The Chrome Horn News



    A little less than two months ago Matt Hirschman dominated the Richie Evans Memorial in the first Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour race of the year at the Oswego Speedway. In race number three of the RoC Tour and the second of the year at Oswego on Saturday night for the Summer 100, the story was just about the same as it was in late May.
   Unlike in May where he led all 100 laps, on Saturday night Hirschman powered his way from the sixth starting spot to move into second by the end of the first lap. Then just after lap two was completed the second generation driver ducked under leader Earl Paules going into turn one. Once in lead Hirschman was never seriously challenged as he led the next 85 laps until a heavy rainstorm halted the race on lap 87.
   After a delay of 20 minutes the race was called official and Hirschman was awarded the $3,500 feature win. Paules returning to the RoC Tour ended up second with defending RoC Tour champion and new point leader Pete Brittain ending up in third. Third generation driver Erick Rudolph pitted for fresh tires on lap 45 was coming on strong at the end to finish fourth and veteran Rick Zacharias brought the second of three Zacharias Racing entries home in fifth.
   “ The great start going from sixth to second on the first lap definitely helped “ said Matt who won for the third time in seven days. “ By making that move it put me in a position early to go for the lead in the race. It just worked out for us on that first lap as the cars in front of us fell into line and we filled the hole on the outside. “
   Matt continued on. “ Last time here I started on the pole and I set the car up to run 100 laps out front. This time I made a little adjustment to what I had planned to go with before the feature, based on starting sixth. I think that change I made really helped to make the car fire better and able me to pass cars quicker early in the race. The change might have hurt me later in the race but we were still good at the end of the race. “
   Matt spoke about the increasing weather threat and whether it changed his pit strategy. “ A lot depended on where I was racing on the track. Leading the race I wasn’t planning on pitting, even if I was second or third I would have stayed out. If I was running back in the pack I would have probably planned on pitting. But we have no weather radar in our pit and it kind of surprised me when it did start to rain as I didn’t expect it. I don’t think the rain affected the outcome of the race. The race ended up being a couple of laps short but we earned it tonight. “
   Many observers thought that tire wear would be a factor for the front running trio who didn’t stop. But Matt downplayed the tire wear factor by saying. “ It ( tire wear ) wasn’t that bad tonight as it seemed that the track rubbered up. There were a lot of cars here tonight as there were more cars in the Supers and more cars in the other division than before. The track rubbered up with all of the racing taking place on it and it didn’t seem to be as hard on tires as it normally is some other times here. “
   With the win Matt claimed his seventh win of the year and third within the last week. “ It’s incredible, I really don’t even know what to say about it. It’s a heck of a run we’re on to win three races in a row in three different series within a week. It’s not like we’re winning them all on the same series, we’re winning them in different series and that is tougher than you think. There are a lot of highs and lows in this sport and right now we’re about as high as you can get. I’m going to enjoy it and take one race at a time as I have a lot of races coming up in August. To past my win total of six that I had last year, that’s a pretty good year. Now I’m looking for maybe getting into double digits for feature wins this year as I have a half a season left. “
   Looking ahead to the next Oswego show on August 30th Matt will be classified as the favorite with him being two for two this year so far at Oswego. “ Yes, I think you could call me the favorite but you can’t forget about Jan Leaty. Jan won here more last year than I did and he has won that Labor Day Weekend show two years in a row. I haven’t been here on Classic Weekend for a couple of years and Jan might have the upper hand for that race because it’s an even longer race. I’m looking forward to Classic Weekend as I love being here because of the environment. “
   “ It was a good run for us “ said second place finisher and former RoC Tour champion Earl Paules. “ Coming from sixth in the heat to get to the redraw and then to draw the pole was a key for me tonight. “
   “ Matt kind of surprised me when he got by me, but I had nothing for him tonight. It was sooner or later he was going to get by me and he did it sooner, second place is good. “
   “ If Matt would have pitted I would pit but if Matt stayed out I was going to stay out “ answered Earl when asked if there was any pit strategy. “
   Earl finished third last week in a RoC Dirt Sportsman event. “ It’s fun racing both surfaces. RoC is where it’s at. I tried some local race tracks and it didn’t work out and I don’t know why as it seemed they liked to pick on me. We’ll be on the RoC Tour both dirt and asphalt for the remainder of the year. “
   “ You’re never happy with a third, but it was a good run “ said defending RoC Tour champion and current point leader Pete Brittain, who started fourth. “ Matty won the race on the first lap as I hesitated and went to the bottom and he went to the outside and that was the winning move. I think the top three cars were pretty much equal all night long. “
   Qualifying for the 32 car field saw heat wins go to Hirschman, Brittain, Billy Putney, and Steven Reed with Rusty Smith capturing the B Main.

   STEEL PALACE NOTES; Everyone associated with RoC from the officials to the drivers to the Modified fans would like to thank Oswego management for making the change in the running order of the feature events because of the increasing weather threat. Many drivers altered their pit strategy due to the worsening weather conditions that kept RoC and Oswego officials busy during the feature as they watched the live weather radar. Drivers and teams were kept informed of the weather by RoC Officials through their one & two way radio communication with the drivers and crews. A majority of the field didn’t pit because of the weather and most reported that they would have had enough tire to go the advertised 100 lap distance. However most drivers were happy that the race was stopped when it was and not restarted because most drivers felt it would be a dangerous situation with the tires. Kyle Ebersole was making his first ever Oswego & RoC appearance and it ended up only being a short one as the motor expired in hot laps. Jason Hearne in the second Rick Kluth entry and after Kluth wrecked the primary car in the heat they switched cars for the consi. Mike Leaty looked good and competitive with his new DART steel headed motor that costs about half of the motor everyone else is currently using. Eric Beers was unable to shift into high gear at the start of the consi. Bringing out the yellow Beers pitted and his fast working crew got the problem repaired just in time to tag the field and ended up qualifying. Drivers once again had to start the feature on the same exact tires they qualified on through their respective heat or consi.


   FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Earl Paules, Pete Brittain, Erick Rudolph, Rick Zacharias, Daren Scherer, Billy Putney, Dave Wollaber, TJ Potrzebowski, Tom Kinsella, John Markovic, Jan Leaty, Rusty Smith, Todd Smith, Doug Reaume, Jimmy Zacharias, Chris Whitenight, Lee Sherwood, Eric Beers, Sege Fidanza, Steven Reed, Mark Tychoniewicz, Jim Storace, Dean Rypkema, Tommy Farrell, III, Rick Kluth, Ken Canestrari, Mike Leaty.
DNQ’S; Vern LaFave, Jason Hearne, Kyle Ebersole, Matt Clemens.
LAP LEADERS; Paules ( 1 – 2 ) Hirschman ( 3 – 87 ).
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Potrzebowski ( 24th to 9th ).

   NEXT RoC EVENT; Friday August 1st – Spencer Speedway – Williamson, NY – 100 laps - $3,500 to win.

   The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by; Dart Machinery, Hoosier Racing Tires, Gater Racing News, Sunoco Race Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston Rings, Dura – Bond, Competition Engineering By Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, Afco, CV Products, LA Sleeve.


Source: JR's Motorsports Media / RoC Dart Asphalt Modified Series
Posted:  July 20, 2008

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