well…. It’s funny sometimes in Racing. The record may show another dominate Championship for the # 60 …. But what will be FORGOTTEN IS….. If Silk and Preece raced in every show.. Big Money woulda been third in the final Points…. But a lot of Racing is making every race if you want the Titles…. It’s just another deal with racing that there is always levels to unpack the truth…Looks like it’s going to come down to the 50-07-92-40-60-46 for the Win in the Richie Evans 100…. So happy they figured it out this YEAR – with RAIN – on the way- Moved the 100’s to tonight as to not lose the TRADITIONALLY RICH EVANS MEMORIAL & ORANGE BLOSSOM RACES… Last year the Richy race was rained out and not run the next night .. MUCH TO THE DISMAY OF ALL THOSE IN ATTENDANCE, and those online…. I was very unhappy when I left NS without seeing that race after all that Bucket List planning …This year they got it Right..!!!!!! Nice Job NS powers that be…… THANK YOU .
    Broadcast team of Flo is Excellent …. BUT they gotta send a SOUND ENGINEER down a few days earlier to get EVERYTHING WORKING real good before they go live… The first race the sound was down many times. the pit road wireless mikes were out more than a handful of times and the sound was 7 seconds behind the lips… COME ON FLO – GET IT TOGETHER = BE A PROFESSIONAL = DO IT LIKE STAFFORD = GET IT RIGHT

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing