Much like the John Blewett III Memorial 76 a night ago, the Richie Evans Memorial 100 for the Tour-Type Modifieds was decided on a final restart. “Big Money” Matt Hirschman used his inside position on a green flag with 13 laps remaining and was able to get by the leader from a majority of the race, Ron Silk, coming out of turn two.
It was the Northampton, Pennsylvania driver’s second win in the prestigious race at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
“It’s the big race of the week and for a good reason,” Hirschman powered by JEGS. “To honor Modified racing’s all-time greatest, it’s something they’ve done every year down here since the mid-1980s. If you’re going to win one, it’s the one you want to win.”
Silk continued making gains as he did all week, improving one more position. Unfortunately, it was still one position short of the victory and as the result of another late-race caution that bunched the field.
Jon McKennedy rounded out the podium for his best run of the week, but finishing one position right behind him was the winner from the previous night, Ryan Preece.
Preece came into the night with only a five point lead on Hirschman and started from the rear of the field for making an adjustment during pace laps. Despite some beating and banging that slowed his effort down, the finish was just good enough to claim his third straight World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championship.
“This was probably the most competitive year I would say and that’s why we race hard,” Preece commented. “That one point makes a difference. Obviously it wasn’t the finish I wanted, but looking at the front bumper and how it’s hitting the sway bar and not letting it move that kind of explains why.”
While the good results may give him optimism, Preece knows the team will have to continue working to keep the success going into the regular season.
“New Smyrna is so different because you are racing at the same track for four days, but I would say it was good to get four races on our belt and just keep digging and hopefully it starts the year off right.”
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
-Photo credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com
2017 Richie Evans Memorial 100 Results
|10||14||17||Richie Pallai Jr.||100|
|16||20||73||Paul Hartwig Jr.||98|