Matt Hirschman scores Tour Type Modified victory at Evergreen Raceway; Mike Pollack, Rebecca Barbush finally get first wins in Street Stocks and Four Cylinders respectively

Sunday at Evergreen Raceway the day started with a question mark as the morning had remnants of the previous evening’s rain storms that shrouded the area and had some wondering if any racing at all would take place. However, a determined staff remained positive and stuck with the scheduled plan as the show was run off with nary a hint of rain or gloomy clouds by race time.

For sure, Northampton’s Matt Hirschman is glad they did too as the star driver from Northampton claimed his first Evergreen win of the season in the Tour Type Modifieds 50 lap feature.

The feature began with Brian Romig Sr., and Brian Sones on the front row and at the drop of Chris Walk’s race commencing green Sones darted to the opening lap lead.

Hirschman, who started seventh, quickly worked his way through the field as he picked off one after another until gaining second spot by lap 10. He then honed in on leader Sones and from there and bided his time until making what would be his race winning move with 19 laps to go.

“I was able to steadily maintain our pace and gain on him (Sones) and he was able to protect the bottom once I got to him,” noted Hirschman.

After taking the lead Hirschman then set a steady pace as the race was clicking off caution-free.

That was, however, until four laps to go when Paulie Hartwig III lost a power steering line and put liquid down the front straight. It also caused him to spin and bring out the only caution of the race.

        Before the caution came out Sones was picking up some time on Hirschman. Also, Anthony Sesely was running third and there was thoughts on the restart that a challenge would ensue from either of them on Hirschman.

        It was to no avail, though, as Hirschman never faltered and cruised to his 52nd Modified win and 55th overall at Evergreen.   

“It was a good, clean run and it looked like it was going to go green to checker but there was some liquid down and after that we knew it (track) was going to be a little bit slick and with Brian (Sones) still right there. But everyone did a nice job of navigating through it,” said Hirschman.

“It was a good track today despite the heat and it was a good race with good passing. Things haven’t gone all that smooth for us this year and so it was nice to come here and have a good clean run and get a win and we’ll build on it as we go through the season.”

Sones held on for second with Sesely third, Bobby Jones fourth and Hartwig, who battled back to round out the top five.

“We were definetley down some cars because of the morning forecast that was questionable. Obviously running these cars gets expensive at times and it’s a risk if the forecast is a little iffy. For us there was never a doubt and there was a chance of maybe getting a little wet but the rest of the day looked pretty good,” said Hirschman.

“We’re fortunate to be able to race close to home a few times and I want to thank Harry’s U-Pull-It, our sponsor from nearby here in Hazleton, and we look forward to coming back again.”

Sones has raced twice this season at Evergreen with a pair of runner-ups each time.

“When the caution came out on lap 46 we were gaining on him (Hirschman) a couple tenths every lap. We got to within two car lengths and the caution came out and he was able to cool down his tires a bit,” explained Sones.

“He was better definetley on the short run there and the stagger just opened up to much for us there in the end. But we saw that we made good gains and we’ll be back in August to try it again,” he continued.

“We now have two second place finishes in two starts, the other with the Late Model and I have to thank my dad, (Kenny Sones) and Dennis Wenner for giving me cars to finish like that and we’ll eventually get one of those wins.”

Two-time and defending Street Stock champion Mike Pollack has put up some very good numbers in the first few races, with a pair of seconds and a fourth, but although that may look respectable on paper, make no mistake Pollack worked hard for those results each time due to some hard fought outings that in some cases may have sideline another driver.

And, it looked like it was going to be another one of those days again for Pollack who got caught up in two skirmishes. But he was quite resilient in his effort to not lay down. Pollack passed a very impressive running Amber Knecht with nine laps to go and then cruised to his first win of the season and 13th with the class.

In the process he also padded his point lead and his quest for a third straight title.

Knecht had a career day at Evergreen, winning her heat and then leading the first 20 laps before yielding to Pollack. Nevertheless she then held on and edged out Tommy Flanagan for career high runner-up at this track.

Rebecca Barbush of Drums has shown plenty of speed over the first three races of the season each time running with the head of the pack and vying for the win.

Sunday afternoon, she was yet again among the leader group only this time it would be her that everyone was chasing.

Taking the lead from her outside front row starting spot, Barbush blasted into the lead at the drop of the initial green over Ralph Boger Jr., and from there never looked back.

She ran strong and steady all race long, leaving it a battle for second as she crossed under the checkers by two car lengths over runner-up Jared Frye. For Barbush it was her first win in nearly four years and a continuation of a legacy of victories by the Barbush family at Evergreen.

Frye had a career best Evergreen finish with second while Maggie Wambold, BJ Wambold and Johnny Bennett rounded out the top five.

In the Rotten and Forgotten main Sam Jensen of Hobby raced into the lead past Vince Corter on lap eight and from there on was never headed as he picked up his first win since 2022.

He was followed in tow by brothers Noah, Tom, Jon and Dan Jensen making a sweep of the top five.

Chris Hirt of Danbury, CT picked up the lead on lap four of the East Coast TQ Midget feature and from there went on to fend off former club champion Tyler Wagner for his first feature win.

Tour Type Modified feature finish (50 laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Brian Sones, 3. Anthony Sesely, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Paulie Hartwig III, 6. Jacob Kerstetter, 6. Daren Scherer, 8. Jayden Harman, 9. Brian Romig Jr., 10. Micah Adams, 11. Brian Rygielski 12. Thomas Flanagan

Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Mike Pollack, 2. Amber Knecht, 3. Tommy Flanagan, 4. Mike Odwazny, 5. Bob Hunsicker Jr., 6. Cory Derr, 7. Charlie Castiglione, 8. Mark Spencer, 9. Gordon Buchman Jr.

Four Cylinder feature finish (25 laps): 1. Rebecca Barbush, 2. Jared Frye, 3. Maggie Wambold, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Johnny bennett, 6. Tyler Skordensky, 7.Robert McNulty, 8. Ralph Boger Jr., 9. Jacob Knittle, 10. Nicholas Kerstetter, 11. Lauren Skupski, 12. Larry Spencer III, 13. Brooklyn Peters, 15. Jeremy henry, 16. Ryan Petro

Rotten-and-Forgotten feature finish (25 laps): 1. Sam Jensen, 2. Noah Jensen, 3. Tom Jensen, 4. Jon Jensen, 5. Dan Jensen, 6. Vince Corter, 7. Ryan Casagrande, 8. Hunter Sterner, 9. Sarah Derr

ECTQM feature finish (20 laps): 1. Chris Hirt, 2. Tyler Wagner, 3. Graham Hughes, 4. Ken Hirt, 5. Vinny Testanero, 5. Howard Boss

Evergreen Raceway PR