Hirschman Claims Pole Hunting for Another Shootout Win

Matt Hirschman is a six-time winner in the North-South Shootout, with two of those wins coming at Caraway Speedway in 2011 and 2013.  While the event hasn’t been at the Sophia, North Carolina facility since 2014, Hirschman already looks poised to continue those winning ways.




Hirschman set fast time in qualifying Friday at Caraway, clocking in at 15.747 seconds around the 0.455-mile oval.  While “Big Money” hasn’t competed often at Caraway since those North-South Shootouts of years past, he is confident entering the event’s return to the track.


“I feel pretty good,” Hirschman told Speed51.  “I haven’t raced here much recently, but it seemed the same characteristics of the track are here that were there when the Shootout was here from 2011 to 2014.


“It’s a long race.  There’s strategy involved in when you take your tires and how you approach that.  No one car here is going to dominate and lead the whole race.  It will be interesting.  Hopefully we make the right decisions and give ourselves an opportunity to win.”


Hirschman’s prior North-South Shootout wins at Caraway were like badges of honor for the Pennsylvania driver, beating Southern Modified stars on their own turf.  However, he acknowledges that his trips over the years give him a leg up on the competition now.


“Back then, it was a big deal when we won because those guys raced here so much.  It seemed like the Whelen Southern Tour raced here five or six times a year.  Recently, they don’t race here quite as much, but there are guys who have a lot of laps around here.  Still, you add up all those races, and I’ve got 800 or 1,000 laps around this place.”


New York’s Craig Lutz will join Hirschman on the front row for tomorrow’s 150-lap Tour-type Modified feature, with a trio of North Carolinians completing the top five in Brian Loftin, Jason Myers and Burt Myers.


The Super Late Models also qualified for their 150-lap feature on Friday night.  Brandon Setzer was quickest in that division, with a lap of 16.492 seconds.


For Setzer, the speed is the result of a return to basics for his team.


“I was really happy with the car in practice,” said Setzer.  “We worked a little bit in the shop, went over all the basics and squared everything back up like we thought it should be, and it’s made a pretty big difference.  It seems like the car is back to how it was when it was pretty good.  Hopefully, it can continue that in the race and we’ve got a pretty good piece.”


With a limited availability of Super Late Model races in the Carolinas during the 2020 season, Setzer is making his first start in several months.  He is excited to be back behind the wheel of a race car.


“It’s been since the spring, it’s been six or seven months since I’ve driven anything.  I got to shake down at Hickory earlier in the week.  It’s been a blast to get back in this thing.  These Supers are so fun to drive, so I’m looking forward to doing battle for 150 laps tomorrow.”


Carson Kvapil qualified second for the Super Late Model portion of the North-South Shootout, with Justin Crider, T.J. Duke and Kyle DeSouza completing the top five.


Racing will begin for the 2020 North-South Shootout at 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Caraway Speedway. Fans unable to attend the event will be able to watch live on Speed51.TV.


-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans

-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo


North-South Shootout Qualifying Results

Tour-type Modifieds


  1. Matt Hirschman
  2. Craig Lutz
  3. Brian Loftin
  4. Jason Myers
  5. Burt Myers
  6. Ronnie Williams
  7. Ron Silk
  8. John Smith
  9. Patrick Emerling
  10. Tommy Catalano
  11. Max McLaughlin
  12. Jeff Fultz
  13. James Civali
  14. Bobby Measmer, Jr.
  15. Austin Kochenash
  16. Anthony Nocella
  17. Chris Finocchario
  18. Johnny Kiezman
  19. Daniel Yates
  20. Jim Gavek
  21. Carlos Gray
  22. Calvin Carroll


Super Late Models


  1. Brandon Setzer
  2. Carson Kvapil
  3. Justin Crider
  4. T.J. Duke
  5. Kyle DeSouza
  6. Jacob Perry
  7. Tyler Church
  8. Michael Ritch
  9. Tony Black

Hirschman Claims Pole Hunting for Another Shootout Win