By Kyle Souza, for Seekonk Speedway
SEEKONK, Mass. — Wednesday night, more than 25 of the top modified drivers from across the East Coast and beyond will all be in one place: Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts.
The annual Open Wheel Wednesday, a 100-lap open modified feature that is worth $10,000 to the winner, will certainly draw a large car count with plenty of asphalt modified talent.
One of those drivers heading for the third-mile nicknamed the “Action Track of the East” is Matt Hirschman. He’s already been to Victory Lane three times in the Open Wheel Wednesday event, and will be looking to become the first driver to capture a back-to-back checkered flag in consecutive seasons. He also looks to become the first to win the race four times.
“It’s a tough race to win, I’ve won it three times, but I’ve gone back-to-back in it. It’s a fun night. It’s one of those you definitely look forward to going to,” Hirschman said.
Much like some of his closest challengers for Wednesday’s event, Hirschman just competed at Seekonk earlier this month in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Seekonk 150. He’s hoping to use that as a driving point to improve his setup even more. Last year, not only did he win the Open Wheel Wednesday, he also won the second Tri Track race at Seekonk — the inaugural Haunted Hundred in October.
“I think we learned some things at the Whelen Modified Tour race there that will help us,” Hirschman said. “Even though we won the two Tri Track races at Seekonk last year, I don’t think we were the best car there. I think I can make it better.”
The crowd for Wednesday’s race is shaping up to be a good one. Mike Willis, who is coming off the victory in the Tri Track race at Claremont to open their season, will be in contention for the checkered flag. Names like Les Hinckley, Todd Annarummo, Rowan Pennink, Derek Ramstrom, Russ Hersey, Anthony Nocella, Steve Masse and many more are also expected to attend.
Fans can plan for the heat racing to go green at 6:30 p.m., with the features to follow. The NEMA Midgets are also on-hand for their annual Boston Louie Seymour Memorial Classic, two 29-lap races — one for the NEMA Midgets and the other for the NEMA Lites.