Hirschman Continues Historic Start to New Smyrna World Series

Hirschman won the John Blewett III Memorial on Wednesday night for his third win in as many races during the 2023 World Series.


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Matt Hirschman’s historic start to the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing continued on Wednesday night.

Hirschman won the John Blewett III Memorial, giving him three consecutive wins to start the week in the Tour-type Modified division at New Smyrna Speedway.

With the win, Hirschman became the first driver since Reggie Ruggiero in 1986 to win the first three Tour-type Modified races in a World Series. Ruggiero won seven of nine Modified races that year to win the World Series title.

Dating back to last year’s World Series, Hirschman has won six consecutive Tour-type Modified races in the event. That ties the record for most consecutive World Series Modified wins, held by Richie Evans when he won six straight in 1981.

In spite of all of these accomplishments and accolades, Hirschman is still taking it one night at a time.

“We’ve got two more ahead of us,” said Hirschman. “You see it or read it, about sweeping the week. I’m thinking about tomorrow night. If we win tomorrow night, then it’s a possibility. But we have to take it one night at a time, focus and be mistake-free. If we take care of business, then we can do that.”

He’s also not resting on his laurels regarding this year’s World Series title. While he is undefeated, Patrick Emerling has finished second on all three nights. As a result, Hirschman holds just a six-point advantage, which could disappear in the blink of an eye.

“The weather’s been great. We’re looking at two more nights ahead of us. It’s getting warmer ahead of us, so that could change things. We’ll take it one night at a time and see where we are tomorrow night.”

Meanwhile, Emerling finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to stop Hirschman’s dominance. He appeared to have taken the lead on a restart with 20 laps to go, but a caution led to a reset of the field and gave Hirschman another shot.

“We were a little bit better than what we were the last couple of nights here,” said Emerling. “We’ll just work on improving. The 60 is just extremely dialed in. We need to get that extra little bit into the race car.

“I was proud of a couple of really good ones where we kept it side-by-side going into one. I moved him up and tried to do what I could do to try to win. He did that to me last year and wrecked me last year, too. I think I owe him a little bit more than that.”

Ronnie Williams finished third, followed by Anthony Nocella and Burt Myers.

The Tour-type Modifieds will race for 50 laps on Thursday night before the Richie Evans Memorial 100 to close out their portion of the World Series on Friday.

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

  1. Matt Hirschman
  2. Patrick Emerling
  3. Ronnie Williams
  4. Anthony Nocella
  5. Burt Myers
  6. Anthony Sesely
  7. Cam McDermott
  8. Eric Goodale
  9. Anthony Bello
  10. Teddy Hodgdon
  11. Caleb Heady
  12. David Sapienza
  13. Andrew Krause
  14. Brian Robie
  15. Tyler Rypkema
  16. Tommy Catalano
  17. Justin Brown
  18. Eddie McCarthy
  19. J.R. Bertuccio
  20. Joey Coulter
  21. Norman Newman
  22. Tom Martino, Jr.
  23. Brett Meservey
  24. Jeremy Gerstner
  25. Chris Hatton
  26. Jimmy Blewett
  27. Michael Rutkoski
  28. Rich Parker
  29. Spencer Davis
  30. Craig Lutz
  31. Paul Hartwig, Jr.
  32. Paul Hartwig, Sr.
  33. Tim Moore
  34. Adam LaCicero