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   The Chrome Horn - RoC Asphalt Modified Tour




TTen weeks ago defending and five time Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour champion Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. suffered a fractured wrist in a racing accident while competing in Florida. Following surgery and a recovery period the second generation driver returned to racing this past weekend and in his second race of the weekend in less than 24 hours, he returned to victory lane.

Matt started 13th and early on in the 75 lap feature event he was getting bumped and banged around like most of his competitors were. Matt somehow got enough breaks to work himself into contention by reaching fifth on lap 22.

Luck played another big role for Hirschman as he moved into second on lap 31 by not passing a single car, as position advancement was by cars involved in accidents in front of Matt.

Hirschman took the lead for good on a lap 32 restart when leader Austin Kochenash spun his tires exiting turn four which jammed up his transmission.

Hirschman was challenged for the lead over the final 45 laps by 21st place starter Brian DeFebo of Berwick, Pa. who had to pit early in the race with a right front flat. DeFebo who was racing with the wrong rear end gear ratio in the car just didn’t have enough power to get around Hirschman and settled for second.

East Aurora, NY driver Billy Putney who started 18th at the beginning of the event ended up with a Chemung best third place finish. Fourth went to Binghamton, NY driver Daren Scherer while Springville, NY driver Patrick Emerling finished fifth.

“It seemed like we all were a little rusty and racing on the edge today – including myself”, said Matt when speaking about the feature which had 14 yellow flag periods. “I just broke through the pack when a couple of guys in front of me tangled and when I got toward the front I got my rhythm back to get out in front. It was a good finish to a rough day here.”

Hirschman spoke about what could have caused the rough driving that took place throughout the afternoon of racing. “There was no need to pit for tires here today because we were only going 75 laps, compared to 125 the last few years we have raced here. I wanted to make progress in going forward as the race wore on, but I got bounced around there early in the race and went backwards a little.”

“ I didn’t miss any races that would have bothered me while I was out,” answered Matt about not racing for ten weeks due to injury. “I worked towards this weekend during my recovery as it gave me enough time to heal and I could make the opener to defend my RoC championship and the Mahoning Series last night which we got a third in.”

“My body is a little sore right now but I’m glad to get this weekend out of the way and I can get in my routine now. It is good to be back.”

“It’s like a victory by finishing second,” said Brian DeFebo who ended up second. “We had a rough start to the day as I put the wrong gears in the car to come here and that hurt us a little bit. But the second is my best career RoC finish and sets us up to have a good year on the series.”

DeFebo who started 21st suffered a right front flat on lap 13 but methodically worked his way back through the carnage to get into the second and dog Hirschman for the win over the final 45 laps. “We were up to 14th at that point and I knew we had a good car but got the flat. Coming back up through the field we got some breaks and I’ll take a second here any day.”

Big track specialist Billy Putney got his career best Chemung finish with a third. “We had a left front tire going down there at the end but I’m ecstatic with a third here. I haven’t been here in five years because I never leave here with the car straight. But today the car is straight and maybe it won’t take me five years to come back.”

Qualifying for the 29 car field saw heat wins captured by Rusty Smith, Kochenash, Emerling, and Pete Brittain, while DeFebo won the B Main.

DROME DROPPINGS… a very healthy sized crowd came out on a perfect afternoon of racing that featured an excellent field of Modifieds to start the season. RoC officials report that between three and six new teams will be joining the field for the next race in two weeks, these teams were not ready to race on this day. Zane Zeiner drove the backup Dan Kurzejewski Modified while Pete Brittain wheeled the Kirk Rutherford wrenched entry. David Koroleski has joined the RoC Tour in a former TJ Potrzebowski mount and will be a teammate to “The Piranha“. TJ’s strong run was curtailed by a leak in the rear end. Pete Brittain had a disappointing return after drawing the pole position for the feature…Eventual mechanical issues sidelined the former series Champion…During intermission the 2012 point fund totaling $30,000 was distributed along with special awards. Hirschman won the Owner of the Year while TJ Zacharias was named Rookie of the Year, Erick Rudolph was the Best Appearing Car, and Kyle Ebersole was Most Improved Driver.


RoC PROVISIONAL; Fiebelkorn.
DNQ; Matt Clemens.
DNS; Terry Zacharias.
LAP LEADERS; Kochenash (1 – 20), (22 – 31), J. Zacharias (21), Hirschman (32 – 75).


  Finish / Car no. / Driver / Starting Position
  1. 60 Matt Hirschman 13th
  2. 53 Brian DeFebo 20th
  3. 88 Billy Putney 18th
  4.   3 Daren Scherer 5th
  5. 07 Patrick Emerling 8th
  6. p51 Erick Rudolph 7th
  7. 22 Chuck Hossfeld 10th
  8. 66 Austin Kochenash 2nd
  9. 27 Zane Zeiner 14th
10. 42p Nick Pecko 15th
11. 14 Doug Reaume 24h
12. 24 Dean Rypkema 16th
13.   9 Brandon Oltra 17th
14. 21 Dan Kurzejewski 27th
15. 25 Mike Leaty 4th
16. 95 Bryan Sherwood 23rd
17. 42 Tony Hanbury 25th
18. 71 Jimmy Zacharias 11th
19.   5 Kyle Ebersole 12th
20. 59 Karl Hehr 22nd
21. 71z T.J. Zacharias 9th
22. 34 Rusty Smith 6th
23. 69 Tommy Cloce 20th
24. 10 Mike Fibelkorn 26th
25. 72 T.J. Potrzebowski 3rd
26. 11 Pete Brittain 1st
27.   7 David Koroleski 22nd

American Racer Hard Charger – Brian DeFebo (20th to 2nd)
American Racer Hard Luck Award – Pete Brittain (1st to 26th)

Next Event – Sunday, May 19th – Shangri La II Motor Speedway – Tioga Center, NY


  Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Asphalt Modified Tour
Posted: May 6, 2013

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