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   The Chrome Horn - RoC DART Asphalt Modified Tour




There 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 Walko.

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.


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 ).
DART MACHINERY SET OF $1,500 HEADS; Hamman ( from Dunn Tire race ).
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
Posted: July 18, 2010

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