Matt Hirschman Top Gun at North-South Shootout; Rodgers Shares Spotlight

Concord, NC: Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA extended the reign of the northern competitors at the North-South Shootout at Concord Motorsport Park in Concord, NC taking down the victory in the fourth annual Hoosier Modified 100 on Saturday night. Tom Rodgers, III of Patchogue, NY turned in a dominating performance to score the biggest win of his career in the SK-Type Modified 50-lapper. Hirschman took home $10,600 in cash and prizes while Rodgers earned $5,950.

Also visiting victory lane were Danny Bohn of Freehold, NJ, MAD Modified competitor at Wall Township Speedway, in the limited SK-type Modifieds; Adam Norton of Brookfield, MA in Pro-Four Modified action and Charlie Curry Lexington, NC in the Four-Cylinder Outlaws. In the vintage ranks, Randy Smith of Bassett, VA bested the Modifieds and Gary Lloyd of Efland, NC scored the Sportsman division win.

Hirschman turned a lap of 15.333 seconds at 117.395 mph on the historic tri-oval at Concord to earn the DMC Auto Mart Pole award and $500. Hirschman started from the point and relinquished the top spot long enough to make his mandatory pit stop. After pitting on lap 25, he used patience and a fast racecar to work his way back to the front retaking the lead from Chuck Hossfeld just after the halfway marker. Hirschman led for a total of 74 laps.

Ted Christopher drove the Brady Bunch #00 to a runner-up finish while Eric Beers came home third. Beers was presented with the BSR Hard Charger Award coming from 31 st starting position to stand on the podium.

In similar fashion, Rodgers earned the $250 DMC Auto Mart pole award in SK-Type Modified time trials with a lap of 15.778 seconds at a speed of 114.083 MPH. The pole sitter jumped out to the lead and, despite a number of cautions, led every lap en route to the victory. Rodgers was joined on the podium by Bobby Santos III of Franklin, MA, who was also doing double-duty, and last year's winner Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT.

Kudos to the 2006 Race of Champions Modified Tour champion Earl Paulus of Kunkletown, PA, who finished fourth in both the Hoosier 100 for the Modifieds and the SK-type 50.

Matt Hirschman brought the field to green to start the 100 laps of green flag racing in the Hoosier Modified 100 with Burt Myers and Bobby Grigas taking chase. Defending race champion John Blewett was already on the move going three wide on lap three to grab two spots. The potential of a good night ended for Grigas when he received the black flag for a fluid leak.

Still under race conditions, Chuck Hossfeld was hounding Myers for the second spot with Blewett in hot pursuit. Blewett marched into third over Hossfeld on lap 13 and immediately set his sites on Myers. A single lap later Blewett was second. Christopher was working his way into contention.

The first caution of the event flew on lap 17 for contact between Santos, Andy Seuss, and Ronnie Silk. Several competitors took advantage of the yellow to make their mandatory pit stop. On the restart Hirschman led John Blewett, Myers, Ted Christopher and Hossfeld inside the top five. Hirschman and Blewett began to pull away from third-running Myers.

George Brunnhoelzl, III, making his first Modified start of the season, brought out the yellow on lap two for an incident that also involved Daren Scherer. During the caution period, the leader headed down pit road, taking southern competitors Brian Loftin and Jason Myers along for the ride.

John Blewett was the new leader when the green flag few again. B. Myers, Hossfeld, Christopher and now Todd Szegedy occupied the top five positions. B. Myers tried mounting a challenge on Blewett but had to settle back in line. This provided the opportunity for Hossfeld to make it a three-car battle for the top spot. On lap 26, Hossfeld grabbed the second position from B. Myers.

Szegedy and NSS newcomer Les Hinckley teamed up to work their way to the front. On lap 31 they each gained a position by passing Christopher. Three laps later they made their way past B. Myers. Recently crowned Northern Modified Tour Rookie-of-the-Year James Civalli spun in turn four to bring out the event's third caution on lap 36. A host of front-running cars ducked down pit road including John Blewett, B. Myers, Christopher, Beers and Brian Pack.

Hossfeld inherited the lead on the restart but looked strong at the head of the pack. Hossfeld held the top spot over Hinckley, Hirschman, Paulus, and Loftin. A heated battle between Paulus and Loftin was slowed by a caution for a spinning Anthony Sesely on lap 36.

Back under green, the Paulus-Loftin battle continued with Loftin coming out on top. Loftin, now fourth, immediately began to pressure Hirschman for third. Hossfeld began to pull away from Hinckley. The Southern ace was able to get third from Hirschman; but not for long. On lap 44, Hirschman rocketed back by through the dogleg.

Earlier front-runner, B. Myers spun in turn four to bring out the caution on lap 46. The caution was trouble for Szegedy, who headed down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop.

The lap counter hit halfway with Chuck Hossfeld leading. The Hillbilly Racing team pocketed $500 for leading lap 50 courtesy of DMC Auto Exchange. Hirschman was back into the second position and looking for more. Paulus sat in the third spot with a new face of Rick Kluth in fourth.

A single lap later, incidental contact between John Blewett and Lia ended with Lia in the outside wall. Sesely, Seuss, and Hinckley spun during the incident as well. B. Myers received heavy damage to his car when Lia tried to drive away from the scene, collecting Myers.

Hossfeld, the only car yet to make the mandatory stop, headed to pit road for service. Hirschman was the new leader when racing resumed. Paulus, Kluth, Blewett and Christopher rounded out the top-five.

With Hirschman and Paulus pulling away slightly, the best battle on the track was for fifth position between Blewett and Beers. Christopher began to show his muscle as well. On lap 53, Christopher took third from Kluth and began to reel in the leaders. Kluth fell into the clutches of Beers.

There was a scary moment for Hirschman on lap 70 when Gene Pack and Ryan Preece spun in the leader ‘s path to bring out the caution. Unfazed, Hirschman jumped out to a comfortable lead on the restart. Paulus continued to run in second over Christopher, Blewett and Beers. The action at the back of the pack was heated with several rows of side-by-side racing. A spin by Billy Pauch, III brought out the seventh yellow on lap 76.

Christopher took advantage of the restart to make a bid on Paulus while Beers made a run on Blewett. Neither was able to make the pass stick. On lap 80, Paulus had reached the back bumper of Hirschman. He, too, had to settle back into line.

The final caution of the event flew on lap 85 for a spin by Hinckley. With a collective groan from the grandstand area, the South's favorite son, Junior Miller was forced down pit road under the caution with an oil leak. The final 15-laps found Hirschman getting some breathing room as Paulus, Christopher and Beers went nose to tail.

On lap 94, Christopher was able to muscle his way by Paulus for second. Beers, who lost a cylinder during the event, was still able to follow through to move his ailing #9 into the third position.

Hirschman cruised to the victory in the prestigious North-South Shootout. Hirschman was greeted in victory lane by his legendary father Tony and his teary eyed mother, Brenda. It was a big win for the young and rising star. In addition to his $9,000 plus bounty, Hirschman was also presented with a custom-painted helmet to commemorate his victory and a shotgun-a fitting trophy for Hirschman who symbolically gunned down the competition. Both were presented courtesy of Indocil Art.

Ted Christopher pocketed $4,265 in cash and prizes for his second-place finish while third-place finisher Eric Beers took home $2,850. The lucrative North-South Shootout also paid fourth-place finisher Earl Paulus $3,430 including lap money. John Blewett III rounded out the top-five with winnings of $2,740.

The dominating win by Tom Rodgers, III could be considered an upset. The young man has won races at Riverhead Raceway but remains a relative unknown in the SK-Type Modified ranks. Rodgers, III led every lap beating the likes of Bobby Santos, Woody Pitkat, Earl Paulus, and Tommy Cravenho. After posting a quick lap in DMC Auto Mart qualifying, Rodgers brought the field to green for the 50-lapper. As a result he was fortunate enough to miss an incident on the opening lap that collected a number of cars.

Outside polesitter Tommy Farrell broke a clutch pedal on the initial start. A melee ensued when Farrell failed to come up to speed. Drivers collected included Pete Brittain, Daren Scherer, Rich Gould, Russ Savoy, Mike Bohn, and Diego Monahan. It became evident right when the first lap was finally in the record books that Rodgers was going to be strong. By lap 7, Rogers and Steven Reed has worked out to a sizeable lead.

The second caution flew on lap 10 for an incident that involved Rowan Pennink. Under the caution, Eric Beers, another competitor doing double-duty, had to back down pit road as his #9 was stuck in reverse. Jimmy Blewett relinquished the fourth position and headed to pit road. The revamped running order found Rodgers, Reed, Ronnie Silk, Dick Kluth, and Sherri Hogan inside the top five.

Silk got a great restart diving low to take over the second spot. Paulus followed through moving Reed back to third. Cravenho had moved into the top-five. Before the action could really heat up, a number of cars were collected in an incident that started in the dogleg on lap 12. Kluth, Shaun Carrig, Tom Fox, Pennink, and Bo Gunning sustained damage of varying degrees.

The lead pack including Rodgers, Silk, Paulus, and Reed quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field when racing resumed. Pitkat, who passed Cravenho to get into the top-five, was looking racy and started to reel in the leaders. At lap 20, the running order remained unchanged at the head of the pack.

Rodgers claimed an additional $250 from DMC Auto Exchange when he streaked under the crossed flags to lead halfway. After halfway, Rodgers watched his lead shrink in heavy lapped traffic. Sparks were flying on lap 37 when Reed brushed the wall in his attempts to catch Silk in second. Santos was the man on the move passing Paulus to arrive in the top-five.

Silk, Reed and Santos were bearing down on the lapped car of Pennink on lap 42, ultimately causing Pennink to spin. Both Silk and Reed took evasive action. Silk appeared to avoid any contact while Reed was not as lucky. Reed restarted at the tail of the field.

The restart order for the final eight laps found Rogers leading Silk, Pitkat, Santos and Paulus inside the top five. Pitkat made a quick bid for the lead on the ensuing restart but could not muster up any serious challenge. Santos grabbed the third spot from Pitkat after a single lap of green flag racing. Disaster struck for Silk with only five laps to go. Silk suffered front-end damage after contact with Santos. Silk drove his battered racecar down pit road without the aid of the yellow flag.

All the action was happening behind Rodgers who had stretched his lead to nearly a straightaway in the closing laps of the event. Rodgers went on to take down the decisive win. Santos came home second ahead of Pitkat. Paulus capped off a great weekend of racing in fourth. Cravenho rounded out the top five.

Earlier in the day, Carl Pasteryak of Lisbon, CT lapped all but the second position in the 35 lap Non-Qualifiers event. His dominating win prompted promoters C&C Racing Promotions to make an unprecedented invitation to Pasteryak to join the tail end of the starting field of the Hoosier Modified 100.

Great sponsorship like DMC Auto Exchange, PRO Shocks, the Joie of Seating, Clean-Up Supply, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Shadow's Candle Company and Kraze's Speed Equipment, the North-South Shootout presented over $13,350 in contingencies.

Additional North-South Shootout Notes

After four years, C&C Racing enjoyed its biggest crowd and largest car count. A total of 44 Modified Tour Type Cars and 34 SK-Type Modifieds attempted to qualify. The Vintage Modifieds totaled 15 and Vintage Sportsman 17. The combination of Pro-Four Modifieds and Four-Cylinder Stocks came in at 23. The Limited SK-Type car count topped out at 10.

C&C Racing Promotions presented additional pole awards with $500 going to Bobby Santos III of Franklin, MA, driving the #36 of Eddie Whelan, as the highest northern Modified Tour competitor (5th), Southern Mod Tour competitor Burt Myers of Walnut Cove, NC (2 nd ) and Bobby Grigas of Marshfield, MA (3 rd ) representing the True Value Modified Racing Series

In the SK-Type Modifieds, C&C Racing presented $100 apiece to the highest qualifying competitors from Wall Township Speedway-Tommy Farrell (2nd), Stafford Motor Speedway-Ronnie Silk (5th), Thompson Int'l Speedway- Jimmy Blewett (6 th ) and the SST Series-Earl Paulus (8). Rodgers earned the overall pole as a representative of the Waterford Speedbowl.

Donny Lia (Northern Mod), Gene Pack (Southern Mod) and Frank Ruocco (SK-type) were presented with $500 in car care products from Clean-Up Supply as the “Best Appearing” cars.

The event was a reunion for the championship combination of Szegedy, crew chief Phil Moran, and car owner Don Barker. The last minute decision to break out the beautiful #50 and make the trip from Connecticut to North Carolina for the Shootout came during a going away party for Moran, who is moving to the area to join Bill Davis Racing.

The North-South Shootout™ presented by C&C Racing Promotions-Except NO Substitutes.

Pos
SK Lites Feature Finish
 
Pos
Vintage Modified Feature Finish
1
659 Danny Bohn
 
1
88 Randy Smith
2
76 Shelly Perry
 
2
87 Jason York
3
45 Gary Younjg, Jr.
 
3
2 Keith Maready
4
29 Barry Moize
 
4
44 Darryl Lacks
5
19 Gene Moize
 
5
54 Donnie Lacks
6
97 Robert Geibel
 
6
16 Daryl Gwynn
7
6 Larry Cook
 
7
46 Kenny Keith
8
14 Marc Nappi
 
8
14 Larry Glessner
9

17 Glen Reen - DNS

 
9
7 Mack Tatum
10

0 Ronnie Buck, Jr. -DNS

 
10
21 Phil Barkins
     
11
28 Brian Janik
     
12

72 Rodney Dye - DNS

     
13
11 Johnny Clark, Jr. - DNS
     
14
98 Robert Isley - DNS

 

Pos
PRO 4 Modified Feature Finish  
Pos
4 Cylinder Feature Finish
1
01 Adam Norton
 
1
01 Charlie Curry
2
1M Jeff Zuidema
 
2
24 AJ Sanders
3
73 Jim Darlington
 
3
25 Tony Black
4
10 Matt Sagar
 
4
26 John Davis
5
20 Jason Heroux
 
5
0 Greg Butcher
6
11A Dan Meservey
 
6

4 Dean Lowder

7
00 David Richardi
 
7

11 Archie Sanders

8
13 George Sherman
 
8
64 Steven Truell
9
94 Ryan Inman
     
10
49 Joe Lemay
     
11
12 Rob Richardi, Jr.
     
12
97 Frank Hirt
     
13
37 Norm Wrenn - DNS
     

 

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