Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – The question race fans throughout the region have been asking for months has been answered as Northampton, PA’s Matt Hirschman has entered the 50th running of the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® scheduled for April 23rd & 24th.
“Any event reaching a milestone 50th anniversary is extra special and there is no better year to change to the open modified format and give the fans something different to get excited about,” explained Hirschman. “I believe this has the potential to be “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.”
Nicknamed “Big Money Matt”, Hirschman’s entry into the 50th Sizzler comes as no surprise with a guaranteed $15,000 payday to the winner. Total prize money for the Sizzler in excess of $130,000 includes $15,000 in lap money ($150 per lap), $4,000 to win the NAPA Auto Parts Duel qualifying events, and bonuses for the highest finishing Monaco Tri-Track, Modified Tour, ROC Modified, SK Modified®, and SMART Modified drivers. In addition to a big payday, the winning driver will also get a ride with the SRX racing series when they return to Stafford Speedway July 2nd.
“The opportunity to race with the SRX series is what puts this event over the top,” continued Hirschman. “The inclusion of the short track ringer is what draws me as a viewer to the SRX series. It will be a great opportunity for whoever wins [the Sizzler] to represent the modified division on a national stage.”
Hirschman is off to a hot start with 7 wins already in 2022. Matt kicked off the season in February winning 4 of 6 events at New Smyrna Speedway’s (FL) Speedweeks and carried that momentum into March by winning 3 of the first 4 Southern Modified Auto Racing Tour (SMART) events. Continuing that 2022 success might be a challenge when he arrives in Stafford at the end of April for the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler® with 42 teams already registered for the April 23rd & 24th event. Though limited in recent years, Hirschman will look to draw on his last start at Stafford in a 2020 Monaco Modified Tri-Track race where he finished second after a hard battle with Chase Dowling.
“My expectations will be no different than any event we enter and that is to be in contention to win. It will be a stacked field no doubt but we are up for the challenge,” explained Hirschman. “I don’t have near the recent experience at Stafford as some but I feel we proved that in the 2020 Tri-Track event which also drew 50 plus cars that we can run up front at Stafford.”
Tickets for the 50th running of the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® are now available at staffordspeedway.com/tickets. The two day event begins Saturday, April 23rd with the NAPA Auto Parts Duel, two 40-lap qualifying races that will set the field for the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler® scheduled for April 24th. The PASS Super Late Models and all 5 of Stafford’s weekly divisions as well as the Vintage All-Stars will also be on hand for the weekend.