Back It Up: Matt Hirschman Wins Whelen Mod Tour J&R Pre-Cast 150 At Seekonk

Matt Hirschman (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Last year when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made its annual visit to Seekonk Speedway, Matt Hirschman put on one of the most dominating performances seen on the series in recent years. 

Hirschman led every lap, nearly lapping the entire field, on the way to wining last year at Seekonk. 

Saturday at the track known as the Cement Palace, the situation was the same in victory lane, but the path to that victory was a far different one from last year for Hirschman. 

After a methodical race-long climb from his eight starting spot, Hirschman passed Austin Beers for the lead on lap 130 and went on to win the Whelen Modified Tour J&R Pre-Cast 150 at Seekonk. 

“We had to work for that one for sure,” Hirschman said. “I’m just thankful for the whole Pee-Dee Motorsports team. We had haven’t really had too much to show for anything since February. It’s good to come here to Seekonk and go back-to-back from last year.

It was the ninth career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Hirschman and his first in four series starts in 2024. Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., joined Doug Coby as the only multi-time Whelen Modified Tour winner in 12 series events at Seekonk since 1987. Coby won at Seekonk in 2017 and 2019. 

Beers, Northampton, Pa., was second for the third consecutive series event. 

“Just a lot of learning and kind of dejected right now,” Beers said. “But three seconds in a row is nothing to hang our hats about.” 

Reigning series champion and current points leader Ron Silk of Norwalk was third after starting 11th in the 23-car field. 

“I was happy with our night,” Silk said. “Starting 11th, it’s tough to come back through from that, especially with a lack of [caution periods], so you’re just passing cars one at a time and it seems like it takes it forever. I’m really happy with third tonight. It kind of feels like a win after the day we had.” 

Silk came into the night holding a 14-point lead over second place Justin Bonsignore in the standings. Silk extended that lead to 16 points over Bonsignore, who finish fifth. Jake Johnson, who finished ninth, sits third in the standings, 29 point behind Silk. 

Hirschman was fastest in qualifying, but saw his luck dissipate with the top-eight qualifiers redrawing for the starting spots. Hirschman drew the eight starting spot. Beers, who qualified second, drew the pole position. 

And that was the position Beers held on to until Hirschman found him late in the race. 

Hirschman was up to fourth by lap 93 and went by Justin Bonsignore for third on lap 98. On lap 117 Hirschman went by Jake Johnson to take over second. At that point Beers held more than a second lead over Hirschman. 

But that lead disappeared when caution flew on lap 120 for the spinning car of Tyler Catalano. 

On the lap 128 restart Hirschman and Beers started a side-by-side battle at the front. On lap 130 Beers got sideways and lost momentum, allowing Hirschman to pull out front for good. 

“It’s always a challenging track,” said Hirschman, who came from the deepest starting position of any Whelen Modified Tour winner at Seekonk. “It changes throughout the race. The characteristics of my car changed throughout the race. It came in good on the restart. I was able to go side-by-side with Austin and finally get ahead. It seemed like were fine then. Just had to get the pass done and we definitely earned this one tonight.” 

Said Beers: “He was a little bit better. It was kind of my fault. I wanted to start freer than usually what we do and it kind of bit us. … It was probably cool for the fans to watch that. It was fun side-by-side battling. We didn’t really hit each other.” 


  1. Rafter fan says

    I caught the last 50 laps on Flo and the Joe Coss/Ben Dodge team brought their A games to the mics. When Ben’s alone, he becomes repetitive. But, when teamed with Joe (or Rickey, Jr.), Ben is quite good.

  2. Just a wonderful summer night at the cement palace, even if your guy did not win. The finish Jake Johnson got, was not indicative of how he ran the first 110 laps. Not sure if Matt rattled him when Matt got to him, but Jake gave it his all. I was sentimentally pulling for that old blue, and for the better part of the race, ole blue was not out of it. But alas, not to be.
    Beers had a hellava car, but from my view from turn 2, Matt methodically picked them off when the race had that long green run aura about it. And Matt got Austin on the restart. Lets face it. Kudo’s, the guy is good. The difference tonight?
    Black 60 in victory lane vs red 60.
    He sure has the palace figured out.
    And I gotta say the same thing about Silk. He fought the whole way one at a time to third. Good run. Anyone else other than me notice how Jacob Lutz ran in that # 14?
    To much to recap, but i’ve probably gone on too long. Sorry for that. The Bugsy tribute probably got to me. Great stuff.

  3. Suitcase Jake says

    Great Race ,,….1 caution in 150 laps at Seekonk has to be a TOUR RECORD of some Kind….Beers was driving around the bump entering turn 3 all night but could not avoid it when Big Money was on his outside… Beers hit the bump and lost traction and a little bobble and the race was over as the 60 had them covered again… It was my PRIVILEGE to meet Bobf in the Flesh .. What a Great Guy … We had a long chat & Bobf was buying … Liz you missed it … LOL Really enjoyed this one as it was like going HOME again seeing all my Racing pals and long time friends…This race lived up to all the HYPE and the place was as full as I have seen in YEARS… Weather was perfect and the Crowd was festive and somber during Bugsy’s last lap .. I thought Kevin Boucher the Man in the Black Hat did an Amazing job over the PA… Said all the right things and kept it classy and brief… Great Job Kevin…. It was everything I thought it would be…!!! Great Racing… Great Crowd…Great People…Great Time…. One caution is still the Huge Surprise in my opinion for the 150 laps…. WOW they drove like real Pros….

  4. They had to be very gentle on the tires. No change race.

    The #3 took several laps to execute a pass early on, if there was all you can eat tires, he would have passed more aggressively.

    That little dust up the #3 had was probably the “last straw” as far as tires went, and he faded. I think the same for Swanson.

    It all came down to starting position and tire management.

    It was a great night.

  5. Another no pit stop event and another great race. See a trend here NASCAR? Mod races don’t need pit stops. The 60 and the 21 are 2 great teams that don’t do pit stop races. NASCAR you need to cater to the smaller teams if you want to survive.

  6. Drunkinirishman says

    Good! Great! Grand! I say about the program presented last evening! The WMT showed it’s talent and excellence with clean hard racing and star power throughout…
    My question for the track would be:

    Why not run the pro stocks? Your top and most competitive division when you have a huge crowd of customers who typically don’t come to your track. I might be intrigued to go to some weekly shows if I saw them…

    Also, track crew guys need to get some gloves!

    Overall great show…

  7. Skid pad racing, Matt’s specialty.

  8. Hillary 2024 says

    No question about it, Rafter. How many times did Hirshman work his magic? 150?

  9. Drunkinirishman, apparently the reason they don’t run the Pro Stocks When the Modified Tour is a lack of room in the pits. When PASS or ACT run Seekonk that is just about an extra 15 Pro Stocks or Late Models to deal with. With the Tour it is over 20 extra teams and most of them have much larger haulers.(i think for a while they would not run the Late Models on nights the Pro Four series would come to Seekonk) I believe they did run the Pro Stocks sometimes when the Modified Tour and Busch North returned to Seekonk in the early 2000’s. But the track had a totally different pit setup back then. During that time at Seekonk the regular divisions would have their cars and pit equipment in the pits and would park their haulers behind the backtretch\turn 3. When the Modified or Busch North would come in, those teams would pit in the front parking lot.(haulers and all). That was not exactly ideal and was a security nightmare. They expanded the pits so all the teams so the teams could have their haulers with them, but there still was not a ton of room to work with.

  10. 150 laps with one caution is not enough to make for an exciting race IMO. If your not going to have tire changes then cut the laps to 100.

  11. Crazy in NY says

    There are people who don’t like the redraw NASCAR has implemented for certain tracks and I have to ask why? Who thinks Matt starting on the pole again would have made it a better race? His typical crappy picking draw numbers set up this great (last 50) show. In typical Seekonk fashion this hard to pass on track lends itself to train racing when no tires are in the mix. The TTOM events are generally more entertaining in my view but for sure MH has this place in his wheelhouse. I also have to give props to up and coming young racer from Hamburg NY (Jake Lutz) and the patients he showed to save his car to still having some drive there at the end. Trust me..he’s one to watch. He’ll get his first laps at NH practicing and qualifying the 14 for Bobby Santos at NH coming up later this month.

  12. Drunkinirishman says

    Solid answer jmb thank you..

    I remember when the mods were stationed outside the pit area. My dad and I ran out right after the mod race to beat traffic. We literally followed preece in ole blue down that back access road to rt 6 in our jeep… Pretty cool for guys that are just fans and hack mechanics….

  13. seekonk fan says

    Suitcase, 5 or so years ago Monadnock went green to checkers 200 laps.

  14. Nascar should implement an inversion of 16 cars for every track, BUT the pole winner should flip a yes/no coin. If inversion is done the pole winner should get bonus points if they win the race. Even better invert the field. I’d bet it would be a better show if all the fast cars started out back. But to prevent sandbagging award points for qualifying again pole winner would get a bonus if they win

  15. Suitcase Jake says

    Steve , from a Crew Chiefs perspective… 150 laps on one set of tires … Really separates the Men from the boys…The fuel load and weight balance front to rear along with in race brake bias adjustments for the Driver are like walking a tightrope … You gotta hit it right on the money like many did without ever pitting.. the car lightens in the rear as fuel burns down along with the track changing as it rubbers up and then cools later on.. There are so so many things that have to accounted for its a real Science… That’s why some of these old school Crew Chiefs , guys like Phil Moran ….Sly Sazban… Hirschman’s … Fournier’s knowledge over 30 years comes into play… Just another angle to think about when seeing a one caution race …these guys cars figured it out really really close to perfect… Thing of beauty …they have THICK NOTEBOOKS… and they will readjust to the new surface really fast for the open wheel WEDNESDAY RACE later this month… and that one will probably have 10 cautions… LOL … you are racing not only great Drivers … But great Crew Chiefs and their vast knowledge …. Drivers are only as good as their CARS… let’s see who makes the best Adjustments for the Wednesday Show on June 26th…. I bet the 16 is gonna be Stronger .. we know the 60 & 64 will be there at the end….Great Stuff …

  16. suitcase – I agree with you on the skill but it’s like watching a chess game – not action, not much passing. the chess match can still happen in 100 laps – just less time to go to the concession stand

  17. Suitcase Jake says

    Steve. good stuff, good points.. It was fun watching Silk come from 11th to 3rd.. He seemed pleased after the race… Big money did his usual routine and got the Win , took his time passing them one at a time… Felt bad for Jake Johnson missed the crossover trying a little to hard and lost a solid 3rd place finish… We were really hoping to see OLD BLUE pull in Victory Lane … That would have put a Cherry on BUGSY LAST RIDE….I WOULD like to have 10% of those BEERS SALES at 7 BUCKS $ a pop … wow they cleaned up on concessions & I am happy for them at SEEKONK they deserved some great weather and some good things to Happen after Covid shut them down…

  18. Hillary 2024 says

    Covid shut them down? 😷

  19. Hillary 2024,
    I’m guessing he was referring to the fact that Seekonk was unable to hold any events in 2020.

  20. Suitcase Jake says

    Yes … That is correct…Shut Down from Covid .. No gatherings in Massachusetts….They did receive some help from Barstool Sports .. they stepped up to help with monthly bills…That’s why I was very happy to see the place loaded with Racing Fans & Blessed with Fantastic Weather… I believe when great weather is in play for Modifieds the Fans will drive long distances …. if the weather is iffy …they tune in on Flo Racing…

  21. Massachusetts went overboard on the COVID restrictions. We had to wait several months for my dad’s funeral, and then we were limited to a graveside service, with only family and a few close friends. My dad had pre paid for his funeral which was supposed to be calling hours and then a full church service. Seekonk did get screwed by the restrictions, unnecessary as I’m sure they’d have found a way to keep people safe. Yet in Northampton they allowed outdoor dining, which was done in parking spaces in downtown.

  22. Not enough people in Massachusetts died from COVID?

    The early spread of COVID in the USA was traced to a birthday party and a funeral, major spreader events. I have family members from Massachusetts that attended a funeral during COVID and were infected and got sick. Throughout the COVID pandemic, funerals were superspreader events. We didn’t have services for my brother-in-law because of the pandemic for safety reasons.

    Your Dad could not have planned for a pandemic when he prepaid. You posted on here numerous times that you lost many friends and family to COVID, your town was deeply affected.

    Sorry your family did not get the full prepaid funeral deal due to the pandemic. Be glad you are still alive.

    😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷

  23. This race was about tires. They were racing tires. They could have put 4-cyl engines in the cars, they were limited by the lack of tires. There was not a single aggressive racing move, everything was done as if carrying explosive nitroglycerin, or super fragile glass. When anything out of the freight train happened, all I thought of was “hope he doesn’t use up too much tire!!!”. It was all about saving tire for the last few laps, if that was even a possibility that a couple cars might be racing at the end.

    The cars gotta have enough tires to race all the laps.

  24. Enduro59 says

    The real good feller’s response to Rob P was such a thinly veiled political statement I am surprised Shawn let it see the light of day. Surprised and disappointed. Almost certainly the good feller was under the influence of some of that bourbon that he referenced in another article. A racing platform is the last place I want to read an unsubstantiated sermon from an ill informed drunk on “Covid”. That whole subject is a tinder box with little if any common ground or compromise between the opposing viewpoints. Good feller’s opinion nor mine nor anyone else’s on the topic belongs here.
    As far as the race from Seekonk goes I like em like that once in a while. Even the 1/3 mile track length was a nice change of pace. The race itself reminded me a bit of the long green flag run at New Smyrna this year that gave the overall race a different “feel” although the outcome was same ole same ole. Ironically the late cautions at both races were caused by upstate New Yorker’s. I think Emerling was the first late caution in Florida and Catalano at Seekonk. Is it just me or do the Catalano”s cause a disproportionate # of cautions compared to everybody else? Them and Jake Johnson. Probably just darn bad racin luck or it could be my inaccurate perception.

  25. Enduro59,

    First, the topic of COVID in 2020 was raised unmaliciously in conversation concerning Seekonk Speedway and the track being shut down for the duration of the 2020 season, which is unfortunately something that actually did happen. As far as the comment you’re referring to, there was absolutely nothing “political” in talking about the effects that a global pandemic had on a business and a particular region of the country. Nothing he said in that comment was untrue. There’s documented proof that large gatherings (like funerals) proved to be events where extreme spread of COVID was taking place in the early days of the pandemic. How is stating that fact a “political statement”? If someone said 50 people got food poisoning at a restaurant that served spoiled meat one night would you say that was a “political statement”? What’s the difference between 50 people getting food poisoning at a restaurant or 50 people getting COVID because they attended a funeral?

  26. Hillary 2024 says

    Well this should take off like wildfire..
    I do know why Seekonk was shut down in 2020.
    My opinion though is that the Massachusetts’s state government shut down businesses. I remember attending plenty of races in surrounding states including Waterford Stafford and Thompson. 😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷

  27. Enduro59 says

    Unfortunately most everything is political now. I disagree strongly with the premise of documentation and the large gatherings. If I tried hard enough I could find documentation/proof for just the opposite. A truth statement conclusion on everything about Covid was indeed the first casualty. I still believe that most of what real good feller stated was political. When he concluded with “be glad you are still alive” in the context of what he had typed previously he gave himself away as a know it all smart ass regarding all things covid.
    If I had responded to Rob P before good feller and typed ” hell yes there was government overreach on every level but my family buried two relatives with funerals as we would have before Covid, large gathering government restrictions be damned and no one got sick”: would you determine that to be not political? It is the truth. A couple of weddings too. Also would you even have responded if I had just left it at surprised and not included disappointed in my reaction? Sorry I included disappointed. It is your football.
    I do thank you for providing old nobodies like me a place to inquire and give a point of view on something I know a little bit about: Racing.
    Please do not feel compelled to put this in the thread or whatever they are called. I get ignored on here enough without seeming like I am attacking you. That is not my intent, nor do I believe you defending your position on your website is an attack on me.

  28. Hillary 2024 says

    “He gave himself away as a know it all smart ass regarding all things covid.”
    Umm, Enduro, you might want to take a little trip down memory lane and read Dafella’s comments throughout 2020. Fascinating stuff.

  29. Enduro59 contributed: “Unfortunately most everything is political now. I disagree strongly with the premise of documentation and the large gatherings. If I tried hard enough I could find documentation/proof for just the opposite. ”

    If you found documentation that opposes one another on the same issue, and assuming one was fact, the other has to be 🐂💩. You can’t have opposing facts on the same issue, only one can be true.

    Simple example:

    2 + 2 = 4

    2 + 2 = 69.2848365

    Is either one true?

    Is either one false?

    Would that be opinion or fact? Do you believe a calculator?

    When someone does not understand the facts, or they do not agree with the facts, they claim the issue is “political”. Too bad. A fact denied is still a fact. Your opinions do not negate facts. Your questioning facts does not discredit the facts. You want to express an opinion, fine. But if that opinion is destroyed with opposing facts, don’t play the victim card, you are not being attacked. You are being informed.

    Also, since Dr. Anthony Fauci has been in the news lately, he has been getting death threats against himself and family award winning work on the COVID vaccines, he was awarded the Presidential/Congressional Medal by G.H.W. Bush, and another medal by Trump for his work on COVID and the COVID vaccines.

    Here are awards Dr. Anthony Fauci earned, some awarded by Trump:

    Maxwell Finland Award (1989)
    Ernst Jung Prize (1995)
    Lasker Award (2007)
    Presidential Medal of Freedom (2008)
    Robert Koch Prize (2013)
    Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2020)
    Public Welfare Medal (2021)
    Dan David Prize (2021)

    Enduro59 contributed, “When he concluded with “be glad you are still alive” in the context of what he had typed previously he gave himself away as a know it all smart ass regarding all things covid.”

    You need a dictionary to look up definitions of science, opinion, fact, and political. Good luck with that.

    Rob P. posted often about the friends/family members he was losing during the COVID pandemic. He lost plenty of friends and family. He is indeed lucky to still be alive. Last I saw, Rob P. lost nine people due to COVID.

    COVID was indeed politicized. Are we afraid to discuss measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, tetanus, polio, and all the other dozens of diseases which we are and have been vaccinated against for decades??? No. Why was COVID politicized? It was politicized from a very certain faction. Interestingly, Trump was President at the time, but because his base is hugely anti-vax, he can’t take credit for the COVID vaccines or he will turn his all important base against himself, and he can’t afford to lose a single vote.

    Enduro59, there’s reason why you get ignored. This is just some of them. Conspiracists are generally ignored and laughed at, for good reason.

    CT tracks ran a very limited schedule during the height of COVID, less events, and I believe arenas (not just race tracks) had capacity limits below max.

    I know and understand facts because I can.

  30. Boy.
    And all along, I thought I saw a darn good race.
    Great summer night, ‘ole blue in contention for most of the race (not wrecking anybody from my view in turn 2), watching Jacob “who is he and where did he come from” Lutz hold his own like a veteran.
    Watching the 16 methodically trying to save, but, pick ‘em off one at a time, to be there at the end. Watching Matt, do what Matt does. And my era Bugsy tribute by the track? Jees! That particular #3 they had at seekonk for that, looked like they pulled it out of the grown over brush behind a junkyard in Rehobeth! Talk about patina!! For a moment, I thought I was back in turn 2 at Norwood arena! Priceless for me!!
    I thought 2 things, well, maybe 3.
    1). I thought the race was awesome, true professions racing in close quarters, lap after lap, and yet, no stupid cautions. Professionalism at its best imo. Not easy.
    2). Because of 1 above, it was the type of race I hate to take a person that has never been to a race before, well, to! We all know why, and I did that once, and lost a potential convert fan.
    3) Met Suitcase

    But I never thought that we would have to squabble amongst ourselves over covid again. That’s fine, I’m sorry for losses, I certainly had mine. Lost a few. Just a dark time.
    I just thought it was a great night at the races.
    I had a ball. Jmo.

  31. Crazy in NY says

    “I know and understand facts because I can.”

    I nearly chocked on my oatmeal reading these words from this author.
    Ones to keep in the achives I think.

  32. Suitcase Jake says

    SHAWN. If you could have a Quick-cast with Dave Alburn of Seekonk Speedway it would be interesting with His point of view being 75 years of Racing with His Family with only a few missed due to War or Covid . There is a boatload of stories of how he survived to keep Seekonk Speedway alive for us to enjoy the ONLY TRACK LEFT IN MASSACHUSETTS.. I think we would enjoy learning about that and other things of their RICH HISTORY and how their family has Run Races since 1946 to present Day 2024
    Thank you Shawn , Dave is a great Guy so it would be a good Quick-Cast…

  33. MH did a great job doing what he is known for: excellent tire setup and tire race management on an itty bitty skid pad track.

  34. To anyone interested,
    I watched a piece on race hub last night on Steve Park. The segment was called Steve Park Destined”
    For anyone that was identifies as a “Sparkie”, well worth the watch if you can find it.
    I learned some very interesting things.
    And it was telling, when Park was talking about the Rockingham win, how great it was and how terrible it was.
    They did a great job on that segment imo.

  35. Suitcase Jake says

    Steve Park would have done Great things in Cup … He was a winner and knew chassis set up… when him and Tommy Baldwin were together they were unreal on the Tour…I had the pleasure of Steve bouncing off my inside door over the big bump on turn 2 exit .. you would hit that at speed and your car would jump to the right like 8 or 10 inches…He was chasing Nascar points in the PRO STOCK DIVISION along with Mighty Mike Stefanick and Ewanitsko Who had 28 tour wins and another one who had the talent for Cup . Gentleman Jim McCallum , Radical Rick Martin. Dick Houlihan Mike Weeden , Stormin Norman Holden. Jimmy Rosenfield … Bobby Gahan … To name a Few… What an education at Thompson in 1995 …my rookie year in Pro Stocks… Stevie Park drove for another Great Wheelman , George Murray in his Penny Loafer driving Shoes…I think George scored a Cardinal 500 Win if My memory is in one piece… Yes that Win at Rockingham we had tears coming down when he crossed the Line… WOW what an EMOTIONAL WIN THAT WAS … Thanks Bobf for bringing that up …I hope and PRAY THOMPSON KEEPS ALIVE AND KICKING..THANK YOU MEN FROM MAINE…!!!! SO MANY MEMORIES AT THOMPSON ….!!! High Banks are the # 1 place to watch Modifieds and Supermodifieds .along with all the late models and Sportsmen and Minis… The Pro Stocks used to start 42 CARS IN THE FEATURE !!!! Can you Believe that …. 42 cars at 145 mph going into turn # 1 !!! Wow the fun I had,….I bet the fans loved it too….. Have Fun = Be Happy ..!!! bring on Louden ..!!!

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