In some parts of the country, the racing season is winding down as the leaves change color and temperatures plummet. However, Matt Hirschman is staying busy as the calendar will soon flip from October to November.
Fresh off a win with the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Matt Hirschman will be in three races over the course of the next two weekends.
On Thursday, October 26, Hirschman will be in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale at the Martinsville Speedway. Two days later, he’ll be at Stafford Motor Speedway for the Fall Final.
On Saturday, November 4, Hirschman comes back south to Caraway Speedway for the 21st Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout in Memory of Charles Kepley.
All of this makes for a busy ending to the season.
“We’re in a real tight stretch here. Mostly due to Mother Nature, really. Postponed some races and tracks had to reschedule. It’s not an ideal situation for us as a race team, but the tracks have not been dealt a very good hand here, really all year but especially this fall.
“We just came off the race at Waterford on Sunday, which was supposed to be on Saturday,” said Hirschman during an appearance on ‘The Bullring’ on Racing America. “We lost one day of prep because we were racing instead of being back home to prep for Martinsville on Thursday, the Fall Final at Stafford on Saturday, and then we have the North/South Shootout next week.
“In two weeks, that’s a lot of racing, a lot of travel and a lot of prep work to get these cars ready to race.”
In Sunday’s Haunted Hundred at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Hirschman picked up another win, adding to his points lead in the Tri-Track Series before their season finale at Stafford this Saturday.
“Really, a good clean run for us. We started in sixth and advanced to third and then second,” said Hirschman. “We took the lead about a third of the way through the race. The Tri-Track races give you a one-tire change option. Recently, a lot of the races have been won by not taking that tire during the race. It takes having a good car that’s consistent and stays with you through the entire race, but that’s what we ended up doing.
“Stephen Kopcik was able to keep close pace with us. Between the two of us, we had the field pretty well covered, because we were able to distance ourselves from the field on the restarts. There was some good racing that went on through the field, because some guys took the option of the tire and tried to fight through the field. The competition is just so tight right now, the speeds are so close through the field, it’s not easy to make your way through the field.”
After two races in three days this weekend, there will be a week to get ready for the North-South Shootout. No one has enjoyed more success in that event than Hirschman, who has won the race eight times, including the last two editions.
“We won it back-to-back and we’ve certainly won it more than anyone else has. Through the years, we won it several times at Concord, and then it moved around. We’ve been successful at Caraway, we’ve won races throughout the years there.
“The race should resemble what it has the last few years. You never know what you’re going to get for weather. Some years, it’s very mild. Some years, it’s very fall-like and cool. That can change the handling and the setup of the car, but we’ve got a good notebook on how to approach the race. There’s good competition, for sure, and it’s a strategy race. There are pit stops involved. We’ll see if we can do what we’ve done in years past and put ourselves in a position to win.”
The Bullring is a weekly talk show hosted by Alan Dietz and Jess Ballard, bringing the biggest names in racing together to break down what happened the previous weekend, or look ahead to the biggest events next weekend. The Bullring is free to watch for all viewers every Wednesday at 7 PM on RacingAmerica.TV and Racing America's social media platforms, and the replay is available at any time afterward.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America