SOPHIA, NC- Matt Hirschman from Northampton, Pa., made a brilliant crossover move to pass George Brunnhoelzl III on lap 74 and win the 11th annual John Blewett North-South Shootout at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway on Saturday, while Ben Rowe from Turner, Maine became an unlikely winner in the PASS 150 after the top five cars all crashed on lap 146.
The win was a record fifth NSS win for Hirschman. He led the first 52 laps before pitting for tires along with Brunnhoelzl and several others. Slowed on the restart, Hirschman found himself back in seventh place, but that did little to keep him from the front.
Hirschman passed Gary Putnam to run second before lap 70, setting up the winning pass after the field was slowed for a spin by Tony Black. Four laps later, Hirschman made his move, going from the outside lane to the inside of Brunnhoelzl off turn two and into the lead.
Brunnhoelzl was able to stay close to Hirschman, but he had to settle for a second place finish. Andy Seuss recovered from a turn one melee that sent him back to twelfth place for a lap 82 restart to finish third, with Brian Loftin and Tommy Barrett rounding out the top five.
In the PASS 150 portion of Caraway’s NSS, Ben Rowe started the race by leading a couple of laps, before fading through the field as Daniel Hemric drove from last to first. Spencer Davis, Justin Allison, Ryan Moore, Lee Tissot and Kyle Grissom all spent time out front before Hemric got there on lap 128.
While Hemric’s lap 128 pass appeared to be a pretty clean one, Grissom was determined that he wouldn’t win the race, and the two made contact entering turn one after a lap 146 restart, causing a major pileup that put Rowe in the lead from sixth place after he steered past the incident. It also eliminated both Hemric and Grissom from the race.
Rowe was able to hold off Jay Fogelman over the final few laps to take the win. Ted Mickelson, Randy Gentry and Spencer Davis rounded out the top five finishers. Six of 23 starters finished on the lead lap.
Josh Nichols won the Modified Lites 50-lap race, while Dennis Lambert was the winner in the 25-lap Legends car race.
NSS Caraway Tour-Type Modified 125 Finish: 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. George Brunnhoelzl III, 3. Andy Seuss, 4. Brian Loftin, 5. Tommy Barrett, 6. Charlie Pasteryak, 7. Jason Myers, 8. JR Bertuccio 9. Chuck Hossfeld, 10. Ron Silk, 11 Tommy Neal, 12 Austin Kochenash, 13 Nick Pecko, 14. Cole Powell, 15. Tommy Cloce, 16. Tom Buzze, 17. Gary Putnam, 18. Bryan Dauzat, 19. Danny Watts, 20. Kyle Ebersole, 21. Chris Pasteryak, 22. Tony Black, 23. Cody Ware, 24. Burt Myers, 25. Rich Parker, 26. AJ Winstead.
NSS Caraway PASS 150 Finish: 1. Ben Rowe, 2. Jay Fogelman, 3. Ted Mickelson, 4. Randy Gentry, 5. Spencer Davis, 6. Joseph Mursuli, 7. Justin Allison, 8. Karl Webber, 9. Kyle Desouza, 10. Bobby Measmer, 11. Lee Tissot, 12. Daniel Hemric, 13. Kyle Grissom, 14. Ryan Moore, 15. Jody Measamer, 16. Tate Fogelman, 17. David Russell, 18. Ashley Rogero, 19. Bill Catania, 20. Rodney Brooks, 21. John Batten, 22. Gus Dean, 23. Ryan Krachun.