The tour type Modified’s were once again on the card for a 125-lap high-speed chess match for week two of the Myrtle Beach 400. This year track management and officials introduced a brand new component to the race – stages!
Yes, much like what you see in the top three tiers of the NASCAR circuits, the 125-lap feature was essentially split into four segments with cautions coming at lap 50, 75, and 100 with the final 25-lap segment being green flag laps only. A $500 bonus for each “segment win” was announced to help encourage the drivers to get up on the wheel as the modified portion of the weekend has been known for major tire conservation due to the abrasive track surface and soft tires the cars run.
Jim Zacharies was the fastest man in town earlier in the afternoon during group qualifying posting a lap of 19.755 to earn the pole position. Bobby Measmer Jr., Timmy Solomito, George Brunnhoelzl III, and Patrick Emerling rounded out the starting five when it came down to the race.
Zacharies and Solomito looked to be the early favorites when the green was displayed jumping out to a massive lead. The two would trade the top spot several times before placing a handful of cars a lap down. Solomito was able to take the lead from Zacharies just before the end of the first segment and pick up an extra $500 bucks. Zachaires would not pit during the caution and stay out on the track to retake the lead and eventually win the second stage, however, issues would prevent the pole sitter from even finishing the race. Both Bobby Measmer and Hirschman turned the wick up as the field went back green in the third segment. So much in fact that Measmer was able to power his way to the top spot, bringing Hirschman with him. Measmer was just in a league of his own as laps clicked off and drove away from the field to collect the lap 100-segment bonus.
Hirschman, the fifth different race leader, would inherit the race lead for the final 25-lap segment after The Weekly Racer learned that Bobby Measmer was penalized for entering pit lane to early at the lap 100 break. The break, if you will, was enough for Hirschman to take control of the race and drive away to victory. The race was slowed just once in the final segment as GB3 has issues in turns three and four. Hirschman, however, able to hold his own and build over a second lead over the field. Give a shout out to Bobby Measamer who was able to drive all the way back to the third position in the closing laps.
“There was a bunch of different strategies that the other guys used and were actually a little surprising and interesting to me something to think about,” Hirschman said in victory lane. “They put up the $500 for the stages so it was something to shoot for. We were close on the last one and ended up second, the seventeen [Measmer] was just really good there and drove away. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run him back down. It worked out; we lead the laps we wanted to and the most important one, the last one. A couple of guys picked up some money and it would have been nice to add to our win total but we can’t complain, we came here with the goal to win the race. I am really happy to PD Motorsports; two years in a row to win this race its great.”
Modified UNOFFICIAL Results
|3||#17M||Bobby Measmer Jr.||125|
|12||#79||George Brunnhoelzl III||124|