"MONEY MAN MATT"
WINS MAHONING OCTOBERFAST 130
Matt Hirschman Collects $5000 In
Season Ending Race
comes as no surprise that whenever there is an extra
distance high paying race at Mahoning Valley
Speedway, you can expect Matt Hirschman to be vying
for the win.
And, when the checkered flag waved on the Gary Lee’s
Brown-Daub KIA Octoberfast Modified 130, sure enough
there was Hirschman gracing Victory Lane, something
that the Northampton driving star has turned into an
art form at the paved ¼-mile Lehighton oval.
Fresh off a 100 lap win three weeks earlier,
Hirschman drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a
rousing $5000 triumph, giving him $9000 in that same
span. He has become the career wins leader in
100-plus features at the track with 11 total. In
July he won a 100 lapper and another $4000.
Hirschman, who started ninth, drove by defending
Octoberfast winner Zane Zeiner with 17 laps to go
and after several side-by-side laps, went to the
front uncontested over the final 10 circuits and
then onward to score his second win in the season
“What a way to finish the season here. I wasn’t here
much this year but we sure made it count the last
three or four times. It was a great run and a great
way to finish the season,” said 31-year old
Hirschman, who won the inaugural Octoberfast 130 in
“I don’t know if I had the best strategy or even the
best car today but it worked out that we won.”
For the first 99 laps Eric Beers was far and away
the car to beat. From the drop of Bobby Stull’s race
commencing green he quickly put everyone in his dust
as the Dave and Laura DeLange owned No. 45 had loads
of power and Beers wasn’t shy in showing it.
There were several who tried to make a challenge
such as John Bennett, Nevin George and Earl Paules
but none could come close enough to attempt a pass.
Then after a restart on lap 44, Austin Kochenash
showed his face after putting on a fine run through
the pack. He was in second and stuck right with
Beers in a stretch of 46 nonstop laps. Although they
ran very close, the leader still demonstrated he
wasn’t ready to relinquish his stop spot.
On lap 90 the action slowed when Kyle Strohl spun in
turn two. That yellow would also trigger the start
of several more over slowdown periods over the next
nine laps that produced drastic changes to the
On the restart Kochenash’s hopes of winning where
dashed when he got tagged by then third place
running Todd Baer and spun.
Anthony Sesely had come from 17th and took over
second after the demise of Kochenash. Hot on his
tail was Zeiner and Hirschman.
A few more yellows would wave for minor incidents
but then came the game changer on lap 99. Shawna
Ingraham had come to a halt on the back straight. As
the leaders where coming full steam off turn two the
caution was then displayed. With Ingraham sitting
idle on the inside lane, Beers had to quickly move
up in order to avoid hitting her. In second at that
point was Zeiner with Hirschman third.
For Zeiner there was little time to react and he
made contact with Beers who then spun. Hirschman got
caught in as well. Unfortunately for Beers he had to
relinquish the lead due to a flat tire.
When the action resumed Zeiner was the new pace
setter with Hirschman second. They would then go
into a torrid dogfight for a number of laps in
side-by-side formation. With laps running out
Hirschman knew the time to make his move was at hand
and after the race winning pass on lap 114, there
would be no looking back.
“We survived a close call on the back straight with
that stack-up. My front bumper is all smashed in and
that could have easily been a radiator and we would
have been done. I was fortunate that it all worked
out,” said Hirschman.
“I had to be patient and slowly work our way to the
front. I got to about fifth and there was still
about 40 laps to go and that’s plenty of time here.
We had swapped it back and forth before that and it
was good racing against Zane (Zeiner).”
Beers drove back to a solid third with Sesely and
Don Wagner completing out the top five. Baer,
Strohl, Dave Sapienza, Kochenash and George rounded
out the top 10.
“I slipped up and Matt (Hirschman) got a run
underneath us,” said Zeiner.
Reflecting on the back straight incident that took
out Beers he added, “I really do feel bad for Eric
(Beers). That wasn’t supposed to happen. You have a
spit-second decision to make and I made a decision
and it probably was the wrong decision at the time
and hey, I have to live with it.”
For the third time in the Octoberfast race Beers had
to settle for third. He led last year but was passed
by Zeiner with a dozen laps to go.
“We had the car to beat tonight,” bottom lined
Beers. “I gave him (Zeiner) enough room to see that
lapped car and he drove into my left rear and that’s
basically what happened. I think I had the field
covered tonight but it was just one of those
Heat wins went to Chip Santee, Beers, Ingraham and
Paules. Sesely annexed the consi.
Modified Feature Finish (130 Laps): 1. Matt
Hirschman, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Anthony
5. Don Wagner 6. Todd Baer, 7. Kyle Strohl, 8. Dave
Sapienza, 9. Austin Kochenash, 10. Nevin George, 11.
12. Bobby Jones, 13. Jimmy Zacharias, 14. John
Bennett, 15. Roger Coss, 16. Shawna Ingraham, 17.
18. Earl Paules, 19. Andrew Krause, 20. Terry
Markovic, 21. Brandon Oltra, 21. Chip Santee, 22. TJ
DNQ: Wilton Nickerson, Barry Callavini, Pat
Verwys, Brent Wentz, Chip Wanamaker
Source: Dino Oberto / Mahoning Valley Speedway
October 26, 2014