The Chrome Horn - ASA Southern Modified Race Tour

   3/8/2009

HIRSCHMAN HOT AT FROSTBITE MODIFIED NATIONALS;
Wins Josh Jenkins Memorial 125 at Orange County Speedway

   It had been nearly 20 years since the Modifieds took to the track at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC. An event like the Frostbite Modified Winter Nationals featuring the Josh Jenkins Memorial 125 was long overdue but well worth the wait. After 125 of action-packed racing on Saturday, March 6, 2009, it was Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, taking down an impressive victory.
   The smooth and patient style of Hirschman paid dividends when a late race pass proved to be the winning move. The second-generation driver was a contender in the early going but faded during the mid-portion of the event. Biding his time after halfway, Hirschman applied heavy pressure to race dominator Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, in the late stages, finally taking the race lead with five laps to go. Silk and veteran driver Charlie Pasteryak of Lisbon, CT, completed the podium. George Brunnhoelzl III of Mooresville, NC, put on a great show for the fans to finish fourth ahead of JR Bertuccio of Centereach, NY.
   During qualifying on Friday, March 7, 2009, the Northern teams dominated in time trials with the invaders grabbing the top three spots in qualifying. Silk toured the 3/8-mile high-banked Speedway in 13.190 seconds. Hirschman qualified second with a lap of 13.281 seconds followed by Pasteryak (13.284), Brunnhoelzl (13.285) and Burt Myers (13.306).
   Silk brought the field to green to start the first annual Josh Jenkins Memorial 125 followed by Hirschman and Pasteryak. The trio of Northern competitors quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
   In the early going as Burt Myers and Brunnhoelzl battled side-by-side for the fourth position, the top three were able to stretch their lead. After freeing himself of B. Myers, Brunnhoelzl ran by himself searching for the leaders. Tony Hanbury and Josh Nichols were on the move racing into the sixth and seventh positions respectively.
   Slight contact between Hanbury and Nichols allowed Hanbury the opportunity to move into the sixth positions. Brunnhoelzl meanwhile had caught the leaders. Veteran Southern Modified racer Jay Foley had come from the 11th position to run seventh 20 laps into the race. Hanbury moved into the top five while Silk entered lapped traffic at lap 21. B. Myers continued to battle back trying to stay inside the top five.
   The first caution of the event flew for a spin by Hanbury on lap 28. The field took evasive action exiting turn four successfully missing the spinning Hanbury. During the caution, Jason Myers, Bertuccio and Ricky Knapp headed to pit road for service.
   Silk was quick on the restart regaining his place at the head of the field. The remainder of the top-ten running order was Hirschman, Pasteryak, Brunnhoelzl, B. Myers, Nichols, Jimmy Zacharias, Foley, and Scott Rigney.
   On lap 33, Brunnhoelzl was looking low on Pasteryak. He was able to make the pass on lap 34. Brunnhoelzl was not done yet as he began to hound Hirschman for the second spot. His persistence paid of as he was able to grab the spot away with a bottom shot on lap 40. With the door open, Pasteryak was able to get by Hirschman on lap 41. B. Myers was immediately on the back bumper of the #59. He tried both the high side and the low side trying to make his way into the fourth positions but had to settle back in fourth.
   In heavy lapped traffic, both Brunnhoelzl and Pasteryak were able to catch Silk. The top three had a near straightaway advantage on the fourth place car of Hirschman. At lap 54, Zacharias was looking racy dogging the #1 of B. Myers for the fifth spot. Foley entered the mix making it a three car battle for the fifth position behind Matt Hirschman. Brunnhoelzl continued to stay glued to the back bumper of Silk.
   The field-wide battling cooled after a spin by Darrel Krentz necessitated the eventís second caution. With the race inside the window for the mandatory pit stop, a string of cars headed to pit road for service. All competitors pitted for the mandatory pit stop at lap 60 with the exception of Zacharias, B. Myers, and Hanbury.
   On the restart, Zacharias jumped out to the lead with Myers in second and Silk bearing down on Hanbury. There was a tense moment near the head of the pack when there was contact between Hanbury and Silk. Hanbury was able to maintain his position.
   At halfway, the running order found Zacharias as the leader followed by B. Myers, Hanbury, Silk, Brunnhoelzl, Hirschman, Pasteryak, and Nichols. Like a man on a mission, Silk drove around Hanbury on the outside and dove low to get around B. Myers to gain two positions on lap 65. Zacharias, who had been enjoying a bit of a lead, saw it dwindle as Silk was free of the traffic. By this time, Brunnhoelzl had worked his way into the second spot.
   Silk made a bold move entering turn four to take over the lead to complete lap 70. Brunnhoelzl immediately went to work on the young driver as well. Pasteryak ran in third with Hirschman a distant fourth followed by Nichols, Danny Bohn and Foley. Brunnhoelzl moved back into second on lap 75.
   Silk found himself in lapped traffic again on lap 77. B. Myers struggled against the teams with new tires; falling back to the tail of the field at lap 80. He went down a lap to the leaders on lap on 86. Hanbury was the next to lose a lap.
   The lapped car of Darrel Krentz lost control of his mount on lap 89 after contact with Hanbury. Leader Silk took evasive action but Brunnhoelzl was not as lucky. Pasteryak stopped to avoid the incident. Brunnhoelzl sustained only minor damage and was able to return to the action after fervent work by his pit crew.
   Silk lined up as the leader followed by Pasteryak, Hirschman, Nichols, Bohn, and Foley on the restart. Silk retained his lead followed by Hirschman, who got by Pasteryak when the race returned to green.
   Hirschman and Pasteryak looked strong with less than 30 laps to go staying right with Silk. Nichols and Bohn ran comfortably inside the top-five. Foley and Bertuccio were locked in a heated battled for sixth.
   Bohn made a nice save at lap 99 after contact with Foley. The trio, that also included Bertuccio, continued to play bumper tag for the fifth position. Up front, the trio of Silk, Hirschman, and Pasteryak ran nose-to-tail at lap 100. Brunnhoelzl was diligently working his way back into contention. With 25 laps to go the battles were fierce throughout the running order.
   Bertuccio got a run on Nichols taking the fourth spot on lap 110. It was an action packed lap as a completely sideways Bohn made another save after contact with Foley once again. They were three wide on the backstretch with Brunnhoelzl diving low trying to get by both Foley and Nichols. Nichols, pinned on the outside, wisely backed out giving Brunnhoelzl the edge to take the position from Foley. With ten laps to go Brunnhoelzl was fifth.
   In the closing laps, Hirschman looked low on successive laps looking in search of Silkís lead. A slight bobble by Silk in turn two opened the door for Hirschman. Seizing the opportunity, Hirschman was the new leader with five laps remaining. Silk settled back into second with Pasteryak in close pursuit. Brunnhoelzl continued to be strong applying heavy pressure to Bertuccio for the fourth position.
   Pasteryak dove low on Silk with three laps remaining but could not make the pass stick. Brunnhoelzl on the other hand was able to make his way past Bertuccio.
   Hirschman streaked under the checkers to score the win in the inaugural Josh Jenkins Memorial 125 to continue his recent domination of C&C Racing Promotions events. Silk, after the leading the lionís share of the laps, had to settle for second over the ageless Pasteryak. Brunnhoelzl turned in a valiant performance to finish fourth followed by Bertuccio.
   In support division action, Donnie Lacks of Goode, VA, scored the victory in the Vintage Modifieds and Gary Loyd of Efland, NC, was victorious in the Vintage Sportsman division.
   Johnny Johnson of Tobaccoville, NC, was the top-dog in the Flathead Fords. The youngsters of the Pro-Challenge Series but on a great show for the fans at the Frostbite Winternationals. For complete details visit www.prochallenge.net.

   Josh Jenkins Memorial 125 Feature Finish: 1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 3. Charlie Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 4. George Brunnhoelzl III, Mooresville, NC; 5. JR Bertuccio, Centereach, NY; 6. Jay Foley, Stuart, VA; 7. Danny Bohn, Rockwell, NC; 8. Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, NY; 9. Scott Rigney, Mount Airy, NC; 10. Josh Nichols, Cleveland, NC; 11. Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, NC; 12. Tony Hanbury, Owego, NC; 13. Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, NC; 14. Rob Schultz, Ocean, NJ; 15. Greg Butcher, Mocksville, NC; 16. Darrel Krentz, Huntersville, NC; 17. Ricky Knapp, Mooresville, NC; 18. Barry Dalton, Danville, VA; DNS-Dean Ward, Winston-Salem, NC; DNS-Gary Young, Jr., Burlington, NC; DNS-Darryl Lacks, Goode, VA.

   Vintage Modified Feature Finish: 1. Donnie Lacks, Goode, VA; 2. Jerry Scott, Ruffin, NC; 3. Billy Parrish, Burlington, NC.

   Vintage Sportsman Feature: 1. Gary Loyd, Efland, NC; 2. Keith Maready, Mebane, NC ; 3. Barry Parker, Mebane, NC; 4. Rodney Dye, Garner, NC; 5. Tommy Buxton, Raleigh, NC; 6. Ricky Pope, Smithfield, NC.

   Flathead Feature Finish: 1. Johnny Johnson, Tobaccoville, NC; 2. Clayton Smith, King, NC; 3. Kenneth Tuttle, King, NC; 4. James Rogers, Ridgeway, VA; 5. Ronda McKnight, King, NC; 6. Mike Pike, Hurt, VA; 7. Jim Brock, Roanoke, VA; 8. John Barron, Kernsville, NC.
 

Source: Dale Wolbrink / ASA Southern Modified Race Tour
Posted: March 8, 2009

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