Matt Hirschman picked up another Myrtle Beach 400 victory Saturday, becoming a back-to-back winner of the race in his team’s backyard.
“Everybody that’s part of this team, we all came here with the hope of winning the race,” Hirschman told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS in victory lane. “Two years in a row winning this race. It’s great. Pee Dee [Motorsports] is based in South Carolina, so this is like a home track for them. We like coming down here, the weather’s great, and I enjoy racing here.”
Hirschman took the lead in a bizarre set of circumstances in a new format for the race. The 125-lap event was divided into four segments, with the last break coming on lap 100. Bobby Measmer, Jr. led coming to the final intermission, but was forced to restart at the rear of the field due to a penalty for entering a closed pit.
“They told us that pits would be open as soon as the caution come out,” Measmer explained. “So we come down pit road, and they said the pits weren’t open. They need to get their [expletive] together. Have someone with a red flag to say pit road’s not open.”
Hirschman said teams were made aware they would follow the pace car onto pit road for the final segment.
“I do remember they said the whole field would come down pit road, pace car and everything [in the final segment],” Hirschman recounted in victory lane. “That was different from the other stages. I do remember them saying that. So I didn’t peel off when he did, and I didn’t know why he did.”
Hirschman had narrowly avoided a $500 bonus for winning the third segment, but was happy to take away the big prize of $4,000 for the race win.
“They put up the $500 for stages, which was something to shoot for,” Hirschman said. “We were close on the last one, ended up second, but [Measmer] was really good there and I knew we wouldn’t run him down. It worked out, we led the lap we wanted to, the last one.”
Measmer was able to fight his way up to third place despite the penalty, but couldn’t help but feel the sting of disappointment of losing the race.
“It pretty much screwed us out of a chance to beat Hirschman, because we had a hot rod,” Measmer continued. “I can’t thank Phil and these guys enough. This is a brand new car, first time out with it. Finished third. Anybody behind us should be embarrassed because we just outrun them with a 604 crate motor.”
While a late-race caution could have allowed Measmer to close the gap on Hirschman and restart directly behind him, Measmer believed he used up his equipment too much to challenge for the win.
“I used my [expletive] up to get up there,” Measmer said. “I passed every car here except the first and second place car. I’m a little frustrated. It’s a hell of an event, and a hell of a job by this team. It just sucks.”
Jason Myers came home in the second position, feeling he had the perfect strategy for the win.
“Really, most of the time here, you run out of race car,” Myers said. “You wear your tires out. We were just as good the last ten laps as we were when we went green. We put ourselves in a position after that last pit stop. We had a heck of a race car, but that last run we didn’t quite have enough for Matt.”
-By: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Pos # Driver
1 60H Matt Hirschman
2 4M Jason Myers
3 17M Bobby Measmer, Jr.
4 3 Daren Scherer
5 17B Danny Bohn
6 11M Burt Myers
7 7NY Timmy Solomito
8 07 Patrick Emerling
9 00 Jeff Fultz
10 18Y Daniel Yates
11 4TR Jason Tutterow
12 79 George Brunnhoelzl, III
13 12N Mike Norman
14 48 Johnny Kay
15 71 Jim Zacharias