Matt Hirschman Impressive In Camping World Series Debut, Fourth Place Finish Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Saturday's Heluva Good 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway may have been the first-ever NASCAR Camping World East Series race for 25...
Matt Hirschman Impressive In Camping World Series Debut, Fourth Place Finish
Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Saturday's Heluva Good 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway may have been the first-ever NASCAR Camping World East Series race for 25 year-old Matt Hirschman, but the Gillett-Evernham Racing development driver raced like a veteran, running up front all day before finishing fourth.
Hirschman, driving the No. 9 Dodge prepared by Dave Davis Motorsports, was quickly up to speed in his first series appearance. Twelfth fastest in practice, the Northampton, Pennsylvania driver timed in 17th in Thursday's time trials.
Friday's rain showers forced the postponement of the Heluva Good 125 to Saturday morning, making for a busy day for Hirschman who was also racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Mired in the middle of the field during the opening laps, Hirschman took a big step towards the front when, under a lap 19 caution, he stayed on the track while most of those ahead of him came to pit road for service. He restarted the race in the sixth position. He gave those spots back when he made a stop of his own under the next yellow, and he restarted on lap 34 in the twentieth position.
The next 58 laps went caution-free and when that run was over, Hirschman had improved to ninth place. After some competitors pitted under caution, he took the next restart in sixth. For the rest of the race he ran in the top five, and was fourth when the checkers flew.
"It was a great race with a great team," he said after the race. "They made the right calls, gave me a great setup, and I had the fun job of driving it. We had a good car and a great run, and I'm real happy to go out in my first race and get a top-five finish. That's great."
Hirschman was all smiles after making such an impressive series debut.
"The crew chief made a great call and everybody did a great job, it all worked out perfect," he said. "Everybody ran me good out there. The 40 [Matt Kobyluck] and I ran side-by-side for a while and we raced hard but clean, it was good racing."