Five-Time Modified Champion Hirschman to be Honored at Thompson NASCAR to Recognize Hirschman on Aug. 14 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2008) -- As part of the season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions, five-time NASCAR ...
Five-Time Modified Champion Hirschman to be Honored at Thompson
NASCAR to Recognize Hirschman on Aug. 14
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2008) -- As part of the season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions, five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titlist Tony Hirschman will be honored at the New England Dodge Dealers 150 presented by Budweiser on Thursday, Aug. 14 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
Hirschman, ofNorthampton, Pa., captured five NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titles during a stellar 11-year span from 1995-2005. His five championships are second-most in tour history.
"The first time I ever saw Modifieds was in the early days when they came to Pocono on the three-quarter mile track back in the late 1960s," Hirschman said. "Just sitting in the stands and watching, I never would have thought that one day I would have a chance to race cars like that, let alone win a race or a championship. One thing led to the next, and as years go by, here we are with five championships."
In the smallest championship margin of victory in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history, Hirschman edged Steve Park by three points for his first title in 1995. The 1996 season would see Hirschman again finish ahead of Park in another championship chase that went down to the wire, this time by 12 points.
After two narrow championship victories in 1995 and 1996, Hirschman was able to put together a dominant 1999 campaign for his third series title. With six wins, 14 top fives and 19 top 10s, he finished 403 points ahead of Mike Ewanitsko for the championship, the second-largest margin of victory in series history.
For the second time in his career, Hirschman was able to put together back-to-back championship seasons in 2004 and 2005. Hirschman used four wins to finish 104 points ahead of Ed Flemke Jr. for the 2004 title and he had five victories during his fifth championship season when he tallied 18 more points than Ted Christopher in the final standings.
Hirschman, who last raced in 2007, recorded 35 wins, 41 poles, 134 top fives and 199 top 10s in 319 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. His win total ranks third in series history while his pole award tally is an all-time record. Hirschman's five NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships are second only to Stefanik's seven titles since the tour was formed in 1985.
Thompson International Speedway, where the ceremony will take place, was a very successful venue for Hirschman. Of his 35 career wins, eight came at Thompson. Hirschman's first win at the track was the 1989 World Series and his most-recent triumph came in the August 2005 New England Dodge Dealers 150.
"Thompson always was a good race track for me," Hirschman said. "Four of the five championships came down to the last race, and we won them there. Thompson has always been special to me."
In addition to his successful NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, Hirschman also competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East for a couple years. He finished seventh in the season standings in 1991 to earn Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors and placed eighth in the 1992 points chase.