“Big Money” Matt Hirschman once again demonstrated why he owns that nickname Friday night at Concord Speedway (NC), winning the Ted Christopher Dash for Cash for Tour-type Modifieds.
Hirschman drew the pole position for the 13-car, 13-lap shootout, and led every lap to collect the $3,000, winner-take-all paycheck in the preliminary event for tomorrow’s North South Shootout.
The victory not only came with a nice paycheck, but with sentimental value. Hirschman will go down as the inaugural winner of a race honoring one of Modified racing’s greatest racers.
“Teddy was one of the toughest race car drivers and Modified drivers ever,” Hirschman told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the win. “It’s an honor to win a race whenever it is in memory or tribute to someone.”
Hirschman reflected on the first of his five North South Shootout triumphs after the win. In 2006, Hirschman won the fourth edition of the race, with Christopher finishing second.
“One of the first Shootouts I won, I believe he finished second. Any time you won and Teddy Christopher finished second to you at a race, it was memorable. At that point in my career, that was big-time.”
Ryan Preece nearly made it a $4,300 evening, finishing second in the Tour-type Modified shootout after winning the SK Modified Ted Christopher Dash for Cash. Preece started near the middle of the field in the Tour Modified shootout, but quickly worked his way to the second position before running out of time.
“The SK, we were a little too tight. That one, I felt like, we weren’t the fastest car. The Tour Modified felt really good. I really wanted a caution so I could get up alongside Matt and make a race out of it,” Preece said. “That’s what it makes it tough about that draw deal.”
Preece enjoyed a more favorable starting position for the SK Modified Dash, lining up to the outside of David Arute on the front row. Preece powered around Arute on the opening lap of their 13-lap event, leading the rest of the way for the victory.
“I spent most of my career banging nerf bars with the guy,” Preece said about Christopher. “You may not have been a huge fan at the end of the night, but at the end of the day he’s a legend in Modified racing. I spent my entire career trying to earn his respect. I’ll never really know if I did.
“Any race that has a Teddy Christopher, a Richie Evans, a John Blewett in the name, you really want to win because it’s a big deal for all of us.”
The Tour-type Modified Dash for Cash featured some of the fastest qualifiers for tomorrow’s 125-lap North South Shootout, which will pay $10,000 to the winner. One of those contenders ran into issues over the course of Friday and will face an uphill battle tomorrow.
Bobby Measmer, Jr. set the second-fastest lap during time trials, but was heavily involved in a first-lap incident in the Dash for Cash. That ended his night early and sent his crew thrashing to repair his machine for tomorrow’s race.
“There in the Dash for Cash, Dash for Crash, whatever you want to call it,” Measmer said. “You promote an event like that with the 12 cars, the 12 top qualifiers and a wild card. That should be all allowed in there. Sammy Rameau drew and qualified 19th, for whatever reason.
“We had the second-fastest car out here in qualifying earlier. That’s just the way it goes. We’ll see if we’re back tomorrow. This car is pretty much done, but we’ve got another one back at the shop. We’ll see what happens.”
Sammy Rameau acknowledged fault in the incident and said he will offer any help he can to make sure Measmer is able to race tomorrow.
“I was just trying to get to the front for TC. It just never happened,” Rameau said. “I think I might have got into his left-rear. It’s just racing, man. I feel bad for the 14. Whatever he needs, we can help him out. It’s a tough situation and we’re all just chasing it for TC.”
Race fans can find Trackside Now coverage of Friday’s on-track action by clicking here.
Trackside Now coverage of tomorrow’s North South Shootout will begin at 9 A.M. Eastern from Concord Speedway. The program is headlined by 125-lap features for the Tour-type Modifieds and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Tour-type Modified Ted Christopher Dash for Cash Results
|11||79||George Brunnhoelzl III|
|13||14||Bobby Measmer, Jr.|
SK Modified Ted Christopher Dash for Cash Results