STREAKS TO TTOMS & SBM VICTORIES
AT STAR SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAY NIGHT
Hirschman of Northampton, PA, continued his
dominance of the SBM series of Modified events at
Star Speedway in Epping, NH, but also of 2017
Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) with his win
on Saturday night. This victory was a repeat for
Hirschman in the SBM events and his second straight
TTOMS win this season. The victory was his fourth in
the six-year history of the event.
A caution just past halfway completely changed the
complexity of the race that had been dominated by
drivers who ultimately would finish outside of the
top – five at the end of the SBM VI. The caution on
lap 73, only the second of the event to that point,
also set off a rash of cautions that would shuffle
the running order. Hirschman, who had been mired
deep in the field, came off pit road third; giving
him the track position he needed. Over the final
stages of the event he held off challenges from a
host of notable drivers to score the victory.
Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, PA, and Josh
Cantara of Saco, ME joined Hirschman on the podium.
Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA, and Woody Pitkat of
Stafford, CT, rounded out the top five.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of event founder
Kevin Rice, a host of specialty awards were
presented on the evening as well.
After the redraw of heat races finishers, Steve
Masse led Todd Annarummo to the green flag. In the
opening laps the lead duo was followed by Pitkat.
Earl Paules and Chris Pasteryak were locked in a
tight battle for fourth. Pasteryak jumped to the
outside groove looking to make the pass on Paules.
He could not make the pass and lost a subsequent
position to a charging Richard Savary.
Masse began to distance himself from second-running
Annarummo as Savary began to pressure Paules for
fourth. Deeper in the field Les Hinckley and Nocella
worked traffic looking to gain track position.
Hirschman was up to tenth position from his 14th
starting spot on lap 14.
Up front Masse led with a tight pack of three cars
that included Annarummo, Pitkat and Savary. Masse
entered lapped traffic on lap 25. Pasteryak began to
apply pressure on Paules once again, this time for
Savary was able to get by Pitkat for third before
the first caution of the event flew on lap 30 when
Matt Galko came to rest in turn four. Hinckley and
Seuss pitted under caution. Dillon Steuer was the
On the restart, it was more of the same with Masse
leading Annarummo, Savary and Pitkat. Pasteryak and
Max Zachem were looking racy on the outside near the
tail end of the top ten.
Savary was all over the back bumper of Annarummo;
making the pass stick on lap 38. Masse, again, was
able to gain some distance on second. Pasteryak
resumed his assault on Paules. Diving to the inside
Pasteryak was able to motor into fifth. Others were
able to get by Paules as well; dropping him back
deep into the field.
Savary had run down the leader Masse by lap 50. The
lead duo had nearly a straightaway advantage over
third-running Annarummo. Taking chase were Pitkat
and Pasteryak. Carl Medeiros, Jr. was running strong
in sixth position. Jon Kievman was turning in a
strong performance in seventh. Hirschman still ran
in tenth. Barrett, who started scratch on the field,
hounded Nocella for position just outside of the
At the halfway marker on lap 62 the running order
inside the top-ten was Masse, Savary, Annarummo,
Pitkat, Pasteryak, Medeiros, Kievman, Pennink,
Zachem, Hirschman, and Andy Jankowiak, who had
started 18th. One lap later, Pasteryak got by Pitkat
for fourth. He immediately went to work on
Annarummo; taking the third position on lap 70.
The best battle on the field saw Medeiros and
Kievman duking it out. Medeiros held the position
when Kievman got out of shape; losing several
positions and finally coming to rest after making
contact with the tire barrier on the backstretch.
The ensuing caution on lap 73 proved to be a
Under the caution all but two cars headed to pit
road. Only two cars remained on the race track –
Galko and Dillon Steuer, who was a lap down.
Pasteryak beat everyone out of the pits followed by
Annarummo and Hirschman. Pennink, Masse, Pitkat,
Paules, Dwight Jarvis, Cantara, and Zachem were also
among the top cars off pit road. The biggest loser
was Savary, who pitted from second but had to
restart outside of the top-ten.
On the restart, Galko and Pasteryak led the field to
the green from the front row on lap 73. Pasteryak
hung tight on the outside for a lap before settling
in behind Galko. Hirschman made a bold move diving
to the inside of Pasteryak before the caution flew
on lap 75 for a spin by Pitkat. Also collected were
Seuss, Paules and Holdridge.
The top three of Galko, Pasteryak and Hirschman ran
in a tight pack on the restart. Hirschman grabbed
second sliding to the inside of Pasteryak on lap 77.
A single lap later he duplicated the move to take
over the lead from Galko.
The fourth caution flew on lap 78 for a single car
spin by Geoff Gernhardt. On the restart, Masse was
making a charge in the outside groove. Masse and
Pasteryak went wheel-to-wheel for a handful of laps
before contact sent Pasteryak spinning, the field
scattering and the caution flag flying once again on
lap 81. Masse was able to continue. Pasteryak
rejoined the field after heading pit side for
It was nearly a repeat a lap later. This time with
Masse and Galko battling for second but it would be
Zachem that got out of shape during the scuffle;
bringing out the sixth caution on lap 82.
Second running Galko went way-wide on the ensuing
restart opening the door for a host of cars to get
by; falling outside of the top ten.
A series of six cautions flew as the field struggled
to get the stretch of laps in the 80s into the
record book. The run of cautions involved the likes
of Annarummo, Medeiros, Paules, Savary, Pitkat,
Pasteryak, Kievman, Nocella, Zachem, Jarvis and
During all the commotion, Hirschman was able to
maintain his advantage. When the dust finally
settled Pennink and Cantara found themselves in the
top-five and in the thick of the battle. On a
single-file restart on lap 87, Hirschman got a great
jump over Pennink. The two got away from a battle
for third between Cantara and Hinckley. Pitkat took
chase in fifth but not without pressure of his own
from Masse. Nocella, who had struggled early, ran in
seventh. Hirschman and Pennink continued to gain
distance on Hinckley and Pitkat. Hirschman began to
stretch out this lead with 25 laps to go.
The 12th and final caution on the event flew on lap
102 when contact deep in the field collected
Gernhardt, Steuer and Annarummo. Under the caution,
Hinckley headed down pit road giving up the fifth
Back under green it was all Hirschman. Pennink fell
into the clutches of Cantara with Masse dogging
Pitkat for fourth. Pennink was able to gain some
breathing room over Cantara but could not make a
dent into Hirschman’s lead.
With Hirschman leading Pennink, Cantara, Pitkat and
Masse, the driver on the move was Nocella. He dove
low on Masse on lap 112 to take over the fifth
position. He immediately began to run down Pitkat in
third. With 10 to go Hirschman stretched out his
lead on Pennink, who enjoyed a sizeable lead over
Cantara. Nocella was able to take the inside groove
away from Pitkat and the position on lap 118.
It was smooth sailing for Hirschman over the final
five laps. Cantara cut into the distance to Pennink
while Nocella was gaining on Cantara as well.
Nocella was on the back bumper of Cantara as they
crossed the checkers. Hirschman, who won the opener
at Seekonk, is now two-for-two in Tri-Track Open
Modified Series. Pennink, too, is having a strong
season; backing up his third-place finish at the
Seekonk opener with a runner-up finish at Star on
Saturday night. A former Star Speedway Modified
Champion, Cantara used ‘home track’ advantage to
come home third after starting 24th on the field. It
was his second podium finish in SBM competition.
Nocella and Pitkat rounded out the top five.
It was a yeoman’s effort for sixth-place finishing
Tommy Barrett, Jr., who started scratch on the
field, using a provisional to start the event.
Masse, newcomer Brian Robie, Kievman and Zachem
rounded out the top ten.
The victory netted Hirschman nearly $7,000 in purse
Heat race wins went to Todd Annarummo, Max Zachem,
Carl Medeiros, Jr., and Woody Pitkat. The B-Main win
went to Dillon Steuer.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series SBM VI Finish-Star
Speedway-Saturday, July 29, 2017:
1.Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Rowan Pennink,
Huntingdon Valley, PA; 3. Josh Cantara, Saco, ME; 4.
Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA: 5. Woody Pitkat,
Stafford, CT; 6. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 7.Steve
Masse, Bellingham, MA; 8. Brian Robie, Sunapee,NH:
9. Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL: 10. Max Zachem,
Preston, CT: 11. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT:
12. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA: 13. Chris Pasteryak,
Lisbon, CT: 14. Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH; 15. Carl
Medeiros Jr. Westport, MA; 16. Dillon Steuer,
Bohemia, NY; 17.Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, VT: 18. Joe
Doucette, Framingham, MA; 19.George Sherman,
Framingham, MA; 20. Todd Annarummo, Swansea, MA; 21.
Geoff Gernhardt, Salem, CT: 22. Matt Galko, Meriden,
CT: 23. Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA; 24. Richard
Savary, Canton, MA; 25. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda,
NY; 26. Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA: 27. Mike
Holdridge, Madison, CT.
DNQ: Calvin Carroll, Rich Parker, Mike
Douglas, Jr., Dylan Rock, Brandee Tree.
Dale Wolbrink / Tri-Track Open Modified Series
July 30, 2017