National Dirt
Sunday, 8 August 2021


Winner Joe Krawiec (Granby, Conn.) Winner Joe Krawiec (Granby, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Bradford, Vermont (August 8, 2021)………With a storm coming and lightning in the distance, Joe Krawiec (E. Granby, CT) took the lead on lap nine leading the rest of the way to win the USAC-DMA midget feature at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday night.

It was Krawiec’s second win of the season with the club and continued the strong year of Ray Miller Racing as Krawiec and teammates Justin Phillips and Justin Sheridan have won five of the seven races to date.

Manny Dias took the lead at the start from the pole position and held the top spot through the first eight laps of the feature. Krawiec started fifth but took advantage of the low groove to move into second on lap two. A few drivers attempted to come off the bottom of the track with some success early in the race. Seth Carlson moved up from eighth to fifth by lap four.

Will Hull and Josh Sunn also tried a more mid-track groove, but neither was able to make it work for them. On lap five, Dylan Campbell and Tom Chaffee got together in turn three with Chaffee ending up on the losing end flipping over once before coming to a stop. Chaffee climbed out of the car and walked away uninjured.

After the re-start, Krawiec set his sights on Dias. Dias gave an opening coming off of turn two on lap nine and that was all Krawiec needed as he put the Ray Miller Racing #1B into the lead. At this point Justin Phillips had taken third from Brandon Piastka. Sunn lost several positions early but around the mid-point of the race he began a charge to the front getting past Hull, Piastka and Phillips to challenge Dias for second.

In a noble but ultimately futile effort Sunn made repeated attempts to pass Dias for second late in the race but couldn’t get the car to stick. Sunn eventually lost a couple of positions and finished sixth.

Dias kept it close all the way but didn’t have the speed to get by Krawiec who won by 0.650 seconds. Phillips re-took third place from Sunn on lap 19. Brandon Piastka was fourth, Hull fifth and Sunn sixth. The top ten was rounded out by Justin Sheridan, Carlson, Daniel Piastka and Jeff Horn.

The win enabled Krawiec to take over first place in the USAC-DMA midget point standings over Seth Carlson. Krawiec described the winning pass after the race.

“It’s always challenging when the track narrows up like that, but I was lucky to have an inside starting position and knew patience would be the key. Manny was fast out of the gate and I didn’t have anything for him in the early laps but a few laps after the restart he made a mistake or was just searching for a faster line and lost just enough speed that I was able to catch him and make the pass. In his defense it’s always tough being the leader not knowing where everyone else is running and what’s the fastest line. With as fast as he was in the beginning, I’m confident he’ll (Dias) be in the winner’s circle before you know it. As always a big thank you to Ray Miller and the whole team.”

Dias has been a steady competitor all year and was rewarded with a top three finish. “I was happy to finally get a podium” said Dias after the race ended. “The car was good, but you couldn’t make a mistake with a one groove race track. I just left the door open some and Joe got in there.” Dias’s speed was underlined by setting the fastest lap of the night with a 15.031 second lap on the sixth circuit.

Third place finisher Phillips was happy to get a good finish. “Some of the adjustments we made seemed to help the balance of our car. It was tough to make any ground up on the bottom and you had to protect your position. We were able to move forward on the start and re-start. Big congratulations to Joe on his second win of the season. On to Albany-Saratoga next week, I’m always excited to run there.”

Krawiec now has a slim six point lead over Carlson with four races remaining in 2021. With Phillips, Hull, Sheridan and Dias all within striking distance of the leaders the point race will be going down to the wire.

Manny Dias and Brandon Piastka won the two heat races. The USAC-DMA midgets make their second visit of the season to Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY next Friday night August 13.




USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS: August 7, 2021 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Manny Dias (#42 Dias), 2. Wayne Stearns (#35 Stearns), 3. Tom Chaffee (#51 Chaffee), 4. Jeff Horn (#A1 Horn), 5. Dylan Campbell (#85 Campbell), 6. Daniel Piastka (#7x Miller). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Brandon Piastka (#7 Shookus), 2. Joe Krawiec (#1B Miller), 3. Josh Sunn (#76 Mancini), 4. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 5. Justin Phillips (#16 Miller), 6. Justin Sheridan (#17 Miller), 7. Will Hull (#3 Matczak). NT

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Joe Krawiec, 2. Manny Dias, 3. Justin Phillips, 4. Brandon Piastka, 5. Will Hull, 6. Josh Sunn, 7. Justin Sheridan, 8. Seth Carlson, 9. Daniel Piastka, 10. Jeff Horn, 11. Dylan Campbell, 12. Tom Chaffee. NT

**Tom Chaffee flipped on lap 5 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Manny Dias, Laps 9-25 Joe Krawiec.

USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION POINTS: 1-Joe Krawiec-472, 2-Seth Carlson-466, 3-Justin Phillips-448, 4-Will Hull-443, 5-Justin Sheridan-441, 6-Manny Dias-429, 7-Brandon Piastka-415, 8-Josh Sunn-398, 9-Wayne Koehler-246, 10-Jeff Horn-215.

NEXT USAC DMA MIDGET RACE: August 13, 2021 – Albany-Saratoga Speedway – Malta, New York