Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., scored his first victory in Race of Champions Modified Series competition this past Saturday night at Lorain Raceway Park in South Amherst, Ohio in the “Mr. Modified 75”, the Series first visit to the track. In Hirschman’s career, it was the 35th different track for him to record a win at and the 11th different state where he’s visited victory lane.
Hirschman had to earn the victory after starting 8th and tracking down Jack Ely. Hirschman and Ely of Wall Township, N.J., battled for the top spot for many laps until Hirschman finally slipped by on a late race restart with less than 15 laps to go.
“That was an exciting race for the fans,” offered Hirschman from victory lane, reflecting on his battle with Ely. “We had to work to get there. It is very competitive, as competitive as it’s ever been at the front and I didn’t know if we’d have a chance to get by Jack (Ely), he was running great. We had our chance and made it work. I need to thank all of my guys on this team and everyone for coming out tonight, this was a great day for many of us.”
Ely started 2nd and quickly jumped into the lead after the start out-dueling Zane Zeiner of Bath, Pa.
Ely and Zeiner paced the field until after the lap 50 mark when Hirschman slipped past Zeiner into 2nd. A late race caution on lap 61 setup one last double-file restart which provided Hirschman the ability to restart outside Ely. The duo battled for a few laps before Hirschman cleared Ely for the top spot.
Ely finished 2nd with Zeiner coming home 3rd after repairing the shifter during pace laps.
Earl Paules of Palmerton, Pa., ran a steady race to finish 4th and Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y., recorded his top-five of the season.
Ely, Hirschman and Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa., won the qualifying races. Hirschman posted the fastest lap in green-white-checker qualifying.
Full results from the “Mr. Modified 75” presented by BKH Custom Speed & Parts for the Race of Champions Modified Series can be found here; Race of Champions (rocmodifiedseries.com) (www.rocmodifiedseries.com/schedules/event/434088)
ROC Mods PR