Matt Hirschman has earned the nickname “Big Money” for his wins in high paying Modified races. On Saturday afternoon at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC), the Pennsylvania native added another big money win to his resume by winning the Tour-type Modified feature during the UNOH Battle at the Beach.
Like he has done so many time before, Hirschman planned on saving his car and striking in the closing laps of the 125-lap race. He did exactly that, but not in the way that he had planned. An unforeseen circumstance sent him spinning around with 30 laps to go and sent him to the rear of the field.
“Everybody ran a conservative race for the first 75 laps until a break when you could put your tires on. After that things picked up, fifty laps is still a ways to go at Myrtle Beach. I was still going to be conservative at the beginning, but a few laps after we went green the car didn’t feel right. It also bottomed out a few times and Myrtle Beach is not a bumpy track,” Hirschman told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I knew we had a tire going flat. It was hard to tell if it was the right-rear or left-rear tire, found out when I came in it was the right rear. I managed to keep the car out of the wall and not get hit by anyone else.”
Hirschman managed to stay on the lead lap after the spin and soon went back to work after replacing the flat. With 30 laps to go, he began his charge back to the front.
“We came in and put on a scuff tire, which is all we had available, that was all we were allowed to change,” Hirschman explained. “We were still conservative, there was about thirty to go. I was hoping for a caution, when it looked like we weren’t going to get one I made a run for it. The fall off is so great at Myrtle Beach, most race tracks when you’re gaining or closing on someone, you’re talking maybe two or three tenths a lap. At Myrtle Beach you can gain a second a lap, that’s a huge gap you can close and we did just that. It certainly made it interesting at the end, timed it just right and was able to get the win.”
Hirschman’s closing charge put his No. 60 in the rearview mirrors of leaders Daren Scherer and Jimmy Zacharias in the closing laps. He took advantage of their battle, making a three-wide move with two laps remaining to earn his first victory at Myrtle Beach in his second appearance at the track.
“Myrtle Beach is a one-of-a-kind race track with the surface,” Hirschman stated. “It’s a different style of racing then what you’re accustomed to. I went there for the first time last year, learned as much as I could, was in contention, but came up a little short. We learned from that and tried to apply it to this year.”
The win was also his first victory for Hirschman driving for car owner Roy Hall and his brand new race car which debuted at the end of the Summer. While the operation is new, Hirschman has surrounded himself with most of the same people that work with him on a regular basis.
“The first win for Pee-Dee Motorsports, it’s only our third race together. It’s a great opportunity to build a top notch racecar, my dad did a great job putting it together,” Hirschman said. “It’s mostly the same people I work with on my car. Right now we’re building the team and it’s nice to get a win after finishing fourth at Seekonk in September and second in the North-South Shootout. So far every time out we’re a contender and it’s a great opportunity for me.”
Hirschman returns to the Northeast next weekend looking for one more big money win to end the 2016 season. He will enter the 43rd Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway (NJ) this Friday and Saturday where he will run in both the Tour-type and Stadium Modified features.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Race22.com
For a full on-demand replay of Saturday’s Modified race at Myrtle Beach, visit Race22.com.