March 2,2013 is the opening day for the IROCO Phillisbug Mall Show. Abbey Price Racing will be on hand with Chip, Abbey Price and supporters of the 9a X-cel 600 Chassis Dirt Modified team. They will be passing out free Frisbee’s to people who show up at the Mall Show tomorrow. The supply is limited so stop by and say Hello. It is a good way to beat the Winter blues with a Snow storm approaching later in the day ! Spring is around the corner and the 9a is just about ready to hit the clay in a few weeks. More information below from Steve Pados.
The March 2nd opening of the show will feature tributes to two of the grittiest but always
entertaining dirt tracks, the Nazareth National Speedway and the Nazareth Speedway. The often
referred to “Big Track” at Nazareth enjoyed a few lives, first as a dirt facility and then the move to
a pavement surface when the speedway was purchased by Roger Penske. Although the the now
dormant facility remains visible, the years of inactivity have taken their toll on the speedway but
for the fans that witnessed the great racing there, they can more than likely remember each pass
and each winner of the events they saw while it was active. Much the same can be said for the
half mile speedway as many of us racing fans lived for Sunday nights and a quick ride in the
family truckster to take in a show at Jerry Fried’s race track. The speedway closed in 1988 and
left the landscape shortly thereafter for a super market and strip mall that was built over-top the
old raceway. Even though the years have rolled by us in swift fashion, those of us who remember
the racing action and the excitement caused by the great driving stars who competed there, the
opening of the IRCO Dirt Track Heroes Show allows each one of us to chat and listen to many of
our racing heroes as the opening day takes us back to a time when life was far more carefree,
the racing was far more affordable and the world in general was in a far better state of affairs
than it is in present day form.
With a great group of stars contacted for the event, it is with great anticipation the show will kick
off and headlining the opening day will be five time Whelen Modified Tour Champion Tony
Hirschman. Tony began his successful racing career at the Dorney Park Speedway in Allentown,
Pennsylvania and quickly moved through the ranks of the racing world by capturing two
championships at the Mahoning Valley Speedway in back to back seasons 1977-1978 and two
titles at the Mountain Speedway in 1978-1980. Tony followed up by moving into the Whelen
Modified Tour ranks as he raced alongside the best of the best the pavement Modified world
had to offer. Tony earned his first series title in 1995 and captured additional series titles in
1996, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Tony captured ROC titles in 1989 and 1997 and has won numerous
awards for his great performances on the race track. While only competing in occasional races
currently, Tony still shows the moxie and the necessary talent to get the job done on the race
track as evidenced by his second place run in 2011 at the Race of Champions event at Oswego
Speedway. In 2003 Tony was named as one of the top NASCAR Modified drivers of all-time
earning the number six slot on the list of driving greats. Tony earned Rookie of the Year honors in
the Busch East Series in 1992 and captured the Richie Evans Performance Award in 1996.
Proving the apple does not fall far from the tree, Matt Hirschman followed in his Dad’s footsteps
in racing and quickly earned high marks for his prowess on the race track and just as his father
did, Matt has driven with the same extreme patience and style as his Dad and never the abuses
the racing equipment he goes to the speedway with. In 2013 Matt captured the ROC Pavement
Title for the sixth time in his young career and Matt enjoyed his best season behind the wheel as
he captured 20 feature wins, most of them big dollar payout events. Matt captured the Turkey
Derby at Wall Stadium, won a 10G event at Seekonk, pocketed six G’s from a Star Speedway
triumph, has captured the North-South Shoot-Out event five times, captured King of the Mountain
at Mountain Speedway for three straight years and earned eight wins in ten events to dominate
the ROC Series. Matt already has some races under his belt in 2014 having recently returned
from Florida where he finished in the top five in points. Matt will be returning to the NASCAR
Whelan Modified Tour with the 2014 season.
Along with the Hirschman Family a strong list of racing legends has been contacted for the event
and heading up the stellar list is Carl “Fuzzy” Van Horn, Richard “The King” Marinelli, Leroy
Amey, Carl Collis, Bob Rossell, Sammy Beavers, Randy Bok, Bill Wilson, Dan Huston, Del
Buss, Joe Poliacik, Johnny Strupp,Butch Tittle, George Wambold, Russ Meyer, Whitey
Kerschner, Ward Crozier, Richie Smith, Jack Zeiner, Tommy Vroom and many more who
worked their magic on the speedway.
The longtime broadcasting team of Ed and Steve Pados from Gasoline Alley fame, veteran
announcer Bobby Stull and former Lake Mocatek co-announcer Justin Beltrame will once again
head up the nightly interview sessions. Collins, who serves as the noted historian of the
Harmony Speedway, is expected to have much of his memorabilia from the Harmony Speedway
for the event and Beltrame will once again spearhead and show the vast collection of Lake
Mocatek material he has collected over the years.
Additional highlights and services for this year’s edition of the show will include a visit from Ms. Motorsports Cassi Pinder and Little Ms. Motorsports Ava Horvath on Tuesday night March 4th.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center has partnered with IRCO to institute a blood drive at the Phillipsburg Mall on Saturday, March 8th, from 12 Noon until 3 PM.
The “Golden Era” of auto racing from the late fifties through the early eighties was an era that saw many changes take place in the way the race cars were constructed. The word “stock” gave way to ingenuity at first and followed closely by technology as the race cars became less stock appearing and relied more heavily on the latest speed part that would make the race car go faster. While the years have changed the look and the cost of racing, the spirit of the competition remains much as it was when racing in the local area was launched. The great fan base of racing can come out to this grand Mall event and be transported back to a time when they could hop into their family jitney and travel less than a half hour to witness the excitement of a night at the races. All historical racing groups including Reading, Flemington, Harmony, Dorney Park and Nazareth will have their memorabilia on display and their many scrapbooks open for the fans to take another long look at the glory years of racing and possibly find a picture or two they want to purchase as a keepsake from past glory or racing exploits.
In the previous events, cars that were on display included big and small block Modifieds, Sportsman, Micro-Sprints, ARDC Midgets, URC Sprints, TSRS Sprints, Late Models, go-karts, quarter midgets and a wide range of vintage and restored race cars. New Egypt, Grandview, Big Diamond, Bridgeport, Hamlin, Accord, Action Track USA, Borger’s and Snydersville will again be among the many speedways involved with the 2014 show. The week-long event will set aside one evening to salute the “Stars of Tomorrow” with a special night set aside for the budding young racing talents competing with the many quarter midget clubs in the area and this night has proven to be one of the highlights of the week as many will be giving their first ever interviews to a sizable crowd.
IRCO Community Federal Credit Union remains the show sponsor and has supported the event since the it first opened in 2008. More information on IRCO is available at the company’s web site at: www.ircocu.com or please contact Greg Collins via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The IRCO Dirt Track Heroes Car Show will again offer a great keepsake event souvenir program book and shirt. The Phillipsburg Mall is open Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM and from Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM. The event offers race teams a great opportunity to promote their sponsors and announce their racing plans for the 2014 racing season.