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
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
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
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
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.