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Hirschman Powers to Win in RoC Modified Series Opener at Mahoning Valley

Matt Hirschman went toe-to-toe with Roger Coss in a thrilling battle for the win in the Spring Meltdown 75.


hero image for Hirschman Powers to Win in RoC Modified Series Opener at Mahoning Valley

After a thrilling late-race battle with Roger Coss, Matt Hirschman scored the victory in the Spring Meltdown 75 at Mahoning Valley Speedway to kick off the 2024 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series season.

Hirschman passed Coss around the outside of the tight Mahoning Valley bullring in the closing laps, leading just the final four circuits of the event for his 58th career ROC win.

“What a thriller, man. This is a great opening day for the track and the Race of Champions Series," said Hirschman in victory lane. "This is a really good Modified car count to come in here. Thanks to everyone for coming out. I'm glad we could put on a real good show like that."

Hirschman won the fourth heat race of the evening to start the racing program. However, he had the misfortune of drawing the 12th starting position in the redraw following those heat races.

That put Hirschman in a position where he had to charge through the field if he hoped to win in front of his home state fans in Pennsylvania against a field full of stiff competition.

“That was a real quality field," said Hirschman. "Starting 12th tonight was not going to be an easy feat because you had quality cars. When you have a 12 redraw without as many good cars, yeah, you can figure you can make easy work of maybe half of them. There were no easy passes tonight.

"The cars that started out front, I think they ran hard, which they had to. I think it showed at the end. We were coming behind Roger, got shuffled back a few and fought back, never gave up. It's fun to win them like this, but my heart rate was definitely up when we pulled into victory lane here, and that's a good thing for everyone. Good show for the fans. I'm just happy to be back in victory lane."

Coss impressed in his first race with a new car to finish in the runner-up position. However, he couldn't help but feel the sting of disappointment after being so close to a victory.

"It was a good run. It's second," said Coss. "Nobody's happy with second, but it was our first race out with this new car for us. I guess this is my home track with RoC, it's only an hour and a half from home. I hate getting beat by that 60, but I'm not going to wreck him.

"I tried to do what I could do, but he was better. I wasn't going to let him by on the bottom. He went by me on the third lane because I took him up there. He's just better. What are you going to do? He is the best. I guess we're second-best tonight."

The 2023 RoC Asphalt Modified Series champion, Zane Zeiner, started his title defense with a third-place run. Zeiner was locked in a fierce battle with Jake Lutz for the top spot for most of the race, but they fell to third and sixth, respectively, when Hirschman and Coss took center stage.

"I'm real pleased with a third-place finish, with the way our day started. We were really bad and made a big swing here for the feature. It was looking good for a while, but in the end, it was what it was."

-Photo credit: MoJo Photos/Race of Champions


160Matt Hirschman75---
217CRoger Coss750.595
376ZZane Zeiner751.083
466Austin Kochenash751.345
544Kyle Strohl751.564
614Jake Lutz752.415
711JRPaulie Hartwig, III752.462
881Jack Ely752.495
91BAustin Beers753.013
1011HTony Hanbury753.241
118Earl Paules753.305
1222WDon Wagner753.773
1395KJacob Kerstetter754.089
1495MTerry Markovic754.945
1588Lou Strohl755.312
163Daren Scherer755.840
1772WJohn Bennett756.261
1841Todd Baer756.581
1965NYGeorge Skora, III757.718
2087Thomas Flanagan758.633
210Randall Richard5619 Laps
221SNick Schaeffer4926 Laps
2351Jayden Harman4728 Laps
2476SRod Snyder, Jr.2253 Laps
2540Tommy Rought2253 Laps
2629Cody Kohler1956 Laps
2710Daryl Lewis, Jr.1065 Laps
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