There are some driver and track combinations that sometimes just feel like a guarantee. In 2017, Bubba Pollard swept all Blizzard Series races at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and won the first one there this year too. When Kevin Harvick goes to ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway), it seems like everyone else is racing for second place.
Lately, that’s how it has felt when Matt Hirschman shows up at Seekonk Speedway (MA).
“Dangit. That 60-car did show up. How much does second pay again?”
Okay, so most likely no racer has actually ever said that, but that’s sometimes how fans feel.
Which, leads us to our next question.
Can anybody stop Matt Hirschman at Seekonk on Wednesday night?
Let’s take a look into that, because that question may be harder to answer than you think it might be.
Last year he actually had two Tri-Track Open Modified Series wins at Seekonk as he scored a win in the inaugural Haunted Hundred last October, and he’s the defending winner of the Open Wheel Wednesday race.
He also enters Wednesday’s event with the most wins in the event of any driver entered. He and Doug Coby each have three victories in this race, but Coby as of now is not expected to compete.
But those three Open Wheel Wednesday wins are interesting, and here’s why. They all came four or five years after the last one. Hirschman’s first win in the event came in 2008. The second one came in 2012, four years after the first. And finally, his most recent one came last year in 2017, five years after the second one.
There’s two ways to look at that if you’re trying to find a pattern. Either his next win in this event comes four years after the last one, which would mean he wouldn’t win again until 2021, or his next win comes six years from now, meaning it wouldn’t happen until 2023.
It’s also worth noting that Hirschman just ran a race at Seekonk not too long ago. At the start of June the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ran at Seekonk. Hirschman finished third behind Justin Bonsignore and Chase Dowling.
However, neither of those drivers are entered in Wednesday’s show, so it won’t be one of those guys stopping Hirschman’s streak.
With that in mind, one has to wonder who that driver is that is going to stop “Big Money.”
Could it be Tommy Barrett? Barrett is a former winner of this event, but that win came back in 2014. Barrett has mostly been hit or miss at Seekonk throughout his career. He has the win, of course, and he also has a third and a fifth. However, he also has finishes of 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th, and 27th between his Tri-Track starts and Modified Racing Series starts.
Could it be Richard Savary? Savary is the most recent driver to win this race that isn’t named Coby or Hirschman. That win came in 2015.
The Savarys have a very long history at Seekonk Speedway, as is often mentioned by Speed51.com’s resident Savary family expert (and Operations Manager) Mark Keeler. Richard Savary has two wins at Seekonk between the Open Wheel Wednesday show and the Modified Racing Series. His father, George, began racing at Seekonk in the 60’s and has countless wins throughout his years there.
Could it be Ryan Preece? The NASCAR Xfinity Series winner has trophies from seemingly everywhere, but Seekonk has eluded him. When asked why, he said it has come down to the balance of his race cars and when to pit to take on tires.
“Seekonk has never really been a place that you can late pit,” Preece explained. “The only one I’ve ever seen make it work is Matt and I’m not sure if he’s even won doing that. But having a balanced race car is going to be what it takes. Saving tires and having a balanced car.”
Maybe it could be Anthony Nocella. The reigning Modified Racing Series champion has a win in MRS competition at Seekonk in the past.
Or maybe it could be Ron Silk. According to The Third Turn, Silk doesn’t have a win at Seekonk as far as we can see, but Silk, much like Preece, has wins just about everywhere and everyone knows he can get the job done.
Or maybe it could be Keith Rocco. Or Mike Willis, or Woody Pitkat, or Andy Jankowiak.
There’s plenty of names on this deep entry list that almost anybody can win the $10,000 check on Wednesday night.
But, if you’re into betting, the safe bet is still Matt Hirschman. There’s a reason they call him “Big Money,” after all.
Speed51.com will have live pay-per-view coverage of Wednesday’s Tri-Track Open Modified Series showdown at Seekonk Speedway, as well as the NEMA Midgets Boston Louie Memorial race that same night.
Fans can purchase their online video ticket for just $24.99, and they can do so by clicking here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com