The 2019 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing has come to an end for the Mod Squad. It all started on Monday night for a 50 lap event, where Doug Coby would take a convincing win over the 20 plus car field.
On Tuesday night, Ryan Preece would have 2 more shots to win, before heading to his cup series duties at Daytona. Preece would take down a dominating win, achieving his goal for the week. Chuck Hossfield and Dave Sapienza would round out the podium.
On Wednesday night, the John Blewett III Memorial 76 lap race, Matt Hirschman and Ryan Preece took the green flag on Wednesday night, and both watched Doug Coby pull away. Preece sat comfortable in 2nd, while Matt Hirschman took a reserved route to save tires and rode around in the 6th place spot. As the race went on, the “Closer” Matt Hirschman charged to the front, and a string of cautions at lap 60 allowed him to catch back up to the field. Tommy Catalano was having his best run of the week by far, but a clutch problem would end his night with about 20 laps left, while running 3rd. Dave Sapienza in his 2nd race of the week started to march his way through the pack, following Hirschman up through. On an ensuing restart, Matt Hirschman would time the restart, and end up harassing the lead away from Ryan Preece and pulling away. Before fading back into the top 10, Preece would have one more shot on a restart but could not pull it off. Preece would fall back to 9th. Matt Hirschman would win the JBIII Memorial race, and Chuck Hossfield, and David Sapienza would complete the top 3.
On Thursday night, it was a 35 lap sprint to the finish between Timmy Solomito and Tommy Catalano the whole night. On an ensuing restart with 5 to go, Solomito would get into Catalano, sending him up into the turn 2 wall, leaving a mess behind him. As the 16 of Solomito made contact with the 54 of Catalano, he also shoved up the race track and Matt Hirschman would be in a great spot to pounce. Hirschman pulled low off of turn 2, and took the lead and never looked back. Solomito and Hossfield would round out the podium.
On Friday Night, the Richie Evans Memorial 100 lap event would take to the track, and Doug Coby and Tommy Catalano would set the front row. Coby would get out to a strong lead, while Catalano and Jimmy Blewett would pace behind them. The teams, spotters, and drivers would all pay attention to the pace Matt Hirschman would set in the middle of the pack. Out of character for the 60 of Hirschman he would turn up the wick early on, carve the field up and take the lead. He usually waits to the last quarter of most races to make his move while saving his car or the pounce. On lap 65, the competition caution would come out, and the field would all take 2 tires. This set up a 35 lap dash where Jimmy Blewett would try his best to chase down Hirschman, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough. Hirschman would take a dominating win, over Jimmy Blewett, and Anthony Nocella. Tommy Catalano would end up 4th, with Patrick Emerling in 5th.
This was Hirschman's 3rd Richie Evans win and with that he is only the third driver to win this race 3 times or more along with Preece and Ted Christopher. He is the first to win the JBIII and Richie Evans memorial races in the same week. Chuck Hossfield ended up with the big trophy for the week-long championship here at New Smyrna Speedway. It was a week full of great times, and hard racing.
FULL RESULTS 1-60 Matt Hirschman 2-2 Jimmy Blewett 3-92 Anthony Nocella 4-54 Tommy Catalano 5-7 Patrick Emerling 6-36 Dave Sapienza 7-22 Chuck Hossfeld 8-25 Calvin Carroll 9-2 Doug Coby 10-71 Jimmy Zacharias 11-12X Andy Jankowiak 12-32 Tyler Rypkema 13-11 Dillon Steuer 14-55 Jeremy Gerstner 15-17 Bobby Measmer, Jr. 16-16 Timmy Solomito 17-25 Nikki Carroll 18-64 Amy Catalano 19-21 Al Emmarino 20-2X Tom Tone
Other winners on the night would see young gun Sammy Smith with the 100 lap Pro Late Model race. Pro Trucks Cody Haskins. George Gorham wins the American Auto Sportsman race.
With a lot of changes this year, with Ryan Preece leaving on Wednesday to go start his first full time year in the cup series with JTG Daugherty Racing, getting set for his first DAYTONA 500 start this Sunday. We wish this talented wheelman and New england modified driver the best of luck!
(On location Staff, Author-Brandon Wilkinson. Photographer-Mike Blackmar)