"Big Money" Matt Hirschman has gained a reputation over the years for following the money and competing in a variety of Modified events all over the east coast. This weekend, the Northampton, Pennsylvania driver will continue to build on that reputation by chasing a $7,000 check in the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway.
Hirschman is seizing an opportunity presented by the Pro All Stars Series to race his Tour-type Modified on the 3/4-mile oval. The opportunity is one that hasn't been presented to the "Mighty Modifieds" since the last Featherlite Modified Tour event at the track in 2002.
With a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at South Boston Speedway being held in the same state on the same day, Hirschman and the No. 60 Pee Dee Motorsports team made the late decision to head to Richmond. After concluding a doubleheader weekend in the Southeast just over a week ago, the squad weighed their options and eventually settled on Richmond.
“I’m excited about it, every Modified driver would like to race there, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Hirschman told Speed51.com. “Ideally last October was the best scenario for Modifieds just because the season was over for most, where this year there is so much already happening and going to be happening, so we’re glad that we have the opportunity and that (PASS) is moving forward with it.”
Since hitting the track in February, Hirschman has already collected four victories in 2019, with three at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing and the fourth coming just over a week ago at Caraway Speedway (NC). Despite a few bumps mixed in, “Big Money” feels he is on one of his big waves of momentum which has helped him collect many big checks over the years.
“We’re off to a good start, even though the Myrtle Beach race didn’t play out in or favor," Hirschman stated. "That and the one wreck we had at New Smyrna, that’s the only trouble we’ve had. Myrtle Beach was disappointing, but to come back the next day at Caraway against a quality field there was great. We turned it right back around and hopefully we can continue the momentum we’ve built this year.”
In order to collect the $7,000 winner’s prize this Saturday, there will be a lot of work to be done in the day and a half leading up to the 75-lap feature.
“There’s a lot of unknowns, it will be a good learning experience, and there’s the challenge with it being a new track and something completely different that poses a challenge on its own; aside from who you’re racing against.”
As always, a victory would be well worth the effort, especially given Richmond’s prestige in both racing and the Hirschman’s family history.
“That track, I enjoy watching races on that track," Hirschman said. "The NASCAR Cup races, I was there when I was younger when my dad won there. So, that would be cool. But for that to happen we have a lot of work to do this week before we get on track.”
This weekend will also be Hirschman’s last major road trip until late spring/early summer, a routine he has fallen into the past few seasons. But there is also good news for Hirschman’s home state fans back in Pennsylvania, as he is looking at throwing some home races into the spring break as Evergreen Raceway and Mahoning Valley Speedway open their gates.
“We’re taking it one race at a time, I don’t think we’ll have quite the layoff we’ve done the last few years. But it will be filled in with some local races when our tracks open up in Pennsylvania. So we’ll fit a few in, but we’re going to cut back on the traveling a little bit after this weekend until we get closer to summer.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com