By Brian Danko
Tony Hirschman, Jr. is living large these days. Hirschman, the son of five time
modified tour champion, Tony, Sr., is currently spotting full time on the Sprint
Cup series for driver David Ragan.
“Things are going great.” Tony said sitting outside the AAA Insurance Ford
hauler of Roush Fenway Racing. “This weekend is great because I am close to home
and I also get to see a lot of friends.”
Hirschman began his career, like many racers at the local tracks where he
spotted for his father for many years and then his brother before he was getting
noticed by upper NASCAR teams on the Craftsman Truck, Nationwide Series and the
Sprint Cup circuit.
He feels like he his playing a small part in the success that Ragan has shown
this year and Ragan himself praised Tony after the Dover race in which Tony
helped guide David through the massive wreck off turn two.
“The biggest thing about David is he older and is gaining more experience and
that is the biggest reason why we are running better. We all have the same
equipment so we know it’s not that.”
Tony was doing the spotting as a ‘second job’ as he was a counselor working with
youths but right now, this is his full time job.
This was a big weekend for Tony as he celebrated his 31st birthday and was able
to have a ‘small’ get together in his hometown. “I think that the whole team was
there.” Tony said laughing, “But it was nice to be home for it.”
Last October, Tony became a father for the first time and he loves every minute
of it except for the time he’s on the road and now that he’s spotting fulltime
for Ragan, he leaves the house every Thursday and doesn’t get home till late
“My schedule is a little different than most people because my weekend is like
Tuesday and Wednesday. So I get to spend some time with my daughter then and
stay home with her as my wife is working.”
When I asked how is mother and father like being grandparents, Tony lit up with
a smile. “Oh, they love it. You know my dad, how quite he is but seeing him and
my brother, Matt, with her, they really get into it and naturally, my mother
Actually, his mother takes over watching her when Tony has to pack up and head
to the airport for the next Sprint Cup race or Nationwide race.
Even though, the Pocono Raceway is just about 40 minutes from Tony’s hometown of
Northampton, Pa., it still doesn’t mean an easy weekend.
“Tonight I have to fly to Nashville, TN. To spot for David during the Nationwide
race and then we’ll fly back after the race but at least when tomorrow is over,
I just have a short ride back home before I have to head out to Michigan next
One thing about following the Cup series is you get to see the United States,
but most who follow the grueling series say that other than flying from one
airport to another, you really don’t get to see the area because you’re always
at the track.
When I asked Tony if he did any other jobs for the Roush team, he said, “No, I
just spot for David for pretty much I get to hang out at the hauler and wait
till we get together for practice and the race.”
We talked about how many former modified team members are working on various Cup
teams so he says “it’s nice to see familiar faces on the road.”
Right now things are looking up for the young Tony. He has a great job that he
loves and a wonderful family. What else can anyone ask for?