After Matt Hirschman drove the J&J Motorsports No. 59 to a $5,000 victory at Mahoning Valley Speedway on Saturday night, twin brothers James and John Gouldey proclaimed it was their final race as car owners.
“They’ve been talking about it all year,” said Hirschman.
“I still don’t believe it, but if it is so they have been great to race for.”
Hirschman is the only driver that the brothers, who own and maintain the car at their shop in Lebanon, Pa., have ever had in nine season as car owners. They joined together in 2006 and have had wonderful success together.
While Matt often drives for himself or other car owners, the two brothers, who work full-time on the railroad, always travel with him to be part of the different crews.
Luckily for Hirschman, the two brothers said they’ll remain loyal crew members and he’ll get the winning race car.
“They’re still going to be racing with me,” said Hirschman.
“It’s not too upsetting to me. They are great people and they are not going anywhere and neither is the car. If they decide they don’t want to own the car, I’m going to keep it. How could you sell a car that is winning like this one? Out of all the cars I drive, we did the best with this one this year.’
In 2013, Hirschman had an incredible season with many of the victories coming in his own No. 60. This year, he’s done best in the J&J No. 59 including winning $9,000 by taking the final two events he raced at Mahoning.
Hirschman will run his own car at the North-South Shootout this weekend at N.C.’s Caraway Speedway. He’ll then end the season at the Turkey Derby at NJ’s Wall Stadium driving the No. 60 in the Tour-type Modified main and Rob Gallaer’s No. 41 in the Wall Modified two-barrel carburator motor division feature.
Thus, the J&J No. 59 is done for the season. Maybe for good.
“If they stick to their guns,” said Hirschman, “it’s been a great run with them for over a decade. What a way to end it too, winning the last two races here.”
Hirschman promised the car would be back either way at Mahoning Valley’s opener next season.
“I’m uncertain what I’ll be doing next year, but I know I’ll be racing a Modified,” said Hirschman. “What that is at this point — the (NASCAR) Whelen Tour, RoC or open shows, we’ll have to see.”
This past season Hirschman returned to the NASCAR Tour, splitting the year between his own car and one owned by Wayne Darling. After the Tour season finale at Thompson, Darling said he was down sizing his effort and wasn’t returning. That left Hirschman’s NASCAR effort in question. He’s always run his own No. 60 with the Race of Champions series.
Hirschman said he’s driven for Bob Horne just as long as he has for J&J Motorsports. He said Horne is getting up in age, but has promised him another year or two, so that car is secure.