ASHEBORO, N.C. – Matt Hirschman made the most of a trip to Caraway Speedway on Sunday by earning a victory in the opening race of the SMART Modified Tour season.
Hirschman had the car to beat throughout the day. He set fast time in qualifying and led the most laps, but decided to give up the lead and pit for fresh tires with 30 laps left in the 99-lap event.
With no time to waste, Hirschman stormed back through the field. A restart with five laps left put Hirschman right on Myers’ bumper and he chased him for four laps before making his move.
Entering turn one Myers washed up the track, allowing Hirschman to get alongside him. They made contact down the backstretch, but Hirschman was able to pull ahead out of turn four to steal the victory in the Smart Chevrolet 99.
“Don’t lift, that’s all I was thinking,” Hirschman said from victory lane. “I don’t know how the hell we didn’t wreck. He got up off the bottom and I was able to get a run up underneath him. Of course he’s going to try to close it.
“We were rubbing the whole way down the backstretch. Just a pretty crazy finish really.”
The event served as the first points race for the reborn SMART Modified Tour.
The @SMARTMods_ are BACK and they put on a show to remember Sunday at Caraway Speedway as Matt Hirschman and Burt Myers battled for the win in the final 5 laps! Miss the race? Head to https://t.co/xMQJz9yaSo now to watch it on demand! pic.twitter.com/tdFchya7JX
— SPEED SPORT TV (@speedsporttv) March 15, 2021
Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion, finished ninth after running third on the final lap and crashing into the pit road barrier coming out of turn four.
Matt Hirschman, Burt Myers, John Smith, Chuck Hossfeld, Caleb Heady, Jeff Fultz, Jared Fryar, Tom Buzze, Bobby Labonte, Jon Kieven, Gary Putnam, Jason Myers, Jimmy Wallace, Brian Loftin, Brodie Jones, Jeremy Gerstner, Dennis Holdren, Frank Fleming, Mike Norman, Daniel Yates, Tim Brown, Michael Clifton, Daniel Beeson, Danny Probst.