SOPHIA – Matt Hirschman of Pennsylvania won for the first time on the North-South Shootout circuit, claiming the 19th annual John Blewett III race Saturday at Caraway Speedway.
“This race has always been big in my career,” Hirschman said. “In the early part of my career it was the biggest. It kind of put me on the map.”
Hirschman went ahead on a restart on the 64th lap. That was quite a rise for the driver who began the 23-car field in the last spot.
“Late in the race it’s tough getting off that corner (on restarts),” Hirschman said. “It’s tough to get grip up off of that corner. He slipped enough where I was just able to keep my foot in it and carry my speed around him by the time we got to turn three. It was good hard racing going there.”
He collected $10,500 for the victory, including a bonus.
The extra money came because Hirschman accepted a challenge of starting last after winning the pole position through qualifying.
Jimmy Blewett placed second, holding off his Tommy Baldwin Racing teammate Caleb Heady. Kyle Scisco finished fourth and Burt Myers completed the top five.
“Obviously, we weren’t the victor here,” Blewett said. “That hurt a little bit. But you know what, congrats to Matt. There’s no better guy in the business. That right there is the man. Getting beat by him isn’t so bad for me.”
In the open-wheel division for 602 Modifieds, Lee Jeffreys was the winner of the 50-lap feature. Junior Snow was second, followed by Paul Hartwig Jr., Jonathan Brown and Carson Loftin in the 15-driver field.
The winner of the 74-lap Southern States Pro Late Models race was Josh Lowder, who was followed by Michael Pilla and Mike Speeney.
In Mini Stocks, pole-sitter A.J. Sanders won the 50-lap feature. Patrick Mullen, Levi Holt, Brandon Brendle and Kenny Dixon completed the top five.
This Saturday, the Mischa Sell Memorial races will be contested at Caraway Speedway.