View Full Version : Matt Hirschman Dominates En Route to Mahoning Valley Poker Series Win

08-15-2010, 09:38 AM
(LEHIGHTON, PA 8-14-10) No one will argue the fact that the Modified Poker Series concept at Mahoning Valley Speedway has been a huge success, especially Matt Hirschman, who scored his third 100 lap win in the last five races. In the process he has also raked in a nice amount of cash to the tune of $10,000, including $3000 for winning Saturday’s race.

This was Hand 3 of the 7 Card Stud Modified Poker Series and Hirschman authored one of the most dominating race wins at the track in some time.
After shuffling the lead with Eric Beers after a lap 50 restart, Hirschman went ahead for good on lap 53 and then proceeded to head out into a zone all his own.

With no cautions over the final 50 tours, Hirschman easily had his way with the pack. Weaving inside and out and passing cars at will, he pulled away to a commanding 5 second win over Beers and early leader Lou Strohl. Rob Shultz and John Markovic completed the top five.

“I just had a perfect race car. We passed Eric Beers to win and lapped Earl Paules (last week’s poker winner) here at Mahoning, unbelievable,” said Hirschman, who drove the Bob Horn #50. “We finally had won a race here at the end of last season and ended all that nonsense that we can’t win here. Three (wins) out of the last five here, that’s awesome. This was a good crowd that came out to support the races tonight and the management here does these 100 lappers that are wildly popular. The Poker Series is definitely been a good thing.”

After an inversion of the top 12 in time trials, Lou Strohl and Tyler Haydt had the front row for the start. Beers was the top qualifier with a lap of 9.745 with Anthony Sesely second quick at 9.757.

When the race began Strohl was in control. Haydt, CJ Jones and Don Wagner all had a stint at second spot but it was Beers and 15th starting Hirschman who were doing the most frontward movement. Both powered to second and third respectively and made matters tough on Strohl.

Beers was running alongside Strohl and aiming for the lead and was just about to do so until a caution waved on lap 49.

On the restart Strohl and Beers ran neck-and-neck. As they were exiting turn four and with Beers on the topside, Strohl got his right front into the side of Beers and went spinning. With a throng of oncoming traffic several cars got collected.

For the restart it was now Beers and Hirschman, who both hail from Mud Lane in Northampton, at the front and as expected from these two stars, they put on a thrilling duel for the lead. They went back and forth with the lead until Hirschman went to the front for keeps on lap 53. He then dazzled the crowd with his stellar performance the rest of the way.

“I want to document everything because I never had a car that worked as good as this. The car was just so perfect. Usually I’m out of breath at the end of a race here because I’m fighting the car. I was still running as hard as I could because I figured Eric Beers was going to be sticking his nose in there with those lapped cars out there,” said Hirschman. “I gave it everything it had and it had a lot tonight. I want to thank Bob Horn from Connecticut for bringing it here.”

Hirschman drew the Ace of Clubs as the suite for the night.
For Beers it marked the third time this year that he has led a 100 lapper but fell short at the end. He does, however, have a pair of Kings heading into next week’s 35-lap wild card race.

“He (Hirschman) had a real good car tonight. I thought that we may have had the better car there for a little while but then Louie (Strohl) and I got together and it knocked my toe-in some but hats off to Matt and his guys, they had their act together. We’ll get more races coming up here and try next time,” said Beers.

Strohl’s third was his best effort to date, which came after storming back through the pack after pitting on lap 49. Likewise with Shultz who checked in the pits at midway and once again made a late race charge into the top five. Markovic has finished in the top five in each poker race this year.

The points battle has also heated up as John Bennett and Don Wagner are now tied for first.

Up until two weeks ago Dave Wallace of Lehighton hadn’t seen Victory Lane since 2003. Now in the past two Late Model features that’s all he’s been accustomed to.

It was an all Wallace show all race long too as the event began with Rick Wallace setting the pace. Dave was on his tail right from the start.
Coming up on the halfway point Rick began drifting high and Dave quickly snatched the lead. He then handled his way at the front the rest of the way.
Geno Steigerwalt moved to second on lap 11 with Shawn Sitarchyk edging point leader Paul Koehler, Jr., for third. Fifth went to Todd Stehle.

In the Street Stocks it was another week and another different winner, the 13th to be exact. Lehighton’s Justin Mooney drove to the win and like the Late Models where brothers battled for the lead, it was much of the same scenario.

Early leader Josh Mooney led from the pole and was doing fine until a lap nine caution. For the restart he had his brother next to him and when the action resumed Justin showed he was the better of the two.

Justin took the lead and then over the final five laps had the arduous task of fending off Steve Steigerwalt and Todd Ahner.

Kristy Morone Arthofer’s fourth paid big dividends in points as she was able to pull with 17 of Randy Ahner who finished 13th.

For Joe Stangle the night of August 14, 2010 will forever be etched in his memory. On this night the Potatcong, NJ driver raced to his career first feature win in a Dirt Modified.

Stangle did so in a dominant fashion too as he started from the pole and led every circuit and quite handily. It was a perfect night to say the least as he won his heat as well.

Randy Thomas’ drive for four wins in row never was a concern as Stangle was the class of the field all night long.

Kevin Graver, Jr., of Lehighton notched his second straight and fifth win of the year in the Pro4 Late Models. In doing so he pushed his division win total to 30, becoming the first driver to reach that pinnacle with the class.

Graver started sixth and needed only two laps to get to the front. Afterwards he cruised his way to the checkered and for the second time in as many years has now led in excess of 100 feature laps.

Point leader Kris Graver and early leader Jake Kibler took second and third.

Modified Feature Finish, 100 Laps: 1.Matt Hirschman 2.Eric Beers 3.Lou Strohl 4.Rob Shultz 5.John Markovic 6.Lonnie Behler 7.Anthony Sesely 8.Matt Higgins 9.Don Wagner 10.Brian DeFebo 11.Earl Paules 12.John Bennett 13.Bobby Jones 14.Tyler Haydt 15.Troy Bollinger 16.Chip Santee 17.Jarred Nace 18.Joe Mooney 19.Terry Markovic 20.CJ Jones

Late Model Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Dave Wallace 2.Geno Steigerwalt 3.Shawn Sitarchyk 4.Paul Koehler, Jr. 5.Todd Stehle 6.Ed Bauer 7.Rick Wallace 8.Jason Zatsko 9.Cole Lenhart 10.Rick Smith 11.Adam Cox

Street Stock Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1.Justin Mooney 2.Steven Steigerwalt 3.Todd Ahner 4.Kristy Morone Arthofer 5.TJ Gusrky 6.Jason Frey 7.Josh Mooney 8.Adam Santee 9.Brian Labar 10.Jim Yamelski 11.Jillian Long 12.Devin Gibson 13.Randy Ahner, Jr. 14.Chris May 15.Jamie Smith 16.Austin Santee 17.Paul Effrig 18.Eric Danyluk 19.Ethan Rutherford 20.Steve Hoffman

Dirt Modified Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Joe Stangle 2.Randy Thomas 3.Bill Briggs 4.Dave Thomas 5.Scott Hulmes 6.Bill Sitler

Pro4 Late Model Feature, 20 Laps: 1.Kevin Graver, Jr. 2.Kris Graver 3.Jake Kibler 4.Jeremy Miller 5.Mike Stofflet 6.Chad Keiser 7.Aleia Geisler