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Matt Hirschman Takes First “King of the Mountain” Sweep
By: Gene Ostrowski
October 13, 2013
The “King of the Mountain” was the final points paying event of the season at Mountain Speedway and to put it lightly, all of the drivers let everything hang out Sunday afternoon through the evening with hopes of taking the crown in the 14th annual event. When the speedy dry settled Matt Hirschman of Northampton emerged from victory lane as the Sport Modified winner, thus sweeping the weekend in Modified competition. For the first time in his career, Matt Wentz of Lehighton bested the Street Stock field for the $2,000 prize and his first crown in the event and John Banashefski of Wilkes-Barre wired the Four Cylinder feature for the victory. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, NY bested the INEX Legends drivers for the win and Ryan Tidman ran from last to first to score the TQ Midget victory. Nick Baer of New Tripoli Scored the Pro-4 Victory.
Hirschman time trialed quickest in Sport Modified qualifying, which earned him the S&D Bodyline Pole Award. After the redraw, Tony Hanbury started from the pole in the 75-lap event. The red flag waved for a small fire on Ronnie Mullen machine before the green flag dropped, but once it did, the yellow waved quickly when the top three ran side by side into turn one. The end result was hard contact for Barry Callavini, who slammed the foam barrier in turn one.
 Todd Baer came out with the race lead, but it was short lived after another yellow. Several caution flags waved in the early going and eventually, Hirschman emerged as the leader over Jerry Hildebrand, Mike Rodriguez, Paul Hartwig, Jr. and Dom Fattaruso.
Hirschman remained steady throughout the show. He continued to lead with 25 laps remaining over Jason Hearne, who was involved in an incident in the early going. Hildebrand ran third with Brian Sones and Hartwig in tow.
The last 25 laps were as eventful as the first fifty, but it didn’t faze Hirschman, who went on to take the checkers and the $2,000 prize for his efforts. Eric Muriello, Sones and Rodriguez completed the top five. The S&D Bodyline hard charger award went to Hearne, who also clinched the divisional champinship.
With $2,000 on the line to the winner of the 75-lap Street Stock feature, the show was expected to be a battle of the fittest. It was indeed, as 36 cars attempted to make the show.
Chip Wanamaker started from the pole but Chad Churilla led the opening lap over Wanamaker, Brian Wozniak, Kyle Elwood and Elliot Wohl.
Wohl eventually worked his way to second and then led lap 13. Churilla came back to lead lap 14 and then Chris Turbush joined the mix and led lap 19. Churilla came back to lead lap 20 and then Wohl grabbed the lead on lap 21 but drove into turn three too hard and couldn’t hand on to it. His spin brought out the yellow and forced him to restart from the rear of the field. Green flag racing resumed with Churilla as the leader over Turbush, Elwood, Wanamaker and Matt Wentz.
Wanamaker brought out the yellow on lap 36 when he engine expired. With the green back out, Churilla and Turbush remained one-two and began to drive off from the rest of the field. Turbush eventually had his turn again at the lead on lap 54 but was sidelined with a flat tire from a lapped car three laps later, giving the top spot back to Churilla.
It appeared that Churilla would run away with the show from then on and that assumption went by the wayside when his engine expired with seven laps remaining. The turn of events gave the lead to Wentz, who held off a hard charging Wohl to the stripe. Charlie Castiglione, Nick Ross and CJ Lehman completed the top five.
Heat race wins went to Chip Wanamaker, Chad Churilla and Brian Wozniak. Randy Schlenker was the consi winner.
Kevin Higgins was crowned with his first career divisional championship.
Over twenty four cylinders took the green flag in the 40-lap feature and John Banashefski, who started from the pole, led the first circuit over Doug Kanuss, Harry O’Neill, Scott Adams and Ray Fennell IV.
Just like all of the other features, carnage was the term often used but after each and every yellow flag Banashefski remained in command, including just past halfway when he led over Ray Fennell III, Pete Verwys, Nick Baer and Adams.
Despite having to hold off his competition on a dozen restarts, Banashefski took the checkers for the fourth time in his rookie season. Adams crossed the strip in second, which earned him his first divisional championship. R. Fennell III was third, followed by P. Verwys and R. Fennell IV.
The Mahoning Valley Pro 4s were invited to compete in the event and scored separately in the event and Baer picked up the victory in the class with his sixth place overall finish.
Heat race wins went to John Banashefski and Ray Fennell IV.
Kyle Soper led the INEX Legends feature to the drop of the green flag in the 30-lap contest. He led the opening lap over Kevin Nowak, Kyle Elwood, Brendon Bock and Mike Carroll, Jr. Along with the race for the win, Brad Lowmaster and Bock were fighting for the divisional championship and one position on the track separated the pair from winning the crown.
Nowak hounded the leader and then grabbed the top spot on lap three. Meanwhile Bock began to advance and eventually took the lead on lap 15. Elwood and Soper followed through for second and third respectively.
Trouble struck Lowmaster on lap 20 when he spun and then got clipped on the front stretch. The damage ended his championship hopes after such a great season.
Bock stayed out front to take his first season-ending win and Mountain track championship over Elwood, Soper, Nowak and Carroll.
Heat race victories went to Kyle Soper and Kevin Nowak.
Earl Paules led the TQ Midgets to the drop of the green flag in the 25-lap feature and held the same spot with one lap complete over Buddy Sload, Matt Roselli, Ryan Tidman and Frank Fischer.
With Paules still setting the pace, Fischer got by Tidman and a quick yellow flew on lap 16. At that point in the race, Tidman, who was running in fourth, elected to pit. It was a decision that he never regretted.
After joining the rear of the field, Tidman quickly gained positions and challenged for the lead, which he got on lap 22. He went on to take the victory, plus his third straight ATQMRA championship. Paules settled for second, followed by Roselli, Phil DiMario and Geoffrey Sutton.
Joe Bailey was the heat race winner.  
Sport Modifieds (75-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Jason Hearne 3. Eric Muriello 4. Brian Sones 5. Mike Rodriguez 6. Paul Hartwig Jr 7. Todd Baer 8. Jerry Hildebrand 9. Ron Frees 10. Shawna Ingraham 11. Dom Fattaruso 12. Tony Hanbury 13. Eric Banashefski 14. Curt Baununk 15. Ronnie Mullin 16. Barry Callavini
Street Stocks (75-laps) 1. MATT WENTZ 2. Elliot Wohl 3. Charlie Castiglione 4. Nick Ross 5. CJ Lehman 6. Justin Mooney 7. Brian Wozniak 8. Brian Doyle 9. Randy Schlenker 10. Rich Emel 11. Chris Turbush 12. John Vuollo Jr. 13. Kevin Higgins 14. Darren Miller 15. Jillian Long 16. Danny Grennan 17.Bernie Uphold 18. Rich Wilson 19. Gary Noe 20. Chad Churilla 21. Owen Grennan 22.Chip Wanamaker 23. Kyle Elwood 24. Chris Burge DQ: Steve Shultz DNS: Robert Fink, Zack Graver, Jillian Long, Cody Roth, Tony Hilliard, Scott Coyle, Bob Ripley, Stephen Michel III, Jeff McGrath, Jason Duke, Mike Radocha
Four Cylinders (40-laps) 1. JOHN BANASHEFSKI 2. Scott Adams 3. Ray Fennell III 4. Peter Verwys 5. Ray Fennell IV 6. Nick Baer (Pro 4 Winner) 7. Doug Kanuss 8. Sam Ryan 9. Harry Sager 10. Jay Skupski 11. Heather Fennell 12. Anthony Pugliese 13. Frank Hughes 14. John Smith 15. Danielle Paules 16. Jeff Ackermann 17.Bill Verwys 18. Ron Heeler 19. Tony Hilliard 20. Larry Spencer III 21. Luke Colleran 22.Harry O'Neil 23. Eric Banashefski 24. Robert Azarowicz
INEX Legends (30-laps) 1. BRENDON BOCK 2. Kyle Elwood 3. Kyle Soper 4. Kevin Nowak 5. Michael Carroll Jr 6. Jeff Goodale 7. Dylan Slepian 8. Artie Pedersen III 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Eric Hersey 11. Bryan Kelly 12. Zach Truesdail 13. Brad Van Houten 14. Mitchell Dowd 15. Brandon Traino 16. Allan Pedersen 17.Steve Smith 18. William Byron 19. Vincent Colletti 20. Brad Lowmaster 21. Jim Sylvester 22.Vincent Troia
TQ Midgets (25-laps) 1. RYAN TIDMAN 2. Earl Paules 3. Matt Roselli 4. Phil DiMario 5. Goeffrey Sutton 6. Buddy Sload 7. Frank Fischer 8. Joey Bailey DNS: Jeff Kot