Islip 300 Entries Swell To 33, “Big Money” Matt Hirschman To Drive For New Local Combination Seeking $7,000 Victory

With the 6th annual Islip 300 just days away at Riverhead Raceway interest for the race peaked Monday evening when it was announced that “Big Money” Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. would be among those chasing the $7,000 victory at the historic quarter mile oval.

By Bob Finan
Hirschman is entered with a local new collaboration between car owner Alan Dering of Elite Towing and Daryl Baker of Baker Racing. Matt was on Long Island Monday evening getting fitted and accustom to the brand new car. Hirschman’s entry along with four others brought the Islip 300 entry list to 33 as of Tuesday afternoon.
When early registration opened two weeks ago for the Islip 300 Daryl Baker caused a buzz when he sent in an entry for a car numbered 12 rather than his traditional digits 07. Making the gossip swell further the driver was listed as a TBA. “Alan and I wanted to make sure things were 100% in place before we announced our driver” Baker revealed. As to how the deal with Matt Hirschman evolved Baker recalled, “we had two drivers in mind, in speaking with Dennis Freese of Oval Speed one day I mentioned Matt’s name. Dennis gave me his number, I was kind of nervous speaking to him, but things fell into place and we went from there”. Daryl was quick to point out the team dynamics for the new combination, “Alan is the car owner and we’ll operate out of Baker Racing. As of now the only sponsorship we have is from our two businesses, Elite Towing and Staria Automotive”. Dering has been and remains a longtime backer of Baker Racing who field NASCAR Modifieds at Riverhead.
For his part Matt Hirshcman was excited looking forward to the Islip 300, “new team, new car, new challenge” Hirschman, 39 noted Tuesday afternoon. Matt last weekend won his 27th race of the 2022 campaign when he topped the John Blewett III North-South Shootout. “The Islip 300 is a season ending big race, we like those and for years many of the Long Island teams come to Evergreen for the King of the Green and told us of the 300. Financially for my entire team to come to Riverhead overnight didn’t add up, but with a local team and crew it does”. As to his expectations with the new team for the Islip 300 Matt quickly responded, “any race I enter I expect to win”.
Hirschman was not the only new entry hitting the Riverhead Raceway Monday. Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Ma fresh off a win in the Haunted 100 at the Seekonk, Ma Speedway has entered the Islip 300 as has 2022 Wall Stadium Modified champion Andrew Krause of Holmdel, NJ. Third generation driver Brett Meservey of Brewster, Ma will make his first ever visit to Riverhead Raceway, coming some 40 years after his grandfather Dan ran Mini Modified events at the former Islip Speedway. Hometown favorite Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead has also indicated he’ll go after the $7,000 victory.
As the week leading up to the Islip 300 moves along, Riverhead Raceway management is keenly aware and monitoring tropical storm Nicole. Current computer models call for a rainy Friday and most of Saturday from Nicole, track GM John Ellwood sent word via all entered teams on Tuesday concerning the weather issue. The communication basically stated if the Saturday forecast was still dire as of Thursday a switch to the Sunday rain date would be implemented.
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