LEHIGHTON, Pa. – It seems that whenever a 100 lap Modified race takes place at Mahoning Valley Speedway you are certain to see the likes of Matt Hirschman and Eric Beers dicing it out for the win.
After all they have a combined 17 victories of the century mark races and for round four of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series (MMMS) the two would once again face off for the checkers. Give this one to Hirschman.
Starting sixth, Hirschman would find his way into the lead on lap 51 and from then on held off Beers en route to the $3000 payday.
In this latest edition of the wildly popular 100-lappers, a redraw from the heats would see Austin Kochenash and Beers share the front row. When the race commenced Kochenash, who earlier this year scored his first two wins in a Modified at Mahoning, jumped into the lead. Beers, the 2013 track champion, was surrounding him from all angles but “Kid Kochenash” would hold tight.
DJ Wagner, Kris Graver and Nevin George would run near the front pair early on but once Hirschman moved up to third after a lap 39 restart, the race became a torrid affair.
There was no telling that Kochenash was a Modified rookie as he ran steady and strong while turning back the two titans. To say they were running under a blanket would be an understatement as the action was incredibly close.
Things then became even more intense nearing the hallway point. Hirschman, who was still riding in third, suddenly surged past Beers and then kept the drive going as he dashed around Kochenash and into the lead just as the second half began.
After a caution on lap 54 the remainder of the race went nonstop and Hirschman was faultless as he had little trouble in fending off Beers and claiming his second victory of the year.
“I knew that was going to be tough with Austin (Kochenash) and Eric (Beers) on the front row but thankfully for us it all worked out. A whole opened up and after that it seemed like we were able to pull away,” said Hirschman. Eight of his 10 career Mahoning wins have now come in 100 lap features.
Beers settled for second while a very strong running Brian DeFebo came home in third after passing Kochenash with 12 laps to go. Eric Kocher completed the top five.
With the stretch of green flag laps from 53 to the finish, it allowed Hirschman the opportunity to flex his muscle. Late into the race Beers and DeFebo desperately needed a caution for a chance to pass.
“So far this year when Eric (Beers) gets out front he doesn’t get passed. Tonight we were able to get the lead and after that I felt pretty good because I didn’t think he’d be able to beat me just like when I’d been behind him. He’s had the best season here no doubt but we’re going to finish strong with this and the Octoberfast 130,” said Hirschman who is now the MMMS heading into the $5000 to win season finale on October 26.
“We just missed the set-up tonight. We were just way too tight from green to checker. We’ll come back at the end of the month and show ‘em what we got,” bottomed lined Beers.