Matt Hirschman Wins 35th US Open at Lancaster; Brown, Hoch, and Szafraniec Also Victorious
LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 24, 2023) – For the seventh time in his career, “Big Money” Matt Hirschman from Northampton, PA won the US Open 125 for the Race of Champions Modified Series on Sunday evening at Lancaster Motorplex. Mark Hoch from West Seneca, NY won his second straight US Open event in the Budget RV Outlet of Buffalo Street Stocks. Jeff Brown from Hamburg, NY won his third US Open Late Model event. Jeff Szafraniec from Akron, NY won his first US Open in the Rusty Diamond Cores 4 Cylinders.
Tony Hanbury and Matt Swanson were on the front row for the 35th US Open 125 for the Race of Champions Modified Series, with Andy Jankowiak going three wide for the lead with Swanson and Hanbury, with Jankowiak taking over the lead on the opening circuit. Hanbury would regain second from Jake Lutz on lap four, with Jack Ely and Austin Beers racing in the top five. Lutz and Hanbury would battle for several laps in the early stages, with Lutz reclaiming second on lap six, and would waste no time to go after Jankowiak. The field would get into a long green flag run, with 2023 Race of Champions Modified Series Champion Zane Zeiner worked his way into the top ten on lap 25. The battle for fifth took place on lap 28, as Matt Hirschman and Patrick Emerling were both able to race their way past Austin Beers. Paul Townsend would spin on the back straightaway to bring out the race’s first caution on lap 37. The restart would see Jankowiak, Lutz, Matt Hirschman, Ely, and Emerling race in the top five. The caution would fly on lap 56 as Austin Beers got loose and slid through the back straightaway grass. The restart would see a “Wavin’ Woody” from starter Larry Woodruff, indicating the lap 63 restart, with Andy Jankowiak leading Zane Zeiner, Paulie Hartwig III, Lutz, and Hanbury. Lutz would apply the pressure to Hartwig on lap 81 for third place and would complete the pass on lap 82. Zane Zeiner would pressure Jankowiak for the lead and would take over the lead on 88. Tony Hanbury and Daren Scherer got together in turn two to bring out the caution on lap 95. With Jankowiak, Lutz, and Hartwig going into the pits, that would move Matt Hirschman into second place behind Zeiner. The lap 100 restart would see Hirschman use the outside groove to take over the lead, with Emerling moving into second on lap 102. Jankowiak would work his way back through the field to enter the top five on lap 105. Jankowiak would take over third from Zeiner on lap 107, with Lutz moving into fourth place. Jack Ely spun while running inside the top 10 to bring out the caution on lap 116. Hirschman would pull away on the restart and would go on to earn his seventh US Open title, and 13th career win, tying him with Tony Jankowiak and Bill Carey for 18th on the Lancaster all-time wins list.
Nathan Bryant and Lou Carbone were on the front row for the Budget RV Outlet of Buffalo Street Stocks, with Carbone taking over the lead. The caution would come out on lap six and then was followed by a nearly two-hour rain delay. The race would resume with Lou Carbone and Kyle Schosek on the front row, with Carbone in the lead. Dustin Novoa would take over second on lap seven and would go after race leader Carbone. Carbone would spin on lap 10 to bring out the caution. Mike Dalfonso and Schosek would lead the field back to the green flag, with Dalfonso showing the way. Rich Sharpe would work his way through the field after starting 23rd, and by lap 18, was up to third place. Mark Hoch would race in second and would take over the lead on lap 26. The race would end on lap 28, after an accident on the front straightaway. The win for Hoch would move him into fifth place on the all-time wins list in the division.
Eldon King III and Joe Mancuso brought the Late Models to the green flag for their main event, with King in the lead. King, Mancuso, and Jeff Brown pulled away from the field and settled the race amongst themselves. Brown would look underneath and would pass Mancuso on lap 17 to take over second place. Brown would then take over the lead with six laps remaining and would go on to score the win, his third US Open triumph.
Jeff Szafraniec and Mason Russo were on the front row for the Rusty Diamond Cores 4 Cylinders with Szafraniec showing the way. Andy Lewis Jr would work his way into third place, with Russ Bulger Jr racing in fourth. Lewis would take second away from Russo on lap four, with Bulger Jr moving into third place. Bulger would take over second on lap six from Lewis, with Dave Milbrand, and Russo racing in the top five. Dave Milbrand slowed on the back straightaway to bring out the caution on lap eight. Bulger would apply the pressure to Szafraniec for the lead with five laps remaining. Szafraniec would go on to score the win, his first at the US Open.
The final event of the 2023 season will be the Enduro and Demolition Derby on Saturday, October 21. Events will begin at 3pm that afternoon with grandstand gates opening at 1pm. General admission is $15 and kids 10 and under will be admitted free. Rules for the Enduro and Demolition Derby are available under the Driver Info tab on www.lancastermotorplexny.com
Weekly WDRA Drag Racing along with Wednesday Grudge Drags will continue to take place. For the drag schedule, visit the website at www.lancastermotorplexny.com
For more information, follow Lancaster Motorplex on social media and visit the website at www.lancastermotorplexny.com
RACE RESULTS – US OPEN DAY 2
Race of Champions Modified Series: MATT HIRSCHMAN, Patrick Emerling, Andy Jankowiak, Jake Lutz, Tony Hanbury, Zane Zeiner, Austin Beers, Jack Ely, Paulie Hartwig III, Sean Verwys, Tim Connolly, Gunnar Zeiner, Danny Knoll Jr, Tommy Rought, Daren Scherer, Matt Swanson, Evan Rygielski, Daryl Lewis Jr, Paul Townsend, George Skora III, Scott Wylie, Timmy Lewis Jr, Andy Lewis Jr
Qualifying Heats: Jake Lutz, Matt Hirschman, Andy Jankowiak
Fast Time: Jake Lutz (17.160 seconds)
Budget RV Outlet of Buffalo Street Stocks: MARK HOCH, Jacob Gustafson, Tim Welshans, Mike Dalfonso, Dan Dressel, Dustin Novoa, Lou Carbone, Gary Bartella, Keith Flannigan, Scott Chaplin, Kyle Schosek, Mike Rogers, Rick Meyers, Rich Sharpe, Dave Johnson, Mike Piccirilli, Dylan Carbone, Nik Welshans, Marty Kling, Jay Canonico, Max Northem, Chris Powers, Alex Bialkowski, David Brunka, Chris Handley, Tim Garlock, Nathan Bryant, James Dauer
Qualifying Heats: Dustin Novoa, Nik Welshans, Mark Hoch
Late Models: JEFF BROWN, Eldon King III, Joe Mancuso, Jesse Kirchmeyer, Bobby Weber, Dave Heitzhaus, Chase Williams, Ron Richter
Did Not Start: Dave Whittaker
Qualifying Heat: Jeff Brown
Rusty Diamond Cores 4 Cylinders: JEFF SZAFRANIEC, Andy Lewis Jr, Bob Palmer, Timmy Lewis, Eric Black, Kenny Hejna, Nick Galusha, Connor Kurdziel, Nathan Bryant, Russ Bulger Sr, Jay Withey, Russ Bulger Jr, James Dunkleman III, Mason Russo, Austin Patterson, Kyle Casper, Chris Deyoe Jr, Dave Milbrand
Qualifying Heats: Russ Bulger Jr, Jeff Szafraniec
Article Credit: Steven Petty
Submitted By: Steven Petty