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   The Chrome Horn - Modified Racing Series presented by



by Denise DuPont

The Modified Racing Series opened up their 2010 season at Waterford Speedbowl with thirty-five Modified Racing Series (MRS) teams ready to race. During practice a few teams had issues and went home, most notably, 2009 series runner-up Rob Goodenough who hit the wall in Fridays practice session. When it was qualifying time, there were thirty teams left to drive for one of the twenty-six starting spots.

Eight different drivers previously have had MRS victories at Waterford. Doug Coby made history this weekend when he took the checkered flag. He was the first repeat winner. “Now we are two for two here at Waterford. It is a great win for this team (Czarnicki Brothers). These guys work so hard on this car. We can only run about four or five shows a year and you hope to win every one (race) that we do (run).”

At Waterford’s MRS race last spring, Coby ran the #20 Mod into mud in the center of the track as he celebrated winning his first MRS race. This year he selected to settle for a traditional victory lap he stayed on the track. “The best part about this win is I do not have to clean this car for the next two weeks.” said Coby from Victory Lane. “That is a good thing. I want to thank my crew guys, all of the Modified Racing Series Officials, all the drivers that ran us clean, and Bob Valenti for stepping on board with this series. It is going to be a great sponsorship.”

Crossing the start finish line second was second generation driver Matt Hirschman. “It was pretty good for us we came up from eighteenth. They ran us real good and we were able to make it up to as high as second. Then we dropped back to third. If it wasn’t for Rowan running out of gas or whatever happened, we would have finished third.”

On a lap 90 restart, the second place car #25 of Rowan Pennink slowed and stopped on the track. Pennink’s bad luck gave Hirschman the higher finish at Waterford. “It was probably going to be Coby, Pennink, Me, then McKennedy finish. We gained a spot with Rowan dropping out. It was a good showing.”

Hirschman has competed with the MRS before and run well and even has a win. “These guys are a lot of fun to race with. They are real good to get along with. It is a low buck small operation but every time I run it the car has been fast and I cannot ask for anything more than that. It is a fast car to drive and they have always given it to me.”

MRS defending champion, Jon McKennedy won the second heat race and started the 100 lap race at Waterford on the outside pole. He jumped to the lead and then led for the next forty-three laps until Doug Coby passed to take the lead. “Overall it was a good day. We ended up third. We led a lot of the race and then we were passed and I fell back to second. I went forward and got the lead back on the restart. I kind of got roughed up and I was sent up into the marbles. And all of a sudden I fell back to fourth. Then I was not able to get back by them (lead cars) and get to third. Then it was hard to pass again.”

As a true champion, McKennedy charged for a win but came up short in the end. “Overall, I would have liked to have won. We led a lot, but under the circumstances and what happened, third was not bad. Overall it was a good weekend.”

The next MRS event is scheduled for Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. on April 17-18.

Waterford Speedbowl Race Notes:

The race was definitely a marathon race from lap 50 on.
With a lot of cautions (11) and a red flag were there any concerns about running out of gas?

Doug Coby
“We ran out of gas at Thompson last year and the rule for this #20 race team from now on is it is full to the lip every time we go out. So we were not going to run out of gas for nothing. It was just a great race run. The last five laps we had our fastest run. Because we were clear of traffic. I saved the tires and tried to do the best I could. The track crew did a good job and kept the track with good conditions.”

Matt Hirschman
“No. I had enough and as I said it is a smaller motor so we are probably not using as much.
I was not worried because I thought that we had enough. It was a lot of laps.”

Jon McKennedy
“No, I made sure we put enough in because in past history here there are always cautions, so I made sure we had plenty of fuel.
The race was full of cautions and there were a lot of wrecked cars. That is always kind of expected here. It is tight racing here and it is really fast. You make one little mistake and it wipes out quite a few cars at a time.”

Rowan Pennink
“Right before we went into three it started sputtering a little bit. I did not know what it was. As soon as I stood on the gas when the green came out it (the car) just did not go anywhere. My first thought was that it was out of gas. And we were. But also it fired back up when we put gas in it. They had to push start me so the battery was dead too. I do not know what really happened with that (the battery).”

Will Matt Hirschman participate in any more MRS races?
“I could. I really do not have anything planned.” Matt said as the #50 went through inspection. “I know that we will be running together at Albany-Saratoga at the MRS next race. After that and down the road I am sure we will again. Will it be this year or not until next year I really do not know. I like it. I enjoy the group and the racing was pretty good, considering the track conditions (Waterford Speedbowl).”

Source: Denise DuPont /
Posted: March 30, 2010

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