Five-Time Modified Champion Hirschman
to be Honored at Thompson
NASCAR to Recognize Hirschman on Aug. 14
As part of the season-long celebration of 60
years of Modified champions, five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
titlist Tony Hirschman will be honored at the New England Dodge
Dealers 150 presented by Budweiser on Thursday, Aug. 14 at Thompson
(Conn.) International Speedway.
Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., captured five NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour titles during a stellar 11-year span from 1995-2005. His five
championships are second-most in tour history.
“The first time I ever saw Modifieds was in the early days when they
came to Pocono on the three-quarter mile track back in the late
1960s,” Hirschman said. “Just sitting in the stands and watching, I
never would have thought that one day I would have a chance to race
cars like that, let alone win a race or a championship. One thing
led to the next, and as years go by, here we are with five
In the smallest championship margin of victory in NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour history, Hirschman edged Steve Park by three points
for his first title in 1995. The 1996 season would see Hirschman
again finish ahead of Park in another championship chase that went
down to the wire, this time by 12 points.
After two narrow championship victories in 1995 and 1996, Hirschman
was able to put together a dominant 1999 campaign for his third
series title. With six wins, 14 top fives and 19 top 10s, he
finished 403 points ahead of Mike Ewanitsko for the championship,
the second-largest margin of victory in series history.
For the second time in his career, Hirschman was able to put
together back-to-back championship seasons in 2004 and 2005.
Hirschman used four wins to finish 104 points ahead of Ed Flemke Jr.
for the 2004 title and he had five victories during his fifth
championship season when he tallied 18 more points than Ted
Christopher in the final standings.
Hirschman, who last raced in 2007, recorded 35 wins, 41 poles, 134
top fives and 199 top 10s in 319 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
starts. His win total ranks third in series history while his pole
award tally is an all-time record. Hirschman’s five NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour championships are second only to Stefanik’s seven
titles since the tour was formed in 1985.
Thompson International Speedway, where the ceremony will take place,
was a very successful venue for Hirschman. Of his 35 career wins,
eight came at Thompson. Hirschman’s first win at the track was the
1989 World Series and his most-recent triumph came in the August
2005 New England Dodge Dealers 150.
“Thompson always was a good race track for me,” Hirschman said.
“Four of the five championships came down to the last race, and we
won them there. Thompson has always been special to me.”
In addition to his successful NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career,
Hirschman also competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East for
a couple years. He finished seventh in the season standings in 1991
to earn Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors and placed eighth in the
1992 points chase.
Following this week’s race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on
Friday, Aug. 8, the New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Thompson on
Thursday, Aug. 14 will be the ninth race of the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour 2008 schedule. Hirschman will be honored by NASCAR
prior to the start of racing action that evening. For ticket
information, please visit Thompson’s official Web site (thompsonspeedway.com).