The modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Memorial 150” paid big dividends for Northampton’s Matt Hirschman after a record payout last Saturday.
Hirschman, who claimed his 11th win of 2022, took home $7,000 for the victory and – with added bonuses – finished with just over $10,000 in cash and prizes.
Hirschman started 10th and on lap 63 moved forward with an inside pass on Blake Barney. He then withstood numerous challenges from Barney, Bobby Jones and Chuck Hossfeld.
With 50 laps to go, he pitted under a warning and changed his tires to the right side. When he returned, he was ninth. Over the next 17 laps, he held a driving clinic as he passed one car after another until he regained the lead.
The rest of the way he drove steadily and took the ladies over Barney.
“It was a long run and I’m happy to finish it on top. It’s the highest paid run we’ve ever had here and you don’t know when or if it will happen again, and I appreciate doing that in the honor of Tom Wanick Jr. and for what his family and the speedway have done for all of us,” Hirschman said. “It’s a special win for sure with Tommy (Wanick III) wanting to do this race for his dad.”
The race got off to a good start with Don Wagner leading the opening laps before Barney took control. Behind him were Rod Snyder Jr. and TJ Potrzebowski. They raced in that order until lap 40 when Hossfeld moved past third. Four laps later he passed Snyder when the first warning was waved.
This would set off a series of yellow flags which would make the race maddening, plus there was a slowdown when a brief downpour crossed the track.
“I had no problem navigating traffic; there were just too many laps of caution and I was kind of losing my mind because we kept stopping and I just wanted to pick up a pace with a few green flag laps,” Hirschman said.
After giving up the lead, Barney and Jones fought for second place. Hossfeld also returned to the stage and used the inside lane to take second place.
When Hirschman stopped under a warning on lap 100, it allowed Hossfeld to take the lead. Earl Paules was now second after Barney and Jones stopped a few laps before the centenary.
With Hirschman out of sight for the time being, Hossfeld set a good pace while fending off Paules. But after returning, Hirschman put in a quick charge. His game-winning pass came with an inside turn 4 move over Hossfeld.
“Matt (Hirschman) is a great guy and I call him almost every day. His dad, Tony, was my dad’s favorite driver and Matt is a great racer,” said Victory Lane’s Tom Wanick Jr.
It was his 29th victory at Mahoning and his ninth straight in as many starts here.
Barney, the runner-up, had his best result at MVS.
“I really enjoy this place and I had a really good race car and I was lucky to have a good starting spot in second position. I took the lead early and tried to make what he (Hirschman) is doing and pacing the race,” Barney said.
In the main Street Stock, Cody Geist parlayed his starting pole position into his first win of the season.
Geist had a fierce battle with Tucker Muffley, who insisted on trying to get past him. Geist may have led all the way, but he fought hard every lap.
Corey Edelman won his second consecutive Hobby Stock feature and had to fend off Shayne Geist.
Edelman and Geist traded paint while battling for the lead. Geist was pretty much in position to reclaim the lead while setting up Edelman behind the oncoming trail cars. But just when it appeared the move would take place, caution was stirred.
It was saving grace for Edelman. At the restart in single file, he held on for his 24th class victory.
Modified Feature finish (150 rounds)
: 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Blake Barney, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Chuck Hossfeld, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Anthony Bello, 7. Josh Scherer, 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Chris Ammon, 10. Rod Snyder Jr., 11. Tom Wanick III, 12. Jaden Brown, 13. Brandon Oltra, 14. Sean Verwys, 15. Anthony Sesely, 16. Austin Kochenash, 17. Paulie Hartwig III, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. Roger Coss, 20. TJ Potrzebowski, 21. Cody Kohler, 22. Ron Silk, 23. Zane Zeiner, 24. Nick Baer, 25. Don Wagner, 26. Mike Hosier, 27. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 28. Lou Strohl DNQ: Terry Markovic, Carl Altemose, Johnny Bennett, Chris Risdale, Jacob Kerstetter
Characteristic arrival of Street Stock (30 laps)
1. Cody Geist, 2. Tucker Muffley, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Thomas Flanagan, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Jillian Snyder, 8. Tommy Flanagan, 9. Jamie Smith, 10. Stacey Brown , 11. Randy Green, 12. Bobby Kibler Jr., 13. Randy Ahner Jr., 14. Brandon Christman, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Jacob Boehm
End of Hobby Stock feature (25 rounds)
: 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Ryan Berger, 6. Trisha Connolly, 7. Lyndsay Buss, 8. Nick Schaffer, 9. Tad Snyder, 10. Don Bauder , 11. Nick Kerstetter, 12. Makayla Kohler, 13. Ralph Borger Jr., 14. Dave Kerr, 15. Cody Boehm, 16. Maggie Yeakel, 16. James Tout, 18. Jared Frye, 19. Justin Merkel, 20. Mallory Kutz, 21. DNS by Jacob Boehm: Ed Herman