LEHIGHTON, Pa. – When it comes to 100 lap Modified features at Mahoning Valley Speedway, Matt Hirschman knows a thing or two about winning them, and he showed his prowess yet again in the popular extra distance runs when he drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a 10th career 100-lap victory Saturday night worth $3,500.
Coming from 15th, Hirschman used a restart with 11 laps to go to get by impressive Roger Coss and then went on to his 12th Mahoning win.
Talk about biding you time, Hirschman never entered the top 10 until just prior to halfway but once he did there was no stopping his charge to the front. In a fast paced race that had minimum cautions, Hirschman took advantage of long green flag runs to pick off cars.
Just ten laps after motoring into the top 10, he only needed another 10 to crack the top 5. After that there was a holdup as he was gripped in a close battle with Don Wagner, Lou Strohl and Earl Paules.
While that was taking place, Coss, who had been out front since lap 22, was cruising way ahead of the pack.
Meanwhile Hirschman stayed focused to racing hard to get by cars. Strohl was taken care of on lap 62 and then Wagner in another two afterwards
Right after Hirschman drove to second spot, a billow of smoke released from Coss’s front end. A power steering hose had come loose.
“Actually the deciding factor was just breaking through the pack. It was real close with five or six of us right together. We were able to break through and reel in the top three,” said Hirschman.
It also marked the end of a two month dry spell for the Northampton Modified star who last won in May when he won five straight races.
“Man, I’ve been in a slump and there’s nothing better than coming home and winning one here. Hopefully this gets our season turned back round. It’s always such a great crowd and I miss racing at Mahoning Valley,” said Hirschman.
John Markovic got second while Paules, L. Strohl and Kyle Strohl rounded out the top five.
Flyin’ Frankie Althouse raced to his fourth Late Model win of the year, beating point t leader Earl Paules in the process.
Taking the lead with two laps to go, Stacey Brown slipped by race long leader Aaron Kromer and won his first Street Stock feature of the year.
In the Dirt Mods, point leader Kevin Graver Jr., picked up another win. Graver passed Aleia Geisler on a lap seven restart and then pulled away to his fourth win of the season.
JD Light emerged a career first winner in the Pro 4 feature.
Rich Mutarelli became the eighth different Hobby Stock winner of the year.
Matt Hirschman, John Markovic, Earl Paules, Lou Strohl, Kyle Strohl, Nevin George, Todd Baer, rian DeFebo, Eric Beers, Roger Coss, Brian Romig, Scott Meckes, Kris Graver, Don Wagner, Bobby Jones, Chip Santee, Terry Markovic, Joe Stamm, Matt Wentz, Brian Sones