(LEHIGHTON, PA 7-26-14)
When it comes to 100 lap Modified features at Mahoning Valley
Speedway, Matt Hirschman knows a thing or two about winning them and
he showed his prowess yet again in the popular extra distance runs
when he drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a 10th
career 100 lap victory Saturday night worth $3500.
Coming from 15th,
Hirschman used a restart with 11 laps to go to get by impressive
Roger Coss and then went on to his 12th Mahoning win.
Talk about biding you time, Hirschman never entered the top 10 until
just prior to halfway but once he did there was no stopping his
charge to the front. In a fast paced race that had minimum cautions,
Hirschman took advantage of long green flag runs to pick off cars.
Just ten laps after
motoring into the top 10, he only needed another 10 to crack the top
5. After that there was a holdup as he was gripped in a close battle
with Don Wagner, Lou Strohl and Earl Paules.
While that was taking
place, Coss, who had been out front since lap 22, was cruising way
ahead of the pack. For all intent and purposes, this was his race.
After he took the lead from Todd Baer, Coss established himself as
the car to beat. He built a lead of over three seconds and only saw
challenges when the field would regroup under a caution, which
Meanwhile Hirschman stayed
focused to racing hard to get by cars. Strohl was taken care of on
lap 62 and then Wagner in another two afterwards. That left just
Paules to handle before pursuing the leader but this would take a
little time. Once again with a stretch of green flag laps Hirschman
finally raced by Paules with 15 to go. Coss was still cruising
comfortably but it was evident that Hirschman had the afterburners
on. Right after Hirschman drove to second spot, a billow of
smoke released from Cossís front end. A power steering hose had come
loose. However, there still seemed enough time for him to hold
on as 11 laps remained. Unfortunately, the caution was out as Kris
Graver slammed hard into the back straight wall. It would be on that
restart that Hirschman would make the determining pass for the win.
"Actually the deciding
factor was just breaking through the pack. It was real close with
five or six of us right together. We were able to break through and
reel in the top three," said Hirschman. "The 17 (Coss) was smoking
and Iím not sure what it was. I had almost caught him when the
caution came out. I donít know what would have happened had that
yellow not waved. 15th to first is nothing to shake your
head at. There was a lot of good battling in the pack."
It also marked the end of a
two month dry spell for the Northampton Modified star who last won
in May when he won five straight races. "Man, Iíve been in a slump
and thereís nothing better than coming home and winning one here.
Hopefully this gets our season turned back round. Itís always such a
great crowd and I miss racing at Mahoning Valley," said Hirschman.
John Markovic got second while Paules, L. Strohl and Kyle Strohl
rounded out the top five.
Flyiní Frankie Althouse
raced to his fourth Late Model win of the year, beating point t
leader Earl Paules in the process. Althouse was running second
to earlier leader George Ramos by lap four. Four laps later he took
to the outside groove and the lead. He then had a bumper full of
Paules the rest of the way. The win also keeps him in a close battle
for the championship with Paules as the two have won 10 times
Taking the lead with two
laps to go, Stacey Brown slipped by race long leader Aaron Kromer
and won his first Street Stock feature of the year. Brown raced in a
tight battle from the outset with Kromer. Jason Kuhn also showed a
lot of strength and was part of the torrid mix of front runners.
But, with the two to go sign being shown, Brown new it was go time
and used the outside lane to drive by Kromer for the lead and the
win. Kuhn also squeaked by Kromer on the final lap for the runner-up
In the Dirt
Mods, point leader Kevin Graver Jr., picked up another win. Graver
passed Aleia Geisler on a lap seven restart and then pulled away to
his fourth win of the season. Ray Deemer and Geisler had a terrific
battle for second place honors.
JD Light emerged a career
first winner in the Pro 4 feature. Light made a bold inside pass on
Cody Kohler on lap 10 and then withstood a bevy of pressure from
point leader Nick Baer en route to the memorable night.
Rich Mutarelli became the
eighth different Hobby Stock winner of the year. In an exciting
closely matched race with the front contenders, Mutarelli held off
Corey Edelman by a bumper for his career first win.