Matt Hirschman will make his return to the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) next week for the first time since 2014. Despite not being a regular attendee of the event that includes five straight nights of racing, Hirschman is still one to watch as he makes his return.
“We have never really been a consistent attendee. I have been there, this is probably the fourth or fifth time we are attending but that’s been spread out over a nine or ten-year period,” Hirschman told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’ve never really been a regular and I think the teams that historically seem to be successful are the teams that attend year after year.
“We’ve experienced some of the highs of winning and the Richie Evans race being the biggest and we have also experienced some lows. We’ve had some crashes and we have had some time where we struggled as well. In the few times we have been there we have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.”
This year’s trip to the World Series of Asphalt Racing is a little different for Hirschman as he is attending with the newly formed team PeeDee Motorsports.
“For this year it is a new team that we debuted last fall, PeeDee Motorsports, and that’s really what’s given me the opportunity to return,” Hirschman explained. “In the past when we have attended it has been a group effort that we put together from the east side of Pennsylvania. We had our core group who all came together to make it happen but it is definitely something that is really tough to do.”
Thankfully for the team, the number of nights that they compete has been cut down since his last trip.
“Both from a financial stand point and the logistics and the man power trying to run, what used to be, eight or nine nights that’s now been reduced. It is still a tough task,” Hirschman stated. “Really the opportunity that has allowed me to return this year is the new PeeDee Motorsports team and now there is not quite as much responsibility on me but we’ve got experienced people, yet we are relatively new together. I know that there is going to be a learning curve for all of us. Attending Speedweeks is sure going to be somewhere where we can learn a lot and really develop our team.”
Although not a regular attendee, this hasn’t stopped “Big Money Matt” and his newly formed team from going into the event with their eyes on the prize as they set their expectations relatively high.
“I go there with the same confidence that I go anywhere else knowing that the equipment I have is certainly capable and I have had success there in the past so its not like I am completely unfamiliar there. But history tends to repeat itself and teams that have been the most successful in the past and continue to attend year after year are going to be the toughest ones to beat. I think going in there and trying not to set the bar too high or set the expectations too high because I know we are a little behind compared to where some of our competition is.”
After last season’s victories at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) and sweeping the Turkey Derby features, Hirschman’s confidence is high. So much so that he believes that they could be the team to beat at New Smyrna Speedway.
“I have gone to new race tracks for the very first time and been able to win and find success quickly and find speed quickly. I think the biggest thing, and my biggest goal is that we use it as a learning experience and I am hoping that it is a successful learning experience, but that’s what is most important for this trip. The goal is to gain experience and build as a new team.”
– Story by: Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo