Hirschman wins Richie Evans 100, Blewett takes World Series

Speedweeks was the story of Big Money vs. Showtime all week.

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There were three long distance Tour Type Modified races at New Smyrna Speedway over the past week and Matt Hirschman came away with a clean sweep.

NASCAR Modified Tour 200 ✓
John Blewett III Memorial 76 ✓
Richie Evans Memorial 100 ✓

Only a rapidly deflating tire on the final restart on Monday night prevented the Pee Dee Motorsports No. 60 from claiming the entire Speedweeks championship on Friday night. Hirschman likely would have finished inside top-five that night, but instead, it was the sheer consistency of Jimmy Blewett that earned a championship.

Blewett finished either second or third all five nights and ultimately claimed his second Tour Type World Series championship by 12 markers over Hirschman.

Following his misfortune and 12th-place finish on Monday, Hirschman responded with a runner-up and three consecutive wins. This is the fourth time Hirschman has won the Richie Evans Memorial 100 and it’s his sixth overall win in nine starts at the World Series main event.

It snapped a tie with the late Teddy Christopher for all-time wins in the event.

Even though Hirschman didn’t come away with the championship, he still believes this is his best overall performance at New Smyrna in February and that’s coming from a racer with six championship finishes of first or second in the weeklong event.

"[My team] did a great job all week," Hirschman said. "This PeeDee Motorsports car and team, I couldn’t ask for any more really. It’s exactly what I wanted to have in the car. Everybody did a great job all week. The only flaw we had was a tire going flat on Monday night. There’s nobody here that could control that. One of our best weeks, maybe the best week we’ve ever had. … Just amazing. What a week. I love coming here. I love speedweeks. I love this race track. I hope to do this for years to come."

Hirschman took the lead from Bryan Narducci on the third lap after starting fourth and went unchallenged the rest of the way. Blewett immediately followed him into second and spent the remaining 97 laps looking for a way around.

It didn’t happen.

Blewett has consistently been the closest of everyone else all week and that was the best he had for Hirschman.

"I felt this morning like I was racing for everybody in the racing community to try to beat Matt," Blewett said. "Matt is a great guy, great person on and off the track, but it’s not an easy feat to beat him. So, for me, I felt like I was doing it for everyone."

This is actually the sixth time Blewett has won a championship at New Smyrna during Speedweeks as he also claimed four SK Modified championships when that division was run over the previous decade. Blewett claimed this crown driving the No. 7NY for Tommy Baldwin.

Blewett said from the middle of the week forward, once he claimed sole possession of the points lead, that he would race conservatively to protect that advantage. Mission accomplished.

"I just stayed focus," Blewett said. "All I really had to do this week was just drive the car and give [Baldwin] as much information as possible," Blewett said. "Back home, or anything I do myself, it’s just constant work and I can’t really focus 100 percent on driving the car because I’m focusing so much on working on it. So that took a huge weight off my shoulders and I could go to bed each night focusing on what I could tell Tommy and the guys back in the pits to get the car better for myself.

"Obviously we wanted to win. … but the championship was the big picture. We were looking at the big picture the whole week. Even though we didn’t win a race, we a won a championship. And it means something me to do it against a guy like Matt Hirschman."

Patrick Emerling completed the podium on Friday night ahead of Teddy Hodgdon IV and they finished fifth and third respectively in the standings. Ron Silk was fourth in the standings after finishing eighth in the Richie Evans.

World Series of Asphalt
Tour Type Modifieds Race 5
Richie Evans Memorial 100

1. Matt Hirschman
2. Jimmy Blewett
3. Patrick Emerling
4. Teddy Hodgdon
5. Craig Lutz
6. Stephen Kopcik
7. Andrew Krause
8. Ron Silk
9. Joey Coulter
10. Bryan Narducci
11. Cam McDermott
12. Marcello Rufrano
13. Spencer Davis
14. Ronnie Williams
15. Tyler Rypkema
16. Paul Charette
17. Earl Paules
18. Jeremy Gerstner
19. Chris Young
20. Brian Robie
21. Tommy Catalano
22. Tyler Catalano
23. Anthony Bello
24. Tyler Truex
25. Chris Andretta
26. Eddie McCarthy
27. J.R. Bertuccio
28. Dillon Steuer
29. Chris Ridsdale
30. Amy Catalano
31. Rich Parker
32. Chris Dewalt
33. David Sapienza
34. Paul Hartwig, Jr.
35. Paul Hartwig, Sr.
36. Chris LaCicero