Matt Hirschman

May 18, 2014

By Tom Cummings

Tioga Center, NY -  Matt Hirschman found victory lane for the second time in the in the first two events of the 2014 Race of Champions Pavement Modified series, holding off the close challenges of Chuck Hossfeld for final fifty four laps. Gene Purvis was a late arrival at the speedway, but jumped into his 4 Cylinder Stock for the feature and collected his second consecutive feature win. Gary Noe used a late race restart to get by Bill Frisbee, Jr to claim his first checkered flag of the season.

The skies were overcast as the teams arrived at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Sunday afternoon, with intermittent rain showers causing the teams to keep the tarps covering their cars. The time for hotlaps arrived, and the showers subsided. The teams practiced in overcast conditions, but by the time the first Green Flag flew, the sun was peeking out, and started to have the teams scramble to make adjustments.

Nick Morich brought out his Four Cylinder Stock, and established himself as a contender for the win by winning the heat race. Gene Purvis arrived at the facility minutes before the Four Cylinder feature. Purvis would pass polesitter Nick Morich in turn two for the lead on lap 2. Morich kept the potent Purvis ride within striking distance, but the defending series champion was too strong and held on for his second win in a row. Duane Bailey made his first start at the track and finished third. John Maynard crossed the line fourth. Alan Blackwell was fifth, and Shannon Gresham finished sixth in his first race of the season.

The Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks are always action packed, and they did not disappoint on Sunday. Bill Frisbee, Jr and Gary Noe led the field to the green flag. The pair ran side by side the first two laps until Frisbee pulled ahead of Noe in turn two of the third lap. Glenn Lippolis , Tim Gullo and Jason Duke, Sr locked themselves in a three way challenge. While the trio leaned on each other, they kept the leaders in sight. At halfway, Duke developed mechanical problems and had to retire to the pits. Four cars ran together for the final ten laps, no one giving an inch to their challengers. Caution flew with two laps to go when Tim Gullo had a tire go down. Noe restarted to the outside of Frisbee, and pulled ahead for the lead coming off of turn four at the white flag. Noe collected his first win of the season, and his first ever win at Shangri-La II. Frisbee finished a close second. Glenn Lippolis crossed the finish line in third, but was penalized one spot for post race contact. Gullo was credited with a third place finish, Lippolis fourth and Duke finished fifth.

Twenty-three RoC Modifieds were on hand for the tenth RoC Modified event at Shangri-La II. Twenty Two cars started as Michael LaBreche retired his Kluth racing ride after the heat race. Tommy Close drew the pole position for the 75 lap feature, and he would have Chuck Hossfeld start to his outside. At the drop of the green flag, Hossfeld proved to be a man on a mission as he pulled the outside lane to the front. In doing so, he pulled along Jimmy Zacharias. Hossfeld would hold off Zacharias for the first five laps, but Zacharias took the lead on an outside pass in turn two. Hossfeld took the lead back from Zacharias on a lap seven restart. Zacharias would run in the top three until pitting for a tire issue on lap twenty one. While Hossfeld was fending off challengers at the front, Matt Hirschman was moving through the field. After starting eighth, the Northampton, Pa driver took the lead from Hossfeld in turn three of lap twenty one. Andy Seuss made his first ever start at Shangri-La II driving the McGuire Motorsports #51. Seuss started twelfth, and had the outside groove dialed in. He battled with Patrick Emerling and Austin Kochenash throughout the race, and finished sixth. Emerling ran by himself in third for most of the event, until he received heavy challenges from Kochenash, Seuss and Jimmy Zacharias. Zacharias (the winningest driver at Shangri-La II) rebounded from being the caution and needing a new tire on lap twenty one to finishing fifth. Kochenash started in the sixteenth position, but saved his equipment to catch and get by Emerling with six laps to go. Kochenash held off the challenges from Emerling to finish third. Mike Leaty ran strong inside the top four until mechanical problems sidelined the Williamson, NY driver on lap fourty four. In the closing laps, Hossfeld’s best chance to get by Hirschman came on lap sixty one. Hirschman slipped up the track just enough for Hossfeld to get underneath. Hossfeld got the bite he needed coming out of turn four, but the caution flew at the same time for a three car collision involving Doug Reaume, Tyler and Dean Rypkema. While Reaume would continue to finish tenth, the day was done for team Rypkema. The top five at the finish were Hirschman, Hossfeld, Kochenash, Emerling and Zacharias. Hossfeld has won 5 of the ten RoC Modified events at the track. The RoC Modifieds return to Shangri-La II on Sunday July 27th.

Racing will continue at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway this Saturday, May 24th for the first night race of the year. The speedway will celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy, and the track will host a post race pit party. The Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds and the Four Cylinder Stocks will all be in action. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm, Grandstand Gate opens and Practice begins at 5:30 pm with racing beginning at 7:00 pm. Keep up with what is happening at Shangri-La II by visiting us on the web at: www.shangrila-2.com . There is always plenty of free camping at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway.

RoC Modifieds (75 Laps) 1) Matt Hirschman, 2) Chuck Hossfeld, 3) Austin Kochenash, 4) Patrick Emerling, 5) Jimmy Zacharias, 6) Andy Seuss, 7) Daren Scherer, 8) Andy Jankowiak, 9) Brandon Oltra, 10) Doiug Reaume, 11) Bryan Sherwood, 12) Jim Storace, 13) Tony Hanbury, 14) Ken Canestrari, 15) Sam Fullone, 16) Tyler Rypkema, 17) Nick Pecko, 18) Dean Rypkema, 19) Mike Leaty, 20) Andy Lewis, 21) Brian DeFebo, 22) Tommy Cloce DNS: Michael LaBreche Heat Winners: Chuck Hossfeld, Jim Storace, Bryan Sherwood

Four Cylinder Stocks (8 Laps) 1) Gene Purvis, 2) Nick Morich 3) Duane Bailey, 4) John Maynard, 5) Alan Blackwell, 6) Shannon Gresham Heat Winner: Nick Morich

Pudgies Pizza Street Stock (20 Laps) 1) Gary Noe 2) Bill Frisbee, Jr., 3)Tim Gullo, 4) Glenn Lippolis, 5) Jason Duke, Sr., 7) Brad Knapp DNS: Derrick Tarbox   Heat Winner: Tim Gullo