With the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Speedway fast approaching on Saturday, September 23rd, Matt Hirschman has filed an entry for the race and he will be looking to get his #60 The Florida Connection machine back to its winning ways after finishing 4th in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler®.
“I hope we can be in contention for the win,” said Hirschman. “We won the Sizzler® last year and didn’t run as well at the Fall Final and then this year in the Sizzler we were competitive but we weren’t really a winning car. I’m hoping we can improve on those last couple starts at Stafford and be in winning contention like we were at the Sizzler® 2 years ago.”
The NAPA Fall Final will mark Hirschman’s second start after suffering a broken wrist on August 16th in a race at Thompson Speedway. Hirschman ran in a Race of Champions event this past Sunday at Lake Erie Speedway and ran the full 250 lap distance to finish second. The 250-lap event was a great test for Hirschman and other than some general soreness, he is ready to tackle the half-mile Stafford Speedway.
“I just raced Sunday in the R.O.C. at Lake Erie and finished second,” said Hirschman. “That race went well and now I’m looking forward to Stafford this weekend and the Fall Final. Returning at the 4 week mark was a best case scenario for me and I was able to meet that criteria and come back. That race was a 250 lap race and one of the longer races of the season so I was a little tired and sore afterwards, but no issues and I should only improve from here I hope. I have to thank all my sponsors and supporters. We’ve had a little bit of time off and missed a few races but I’m looking to finish the season strong and represent my team and sponsors.”
In order for Hirschman to be among the contenders for the NAPA Fall Final checkered flag and the $15,000 payday that comes with it, he will have to no doubt beat Woody Pitkat and Ron Silk with Silk going for 3 wins in a row at Stafford while Pitkat is also looking for his third consecutive victory at Stafford.
“I would say the Vegas odds would be in both of their favor with Silk winning the Sizzler® and the Fall Final last year and Pitkat has won the most Open 80 races at Stafford the last 2 years,” said Hirschman. “They have better odds than I do for the Fall Final but I don’t think the odds were necessarily in my favor when we won the Sizzler® a couple of years ago and we were able to come out on top. So I know that we can do it but it’s not going to be easy.”
While the majority of the NAPA Fall Final field have raced this season at Stafford either weekly or in open modified competition, Hirschman has only made one start at the beginning of the season in the NAPA Spring Sizzler®. Although he might be behind, he doesn’t think his lack of track time will negatively affect him.
“With the time of the year the weather is different and track time is always a good thing, but I don’t think it will be a determining factor in who wins the Fall Final,” said Hirschman. “It’s going to be a little bit of a different ballgame than the Friday night Open 80 races. I think it’s just a matter of executing the day and making the right adjustments to give yourself a car that can contend for the win. Start to finish we have to be mistake free and put ourselves in a good position. Track position is going to be important with being at or near the front for the entire race being to your benefit. We had a respectable finish in the Fall Final last year but we never really got all the way to the front and into winning contention. The goal is to get ourselves into winning contention and see how we stack up. It’s all about executing the day from start to finish. That’s what it takes to win.”
The NAPA Fall Final is set for Saturday, September 23rd with a rain date of Sunday, September 24th. Tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Fall Final are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for kids ages 6-14, kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.
Stafford Speedway PR