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   The Chrome Horn - Modified News


Night One Is Bertuccio’s by Denise DuPont

On Monday, February 20th the tour type modifieds starred in their first night of ground pounding racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Twenty-four modifieds were scheduled to take the green flag and grandstands were packed with fans ready for racing. So the night was staged for a great night of racing.

JR Bertuccio was fastest in practice, third fastest in qualifying and started the race fourth after a redraw. He proved that he was going to be a strong contender for the first night’s victory when he jumped into second position at race start. He remained in the second spot until he passed for the lead after a caution on lap 31. From there he held off Ryan Preece and later Matt Hirschman to pass the finish line and take the checkers.

Bertuccio was excited about his win and expressed his excitement after the race. ” We just had a great car. From the time that we unloaded the car was just on rails. I told the guys to leave it alone. They did not believe me they wanted to change the car. And I guess that I should them last night.”

It has been a while since Bertuccio has been in victory lane at New Smyrna Speedway, but it sure did not show. “We won here at New Smyrna over ten years ago. They guys are happy and we now have enough motivation for the rest of the week.”

Going into tonight’s race Bertuccio and his team were ready to make it two for two. “We will see what happens. The car is running good again today. We will get upfront in time and go from there.”

When he was asked what it would take to win the championship this week Bertuccio stated: “We just have to finish each night.”

Matt Hirschman was fastest in the first night of qualifying and the redraw for inversion of the field was the number six so Hirschman fell into that slot for the race start. When the green flag flew Hirschman jumped to third and remained there for most of the race. “We had a good run. We were fast in time but with the invert we got the best possible that we could sixth,” stated Hirschman. “We ran in third for most of the race. I think at one point we lost a spot on the restart and feel back to fourth. We then rebound back to second for the finish it.”

At the end of the Hirschman summarized the night. “We were equal and I was maybe closed in on JR a little bit. There were good last night. JR had a good car. So I take my hat off to them.”

Hirschman himself has not participated in Speedweeks modified racing. And when he has raced here in the past he has not had the best of luck. So a second place at the end of the night was a great start for the PeeDee #60 team. “Last night was the best opening night that I ever had here. I have only done this a few times, maybe two or three times. It was the best first night that we have had and I hope that that carries threw.”

So we have the first night of racing in the books for the tour type modifieds. We are looking forward to four more nights of ground pounding excitement.

Race 1 - 50 Finish:
    1. JR Bertuccio 2
  2. Matt Hirschman 60
  3. Ryan Preece 6
  4. Jon McKennedy 29
  5. Ron Silk 82
  6. Tommy Catalano 54
  7. Timmy Solomito 16
  8. Jimmy Zacharias 71
  9. Jimmy Blewett 45
10. Amy Catalano 64
11. Chuck Hossfeld 22
12. Jeremy Gerstner 70
13. Austin Pickens 63
14. Shawn Balluzzo 70G
15. Calvin Carroll 40
16. Ricky Moxley 33
17. Joe DeGarcia 23D
18. Tyler Rypkema 32
19. Paul Hartwig, Jr. 73
20. Justin Bonsignore 51
21. Tom Tohn 10T
22. TJ Zacharias 71M
23. Al Emmarino 2x
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
: February 20, 2017

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