PERFECT RACE STRATEGY VAULTS HIRSCHMAN
TO RoC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES CHEMUNG WIN
is no doubt that Matt Hirschman spends plenty of time before a race
thinking about his strategy and how he is going to use it when
feature time comes around. The three time and defending Race of
Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour champion has won features by
not pitting and also has won features by making a pit stop.
On Sunday afternoon at the Chemung Speedrome Hirschman stuck to his
strategy of saving his car early and not getting in trouble which
almost led him to being a lap down. After the field got strung out
Hirschman started his move toward the front and during a caution
period on lap 83 Hirschman pitted for a new right rear tire. Matt
returned to the track in seventh with 67 laps left in the 150 lap
feature and he knew he had the car to beat.
Hirschman bided his time in getting to the front as he didn’t move
into the top five until lap 113 and stayed in fifth for the next 17
laps. Then with 20 laps to go it was “go time“ and that is exactly
what Hirschman did as he used all outside passes to work his way
into second by lap 144. Just after lap 145 was scored Hirschman
ducked under race long leader Erick Rudolph entering turn one to
grab the lead for good.
Rudolph settled for a disappointing second with JR Kent driving a
Zacharias Racing entry finishing third with Earl Paules in fourth
and Daren Scherer in fifth.
“Our plans right from the get go was to pit after half way“ said the
Northampton, Pa. race winner. “I remember back to the race here in
2008 when Eric (Beers) and I pitted late and we were both strong and
you knew one of us were going to win the race. Eric ended up winning
as I tangled with Jan Leaty that day. So I went back a couple of
weeks ago and watched the tape of that race and figured that I would
do the same exact thing today and it worked out perfectly for us.“
Pistol Pete Brittain and Erick Rudolph brought the 26 car field to
green with Rudolph getting the lead from his outside pole starting
spot over Brittain, JR Kent, Jan Leaty, and Andy Walko.
Following a lap six restart it became obvious that there was
something wrong with the setup on the Brittain machine as he dropped
back through the field. Making the big move during the shuffle to
get past Brittain was Walko who vaulted into second and applied
immediate pressure on Rudolph for the lead.
Rudolph and Walko were setting a blistering pace on this hot
afternoon and with the race staying green from lap six until lap 41.
Many drivers who were thought to be in contention for the win were
almost caught and placed a lap down. However a spin by Doug Reaume
on lap 41 saved Rusty Smith, Matt Hirschman, Daren Scherer, and Mike
Leaty from going a lap down to the fast running duo of Rudolph and
Another 20 lap segment of green flag racing took place between laps
41 and 61 and once again drivers’ almost going a lap down was the
story. During the caution period Walko, Scherer, and Mike Leaty all
pitted for fresh right rear rubber.
The next 20 laps stayed all green and when the yellow appeared on
lap 83 you figured that everyone would pit. Almost everyone pitted
with the exception of Rudolph, Kent, and Earl Paules who were the
top three in the running order, Scherer was now fourth and Mike
Leaty was fifth.
The top five would stay the same for the next 24 laps as you could
tell that the drivers who pitted were waiting for the final 25 laps
to make their move. Hirschman was the first driver who pitted on lap
83 to make his move as he got around Leaty for fifth on lap 113 and
just before Walko got into Leaty and spun out exiting turn two. The
Leaty machine suffered enough damage to the left rear corner that he
rode around and collected points for the remainder of the race.
The race went back to green with 32 laps to go and all eyes were on
Hirschman to see when he would make his move. The first move came on
lap 131 as he got past Scherer in turn one for fourth and seven laps
later he drove around Paules for third.
Now on the back bumper of JR Kent for second Hirschman made short
work of the driver that is known for being tough to pass at the end
of the race as he took second on lap 144.
Rudolph started to lift earlier entering the corners at lap 135 in
an effort to save what little rubber he had left and this allowed
Hirschman to close in rapidly on Rudolph. Hirschman used his
superior strength to get under Rudolph exiting turn four to complete
lap 145 and by the time they were side by side entering turn one
Hirschman who had the preferred groove got the lead exiting turn two
and never looked back.
Qualifying for the 28 car field saw heat wins captured by Hirschman,
Jan Leaty, Walko, and Rudolph while Rusty Smith won the B Main.
DROME NOTES; Current RoC point leader Chuck Hossfeld saw his
four race RoC win streak snapped as he was a very surprising no
show. This race was the first race of the Championship Series which
carries extra points combined with the regular season points to
determine the 2010 RoC Champion. Terry Markovic was hit and
uninjured by a Sport Mod during hot laps while working on his
Modified on pit road. Jimmy Zacharias blew the engine during the
heat race ending his afternoon. Former dirt racer John Ramsey was
piloting the second entry owned by Jim Storace.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT
MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE #1
FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Erick Rudolph, JR Kent, Earl Paules,
Daren Scherer, John Markovic, Rusty Smith, TJ Potrzebowski, Tommy
Cloce, Kyle Ebersole, Jan Leaty, Wilbur Hebing, Mike Leaty, Andy
Walko, Michael Speeney, Rick Kluth, Doug Reaume, Barry Callavini,
Pete Brittain, John Ramsey, Jim Storace, Bobby Jones, Patrick
Emerling, Terry Markovic, Brian DeFebo, Byron Chew.
DNQ’S; Matt Clemens, Jimmy Zacharias.
LAP LEADERS; Rudolph ( 1 – 145 ), Hirschman ( 146 – 150 ).
GATER RACING NEWS DRIVER BONUS DRAW $500; Kluth.
DART MACHINERY SET OF $1,500 HEADS; Hamman ( from Dunn Tire
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Smith 21st to 7th.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Brittain 1st to 19th.
NEXT RoC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES EVENT; Sunday August 1st –
Shangri – La II Motor Speedway – 100 laps.
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is proudly
sponsored by; Dart Machinery, Gater Racing News, Hoosier Racing
Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston
Rings, Dura – Bond, Afco, CV Products, LA Sleeve, Competition
Engineering by Moroso, Xceldyne Technologies, Erson Cams, Dynatech,
and Melling Performance.
Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Modified Tour