Takes Home Tour-Type Modified Title At New Smyrna; Ryan Preece Wins Evans/Christopher 100
NEW SMYRNA, Fla. – In many ways, Friday’s Tour-Type Modified feature at New Smyrna Speedway ended with a reversal of fortunes for two top short-track competitors.
Last year, it was Matt Hirschman celebrating a victory in the Richie Evans Memorial 100, while Ryan Preece celebrated the World Series championship.
Fast-forward a year later and Preece is holding the checkered flag following a victory in the Evans 100 while Hirschman is rejoicing with his first career World Series title.
Hirschman used five straight finishes inside the top five to accomplish his goal – including a victory on Wednesday in the John Blewett III Memorial 76-lap main event.
“Good finishes all week, we had two wins, going back to Bronson Speedway and one here at New Smyrna,” Hirschman said of his Florida effort. “We had maybe the best week down here, but I just didn’t have the car handling to my liking to compete for more wins. We were solid all week. Everyone worked hard.”
Despite Hirschman capturing the title, he was frustrated with the way the car handled for much of the week, and he believes it ended up costing him a few wins.
“Don’t let me discount this at all because it’s a great accomplishment for our team,” Hirschman said. “But I would have liked to have more speed to do go for wins.”
In Friday’s Evans 100, Preece took the lead on lap 65 and pulled away in the final laps, capturing his second victory of the World Series. He ended the week as the only repeat winner in the Tour-Type Modified class.
“I wasn’t fortunate enough to race against Richie Evans, but I’ve read, I’ve watched videos, and he was a heck of a wheelman,” Preece said . “To win this race three out of the last four years, that’s just awesome.”
Preece truly had an up-and-down week that included a vicious crash when his throttle stuck to the floor at Bronson Speedway, along with two mechanical failures at New Smyrna.
“I’m happy with my team. That’s all I can really say and take away from this week is how well we worked together,” Preece said. “Everyone worked so hard and you really can’t ask for anything better than that.”
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Timmy Solomito finished third in the feature, followed by Ron Silk and Jimmy Blewett.
MASON DIAZ SCORES IN PRO LATE MODEL 100
In Friday’s Pro Late Model 100, Mason Diaz used a pass for the lead on lap 12 to find himself at the top of the leaderboard.
At the end of the 100 laps, his No. 24 was still at the top of that pylon.
Diaz dominated the race, but had to hold off former NASCAR Camping World Series champion Mike Skinner in the final laps in order to seal the deal. On a restart with 18 laps to go, Skinner and Dias nearly tangled.
“Skinner gave me a hard battle at the end, and I really wasn’t ready for it,” Diaz said while celebrating his victory. “We were definitely the car to beat today.”
Although both Diaz and Skinner made it out the other side still at the front of the pack, Cole Anderson, who entered the race as the division points leader, lost his position inside the top five and eventually finished eighth.
Skinner finished second, while Michael Clancy Jr. rounded out the podium.
The 52nd annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing concludes on Saturday night, with a 100-lap event for the Super Late Models.
All nine nights of the World Series are airing via a live stream on FansChoice.TV.