CT (October 30, 2005) -- Jerry Marquis came from the eighth starting position
to claim his third win of the season in the season-ending NASCAR Modified Tour
Series Whelen/Xtra Mart 125 at Thompson International Speedway Sunday night.
The event was originally scheduled for September 11th, but had to be
rescheduled multiple times due to bad weather. The wait simply added to the
excitement and suspense as Teddy Christopher entered the event with a slim 36
point margin over Northampton, Pennsylvania's Tony Hirschman. But when
Christopher made contact with the wall on lap 10, Hirschman's shot at the title
was within reach. Christopher finished a disappointing 30th, while Hirschman
came home 12th giving the diminutive driver his second consecutive series
championship by just 18 points. It was Hirschman's fifth overall championship
in the NASCAR Modified Tour Series which competes exclusively on Hoosier tires.
Despite the lengthy scheduling delay, 40 cars still jammed the Thompson pits
in hopes of capturing the season's final event. Jerry Marquis earned the Bud
Pole Award as the event's fastest qualifier. Marquis blistered the 5/8-mile
oval in 18.830 seconds (119.490 mph) to earn his first pole of the year.
As per series rules, the top eight drivers drew for starting positions with
Tony Hirschman selecting the #1 starting position. Making the day even more
special was Tony's son Matt drew the #2 spot for an all-Hirschman front row,
while series points leader Teddy Christopher started 10th in the 32-car field.
The 125-lap race began with Tony Hirschman taking the early lead. On the
10th circuit, Teddy Christopher made contact with the wall ending his day and
effectively ending his chance for the championship. Hirschman gave up the lead
to eventual race winner Jerry Marquis on the 46th lap. Marquis relinquished the
lead on lap 51 to John Blewett, III, but regained the lead for good on lap 102
en route to his third win of the season. Marquis earned $7,250 for the top finish.
Chuck Hossfeld, who started 17th, finished in second place 2.3 seconds
behind the race winner. Doug Coby finished third followed by Mike Christopher,
Charlie Pasteryak, Mike Stefanik, Anthony Ferrante, Jr., Alex Hoag, Ken Barry
and Steve Whitt in fourth through tenth, respectively. Fifteen of the 32
starters finished the race on the lead lap. The race was slowed seven times for
cautions for a total of 37 laps.
The night, however, belonged to Tony Hirschman who with his 12 place finish
captured his fifth NASCAR Modified Tour championship. Tony's son Matt finished
in 24th place after an accident.
Hirschman stated after the race, "The Hoosier tires have been great
all year. They were consistent all season and consistency wins
Hoosier Open Wheel Asphalt Product Manager Irish Saunders commented, "It
was a great season with the championship not decided until the final event.
Tony (Hirschman) and Teddy (Christopher) battled it out the entire year and,
along with all the race teams, made this a season to remember."
Saunders added, "As special a day as it was winning the
championship, I know it was also very special to Tony to start alongside his
son Matt in the season finale. Tony is a proud father who also happens to be a
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. extends its congratulations to Tony Hirschman on
winning his 5th NASCAR Modified Tour Series championship and appreciates all
the competitors in the series for using Hoosier tires throughout the exciting