Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com enjoys.  With a big event taking place tonight at New Smyrna Beach Speedway in Samsula, Florida, our staff has been challenged once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the Richie Evans Memorial 100?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Matt Hirschman who was named the favorite to win.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the Richie Evans Memorial 100 below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Central NY, PA)

Pick: Matt Hirschman

Right about now you can’t go wrong with picking Matt Hirschman, especially after his demonstration in Wednesday’s JBIII Memorial 76 of why he is a pro at saving equipment until the right moment in these longer distance races.  Circumstances will be slightly different with 100 laps on the agenda Friday, but he still the favorite to pull off the big victory.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Play-by-Play Announcer

Pick: Matt Hirschman

Hirschman showed his strength on long runs during the John Blewett, III Memorial, which will be a key during the Richie Evans 100.


300x250 51 Network 2017(2)Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Matt Hirschman

I’m probably the least qualified guy here to pick a winner for a Modified event being from Super Late Model country, but Hirschman has looked fast all weekend. I like his chances to repeat in the Richie Evans Memorial 100.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Craig Lutz

I’m continuing my tradition of not picking the absolute favorite because that’s the easy way out.  Lutz has shown speed throughout Speedweeks, whether it was at Bronson with a second-place finish or his podium runs the last two nights at New Smyrna. That’s why I believe he can break into victory lane tonight in the Richie Evans 100. Plus, he’s from Long Island.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Ryan Preece

When it comes to pure speed, Preece has appeared to have the fastest car all week long.  Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t had the luck to go along with that speed.  I think he puts it all together tonight to win the biggest race of the week.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Patrick Emerling

As the week has worn on, Emerling has gotten into quite the groove. He has shown the speed, reliability, and ability to improve with each passing day. With a win under his belt now, except his confidence to be even higher.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent 

Pick: Matt Hirschman

“Big Money” won just about everything in the Northeast in 2017, including the RoC 250 at Lake Erie. He also won last Saturday night at Bronson and his first at New Smyrna on Wednesday. He will continue to show his muscle by winning the Richie Evans Memorial.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Matt Hirschman

Big money Matt Hirschman wins the race and the championship. Hirschman will add his name to the list of Modified greats who have run New Smyrna.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent 

Pick: Matt Hirschman

We don’t get much Modified action in the Northwest and following Hirschman over the past few years has made me appreciate how good of a Mod driver he is, along with how exciting Modified racing on the east coast is. He is always the favorite to win, no matter which track he goes to.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

PLM Pick: Tyler Rypkema

Rypkema has won at New Smyrna Speedway before and I think he’ll be the next one to turn around his luck this week.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Regional Editor (IN, MI & OH)

Pick: Patrick Emerling

Consistency has been his key this week while battling for the Tour-Type Modified World Series title. Preece was originally going to be my pick, but part issues have plagued him this week. Emerling has been hanging out at the front of every race this week, and scored the win Thursday night in the John Blewett III Memorial. I expect that to carry over to Friday night.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Ryan Preece

I will take the obvious pick of Ryan Preece. Rarely does it happen, but we’ve seen it happen before that Preece has a bit of trouble in a couple of the 35-lap races, runs just okay in the 76-lapper, and then wins the 100-lapper. My guess is that Preece will be the winner at the end of 100 laps.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Matt Hirschman

The good: I am the only perfect Speed51 picker in 2018. (Editor’s Note: This is not true. Ryan has picked two of three correctly thus far.)

The bad: Being from Alabama, I have absolutely ZERO business trying to pick a Tour-type Mod race.

The verdict: Give me Matt Hirschman. Wednesday night’s winner has been in the mix every race so far, and I think he caps off his week by winning the Richie.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Staff Picks Winners for Richie Evans 100