the years, Matt Hirschman has earned the nickname
"Big Money" thanks in large part to his
unprecedented success in some of Modified racing's
most prestigious and profitable races. He has won on
all of the Northeastern-based Modified series and
high-paying open shows throughout the region.
But the one event that started it all back in 2006
for the Northampton, Pennsylvania driver was the
North-South Shootout. Since his first win in the
all-star Modified race that brings in Modified teams
from all around the Eastern seaboard, Hirschman has
gone on to four more Shootout victories, giving him
a total of five in the 11-year history of the event.
Hirschman hasn't forgotten where it all started all
those years ago and will be back to go for win
number-six when the John Blewett III North-South
Shootout takes the green flag at North Carolina's
Caraway Speedway on Saturday, November 1.
"This race in particular has probably been the
biggest race to my career in terms of the success it
brought me over the years," said Hirschman. "As big
a win and as upset or surprise win it was when I won
the first one and then to follow it up with four
more at two different venues has made it the biggest
race in my career."
Hirschman will return to Caraway for this year's
North-South Shootout with his family-owned No. 60
car with support from DMC Auto Exchange in
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Long Island Mod
Maniac and B.C. Brennenstuhl. The red-and-black No.
60 has won half of the North-South Shootouts it has
competed in - five out of its 10 starts in the event
with Hirschman behind the wheel. Hirschman won his
first three Shootouts at Concord Speedway (NC)
before the event was moved to Caraway in 2011, which
he also won. He followed it up with a win at Caraway
in 2011 and again last season, making him the driver
to beat once again in 2014.
But if Hirschman is going to start counting his
Shootout wins on a second hand, he's going to have
to best the top drivers from all points of the
Modified racing map.
"Those have always been my favorite events - events
where it brings a variety of competition and where
you race different people that you don't get to race
with normally. It just has more of a special-event
feel. Those races I've always said bring out the
best in me. I think my track record has proven
Despite being a centrally-located and frequent stop
for many of the Southern-based Modified teams, The
North-South Shootout has been dominated by the
Northern stars. Since moving to Caraway in 2011,
Hirschman and Connecticut driver Ryan Preece have
been the only ones to go to victory lane.
But with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
rule change at mid-season in 2014 allowing for a
one-tire pit stop, Hirschman now believes the
Southern drivers will have an even better shot to
reclaim the event for their home region.
"What made this event a little different than the
traditional Southern Tour races is the two-tire
change," said Hirschman. "Now the Southern races
here recently have gone to a one-tire change, it may
make it a little more difficult for me because they
are getting experience with doing pit stops. Having
to do a pit stop was what separated the North-South
Shootout from the other Tour races at Caraway. I
think that was key to winning this race with the
strategy and the pit stop.
"Now I think the advantage goes to the Southern Tour
guys based on the recent change in the Tour races.
It just gets more and more difficult to win these
races and you've got to be prepared and on your
A-game. I've never won a North-South Shootout not on
my A-game and that's what it's going to take again
The 12th Annual North-South Shootout event will
feature the Modifieds as well as the PASS South
Super Late Models, Southeast Limited Late Model
Series, USAC Midgets, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and
Legends Cars. Shootout weekend kicks off on
Thursday, October 30 with practice for all divisions
at Caraway Speedway. Racing action gets underway on
Friday, October 31 with qualifying and several
feature events. The John Blewett III North-South
Shootout feature will take center stage on Saturday,
November 1 along with PASS and more.
Caraway Speedway is located in Sophia, North
Carolina near Asheboro and just minutes from
Interstates 85 and 74.
For ticket information and more on the 12th Annual
North-South Shootout, visit