NOTEBOOK: Can Matt Hirschman make history with another win at Oswego Speedway?

·4 min read

It may be hard to believe, but Matt Hirschman once went nine straight seasons without winning a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

That statistic is a bit misleading, of course. From 2009-17 Hirschman, competed in just 38 Tour events, which included one full season in 2011 and two seasons (2010 and 2015) when he didn’t compete in any Tour events at all.

Hirschman has made a living as an outlaw, a driver who doesn’t commit to one particular series, instead bouncing from race to race chasing the biggest possible paychecks. It’s worked out for him, as through the years he has earned the nickname “Big Money Matt” for his ability to take home big paychecks in Modified races up and down the East Coast.

As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour prepares to compete Saturday at Oswego Speedway, Hirschman has his sites set on taking home another paycheck at a track where he’s enjoyed an incredible amount of success.

RELATED: Oswego entry list | Race preview

Remember that streak of nine straight seasons when Hirschman was winless with the Tour? He snapped that drought in 2018 with a victory at Oswego. The victory was his third career Tour win to go along with two he earned back in 2008.

In 2021, Hirschman struck again at Oswego, leading a race-high 70 laps en route to his fourth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. Counting his wins with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and other sanctioning bodies, Hirschman has captured the checkered flag 13 times in Modified competition at the track.

Hirschman’s 13 victories is tied with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour legend Richie Evans at the top of the modern day Modified win list at Oswego. Should Hirschman strike again Saturday night at Oswego during the Toyota – Bud Mod Classic 150, he would surpass Evans.

Odds are certainly in Hirschman’s favor. In the five Tour events he’s competed in at Oswego, he’s finished no worse than second.

Tommy Baldwin Racing continues dominant season

It doesn’t matter who you put in Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7NY this year. All the team seems to do is win.

That trend continued last Saturday night with Doug Coby going wire-to-wire for Baldwin at Langley Speedway to earn his third victory of the season. Combined with wins by Jimmy Blewett at Wall Stadium Speedway and Mike Christopher Jr. at Jennerstown Speedway, Baldwin’s No. 7NY has won five of the 12 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races held so far this season.

The team has earned 11 top-10 finishes between Coby, Blewett and Christopher and has an average finish of 5.58 through the first 12 races of the year.

That adds up to a 32-point advantage in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour owner standings for Baldwin ahead of Saturday’s 13th race of the season at Oswego Speedway.

Coby will once again be in the seat of the No. 7NY for Baldwin, and based on how strong the pairing has been already this season, odds are good that they’ll be in contention for the victory.

Oswego is a track where Coby has found success in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition. He scored his lone Tour win at the track in 2016 by leading a race-high 121 laps.

Jon McKennedy, driver of the #79 Middlesex Interiors Modified in qualifying during the CheckeredFlag.com 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Larry King Law\
Jon McKennedy, driver of the #79 Middlesex Interiors Modified in qualifying during the CheckeredFlag.com 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Larry King Law\

McKennedy, Silk take championship fight to Oswego

With only four races left in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, it’s a literal tossup as to who is going to walk away with the season-long driver championship.

Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk are locked in a back-and-forth battle for supremacy, with McKennedy currently on top of the standings by three points ahead of Silk.

Should McKennedy win the championship, it would be his first with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. If Silk were to win the championship, it would be his second with the Tour following his first championship in 2011.

At Oswego, Silk has the advantage on McKennedy in Tour competition.

Silk has one victory at Oswego, which came last season, as well as two top-five and four top-10 finishes in four Tour events at the track. McKennedy, on the other hand, has made three Tour starts and has never finished better than 15th.

Could Silk regain control of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship fight at Oswego, or will McKennedy retain control of the championship battle?

We’ll find out Saturday night.

Notes:

  • Of the active drivers entered in Saturday’s race at Oswego Speedway, Justin Bonsignore, Patrick Emerling and Eric Goodale lead the way with six Tour starts at the New York oval. Of the trio, only Bonsignore has a victory at Oswego.

  • Chuck Hossfeld returns for his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start of the season Saturday night at Oswego. In his only other start this season, Hossfeld finished third at Richmond Raceway in April. He’ll once again be piloting the No. 2 for the Bertuccio family.

  • J.B. Fortin will make his 50th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start Saturday evening. In his 49 previous starts, he has one top-five and six top-10 finishes.