Story By: RACE OF CHAMPIONS – LEHIGHTON, PA – Race of Champions Modified Series competitors are gearing up to head to Mahoning Valley Speedway for the Series opener and so are race fans. If opening day at the 1/4-mile facility is any indication of what fans are in store for than Saturday, April 24, at 2:00pm will be one of the most anticipated start times on their 2021 schedules.
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., narrowly edged out Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa., at the track’s weekly opener, part of their Hall of Fame Series. Hirschman’s win included a drive through the field to get back to the front. With less than 10-laps to go, it looked like Hirschman wouldn’t have a chance to win, but because of the passing opportunities and unique style of racing that Mahoning provides he was able to slip to the outside of Beers in the closing laps and edge out Beers in what looked like a photo finish.
“Mahoning is fun to race,” offered Hirschman, who has become one, if not arguably the top-star in Modified racing during the 2000’s. “It has multiple grooves and because of the size of the track, it really levels the playing field. You have to be handling, but you also have to be patient and drive precisely to get the job done. It is a lot of fun for the driver and because of the size of the track, it’s right there in front of the fans.”
Austin Beers, who finished second to Hirschman, has called Mahoning home and perhaps, if it wasn’t for Hirschman would have several more Modified victories, including in Race of Champions Series events. The duo has finished first and second on many occasions.
“We were close again,” stated Beers, who was the first to congratulate Hirschman on opening day at Mahoning after the spirited late race battle. “Racing with drivers like Matt (Hirschman) definitely make you better. Hopefully we will be able to be in front of him on April 24.”
Qualifying for the 75-lap Series opener will begin at 2:00pm on Saturday, April 24 along with a full card of Mahoning racing.