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.
Where: Mahoning Valley Speedway, Lehighton, Pa.
When: Saturday, April 24.
Directions: The track is located in Lehighton, Pa., (2522 Blakeslee Blvd. E., Lehighton, Pa.) just a few short miles (Southwest) off Interstate 476 (Pennsylvania Northeast Extension) and Pennsylvania 209.
What: Race of Champions Lid Lifter “75” for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series.
The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Upstate Waddell Communications, Image X Graphic Design, TDH Refrigeration, Sherwood Racing Wheels, PavedTrackDigest.com, Presque Isle Downs & Casino and the Erie Sports Commission. The 71st annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2021 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.
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