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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


Just Win and Everything Will Take care of Itself
by Denise DuPont

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) returned to Oswego Speedway for the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s. The race program was moved up as heavy rain moved across the state of New York. Teams completed their practice with Doug Coby of Milford, CT. scoring the fastest time. There was a break while ISMA Super Modifieds were on the track and then NWMT drivers had their chance to earn the pole in group qualifying. In the last group session, Matt Hirschman or Northampton, PA brought the #60 Pee Dee Motorsports Chevrolet to the top of the charts with a time of 17.640 seconds to capture the Coor’s Light Pole Award.

Moving things along, cars were lined up in the pits ready for racing. Cars, drivers and teams soon moved to the front stretch for pre-race ceremonies. Once completed, drivers strapped in and the pace laps began. Hirschman took the green flag and jumped immediately into position one with Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY. falling in line right behind him.

It was Hirschman’s race to win or lose as he maintained the lead position lap after lap. As the race unfolded, the #6 TS Hauler Chevrolet with Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT. dialed in. Preece was clocked as the fastest car on the track. He passed Timmy Solomito from Islip, NY. on lap 10 and made his presence know as he ran on Hirschman’s rear bumper waiting for a passing opportunity.

Drivers pitted mid-race for the mandatory session, lined up where they left off and resumed racing. Hirschman continued his lead with Preece bearing down on him in his rear view mirror.

On lap 118, Hirschman came up slightly high on the backstretch and provided the exact opportunity that Preece was looking for. Preece got under Hirschman enough to pass him in turn three. Preece then went forward to take the checkers with a 2.849 Margin of victory over Hirschman.

“I have been here a few times but I have never been in victory lane so that is pretty cool.” Exclaimed Preece during celebration time. “This is very special to me but there is one more thing that would be more special – to win ‘The Race of Champions’. Hopefully one day I can come back for that race.”
Preece has had five wins in his last ten starts with the NWMT tour so he is definitely a strong contender. “I am just trying to win and that is all that really matters. My motto is – ‘If you win races, it will take care of it’”. That is a great motto to have and hopefully Preece continues living the ‘Dream’.

Hirschman probably has more laps on Oswego than any other NWMT driver. He does not run the NWMT tour full time but when he does he has a strong car and gives the regulars a run for their money. “The last two races we were on the pole and we finished second this week with the tour.” Stated Hirschman. “We had the car to beat the first half and stay ahead of him (Ryan Preece). He definitely has that late race pit stop with the change of tires figured out. And he is pretty good with that other tire if he has it on there. We just missed it a little bit on that. Our cars were pretty equal the first half and he (Preece) was better on the second half.”

“Last week we showed some speed and we were turn around and had to come back through. We have been a top two car definitely in the two tour races that we do.” Hirschman stated reflecting on the last two weeks. “We did the beach race back in March but other than that we are only part time on the tour and we have had good results. Obviously at Oswego we are used to being upfront in races. It was a good ride, it was on spot and I was able to get the car better.”

Solomito stepped up his program a little coming into Oswego and brought home a third place finish for his efforts. “After the last two races it is nice to get it (the car) on the trailer and not have to fix it this week,” confessed Solomito. “It was a solid run. We will regroup now, move on and see what we can do at the next four races. I am sure that we can do it. I am just happy that we had a strong run tonight and we got everything back underneath us. We were alright here. The last two races were tough ones for us so it feels good to come out of here with a finish. “Solomito said after his podium finish. “We are just going to go forward from here and keep our eye on the competition.”

Doug Coby completed the race fourth, followed by Eric Goodale for fifth, Justin Bonsignore, Craig Lutz, Max Zachem, Dave Sapienza and Rowan Pennink rounded up the top ten.

NWMT racing will continue in two weeks with the ‘Riverhead 200’ at Riverhead Raceway.

Notes from Oswego Speedway:

What are your thoughts on this year’s NWMT point’s chase?

Ryan Preece

“I feel pretty good for my car owner Eddie Partridge. He has a good lead there. As long as we can keep on doing this and winning races that is all that really matters.” “I am going to do the best that I can. If I can finish second I finish second and if I can win a race that is even better. It is tough to miss a race (NHMS September race). But sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. Right now I am trying to take that next step. So that Gibbs race in Kentucky means a lot to me” Preece is attempting to advance his racing career to the NASCAR Xfinity series full time. He is scheduled to race in the ‘Visit MyrtleBeach 300.com’ at Kentucky Speedway the same weekend that the modifieds return to NHMS. “Hopefully I can win there and get the modifieds back on the limelight which will be pretty good.”

What is the difference between the ROC and Tour car at Oswego Speedway?

Matt Hirschman

“There is not a lot of difference between the two. The major difference here would be the tires. And everybody here is running the spec engine which changes the balance of the car. But overall they run the same or very similar speeds. It is just figuring things out for these cars. I did not quite figure it out here to finish the race with a win. With my experience and the speed in the car if we got it right, we would have been a pretty tough car to beat. We just missed a little bit at the end and that is where it really counts.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
: September 3, 2017

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