Monday, 6 June 2022


Winner Seth Carlson (Stafford, Conn.) Winner Seth Carlson (Stafford, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Bradford, Vermont (June 4, 2022)………Defending USAC-DMA midget champion Seth Carlson (Stafford, CT) broke through the pack to score his first victory of the 2022 season at Bear Ridge Speedway Saturday night.

Ralle Rookey and Mike Netishen brought the field around to the green flag with Rookey jumping into the early lead. While Rookey and Netishen were setting the pace up front, a pack of cars were dicing for position behind them.

The seventh starting Carlson was in the top five in the first three laps, from there he steadily worked his way to the front getting by Netishen for second on lap eleven and two laps later took Rookey going into turn one. Justin Sheridan also moved up from sixth starting spot and took second from Netishen with five laps to go.

A caution on lap 18 for Manny Dias who did a slow rollover in turn four bunched up the field. Dias was unhurt and restarted the car to finish the race. The race went green the rest of the way with Carlson taking the win over Sheridan.

While Carlson had finished fifth and third in the two previous races, he and the Seals-It team have been hard at work looking for the extra speed needed to win. Carlson thinks they are on the right track. “I think we have the balance of the car figured out a little better with the new engine package. I’d like to thank Seals-It, Skip Matczak and the crew Charlie Gunther, Lloyd Burnham, Carl Sentivany and my dad Paul for all the hard work they’ve done on the car to get to this point.”

Sheridan’s second place finish continued his strong early season showing. He was third on opening night and has followed up with second place finishes the last two races showing he plans to contend for wins and the championship in 2022.

“I didn’t get a great initial start but was able to slowly pick off some cars and get another decent finish,” Sheridan said. “My goal has been to be consistent and have a chance at some wins this year. We’re doing good on the first part but still chasing that first win of 2022. Thanks to Ray Miller and Zettie Shookus for all they do for the Miller Race Team.”

Mike Netishen’s strong race ended on a sour note. He ran in the top three in the feature and held off both Carlson and Sheridan for several laps before finishing third. Unfortunately for Netishen he came up seven pounds light at the scales and was disqualified. That moved Daniel Piastka up to third in the finish order.

Piastka’s night didn’t start so well as during hot laps Netishen spun and Piastka ran into the stalled car. Unable to fix the front end for the heat races, Piastka hopped into the car he ran last year, the Ray Miller #1H for the rest of the evening. Will Hull finished fourth and Daniel’s brother Brandon Piastka came in fifth.

Ralle Rookey’s fine run ended on the 21st lap when the engine expired in the Seals-It team car to Carlson. Rookey isn’t new to racing as he had been racing a Mazda Miata on road courses. However, he is new to midget racing.

“Definitely disappointing but that’s racing,” a dejected Rookey stated. “Racing midgets has been an eye-opening experience. I have a lot of respect for what these guys do. Coming from road racing, I would say the biggest challenges for me at this point are learning how to read and feel an ever-changing track as well as practicing good throttle control. The whole Seals-It team has been extremely supportive, constantly helping me learn and understand where and how I can improve, and I am very thankful for that. I was looking for a challenge and I certainly got one coming to the DMA, but I am having a blast and looking forward to continuing the progress!”

Jeff Horn, soon to be 77 years young, was the winner of the first heat race. Carlson won the second heat race.

The next race for the USAC-DMA midgets is at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY on Friday June 10.




USAC SPEED2 DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS:  June 4, 2022 – Bear Ridge Speedway - Bradford, Vermont

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Jeff Horn (#A1 Horn), 2. Ralle Rookey (#5 Matczak), 3. Mike Netishen (#5$ Netishen), 4. Manny Diaz (#42 Dias), 5. Joey Chick (#5c Chick)

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 2. Will Hull (#3 Matczak), 3. Brandon Piastka (#7 Shookus), 4. Justin Sheridan (#17 Miller), 5. Josh Sunn (#76m Mancini), 6. Daniel Piastka (#1H Miller), 7. Scott Holcomb #4r Matczak), 8. Todd Mable (#2k Mable)

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Justin Sheridan, 3. Daniel Piastka, 4. Will Hull, 5. Brandon Piastka, 6. Josh Sunn, 7. Scott Holcomb, 8. Jeff Horn, 9. Manny Dias, 10. Todd Mable, 11. Ralle Rookey, 12. Joey Chick, DQ. Mike Netishen (Failed post-race tech inspection). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: 1-12 Ralle Rookey, Laps 13-25 Seth Carlson.

USAC SPEED2 DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION POINTS: 1-Justin Sheridan-216, 2-Seth Carlson-208, 3-Brandon Piastka-206, 4-Josh Sunn-205, 5-Daniel Piastka-193, 6-Ralle Rookey-150, 7-Joey Chick-143, 8-Todd Mable-131, 9-Mike Netishen-127, 10-Jeff Horn-110.

NEXT USAC SPEED2 DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE:  June 10, 2022 – Albany-Saratoga Speedway – Malta, New York